Siem Reap Vistior Guide 59th


T here are dozens of ruins in the Siem Reap area, many of the most significant within the Angkor Archaeological Park north of town, others further afield. The temples vary in importance, interest and con- dition and are spread over a large area, often kilometers apart. In order to get the most of your visit, it is best to prepare a preliminary itinerary. Your itinerary should depend largely on the length of your visit and your level of interest, though some ruins are must-sees. Any itinerary should include the legendary Angkor Wat and Bayon . These two temples offer the most spectacular and unique examples of Angkorian art and architecture. On the road trip to Bayon, you will also see the South Gate and other minor ruins. As it is within walking dis- tance of Bayon , even the briefest visit can usually include central Angkor Thom with its artistically interesting terraces and massive ‘temple-mountains,’ Baphuon and Phimeanakas . As time and interest allows, build the rest of your itinerary around visiting each type of major ruin – temple mountains such as Pre Rup , Ta Keo , Bakong and West Mebon ; flat, sprawling monastic complexes such as Ta Prohm , Preah Khan and Banteay Kdei ; and unique monuments such as Neak Pean and Srah Srang . The Roluos Group , which is comprised the monuments of an early Khmer capital, sits about 13 km west of Siem Reap. It is a bit out of the way, but offers some fine examples of early Angkorian art and should be included in two or three day itineraries. Of special note is the artistically exquisite but more even distant temple, Banteay Srey . If there is any way of squeezing it into your itinerary, it is well worth it.

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