Welcome to the largest religious monument in the world which is spread across more than 150 hectares. The temple is a perfect example of gradual change of religion of the Khmer Kingdom from Hinduism to Buddhism. It was originally constructed in the 12th century as a Hindu temple in honor of Vishnu (the preserver and restorer of balance between good and evil),  one of the most important deities of hinduism. Angkor Wat portrays the Hindu cosmology, with the central tower representing Mount Meru, home of the gods, the outer walls representing mountains that enclose the world, and the moat around the temple serving as symbol for the ocean that is beyond.  


As the Khmer Kingdom was moving from Hinduism to Buddhism, Angkor Wat was transforming as well, eventually becoming a major Buddhist shrine. In fact, during the 15th century, almost all of Angkor was abandoned after Siamese attack, except for Angkor Wat which remained a shrine for Buddhist pilgrims. Today, most Cambodians are Buddhist and during your stay in Siem Reap you will see many more wonderful Buddhist temples. . 


Angkor Wat is a huge complex, full of beautiful, hidden passages and intricate carvings. But don't stay here too long- it takes forever to see it, and you have many other temples to explore. You should definitively not miss Angor Wat, after all this is why most people come here, but you should also not spend all your energy on it, especially if you don't have enough time.  Dress appropriately- although you can get by with a scarf covering your tank top while just walking around the temple,  they will not let you climb the main tower unless your shoulders and knees are covered.  And by covered, they don't mean putting a scarf over your shoulders, but actually wearing a T-shirt.  The view from the tower is beautiful, as you can see below.