If you’re planning a trip to Cambodia, one destination that should be at the top of your list is Angkor Wat. This ancient temple complex is not only a UNESCO World Heritage site but also one of the most impressive architectural wonders in the world. With its rich history and awe-inspiring beauty, a visit to Angkor Wat is an experience like no other. In this guide, we’ll take you through all the essential information you need to know before visiting Angkor Wat.

Understanding Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is a massive temple complex located in Siem Reap, Cambodia. It was built in the 12th century during the Khmer Empire and was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu. Over time, it transitioned into a Buddhist temple and remains an active religious site today. The entire complex spans over 400 acres, making it the largest religious monument in the world.

Planning Your Visit

Before you embark on your journey to Angkor Wat, there are a few important things to consider. Firstly, make sure you have a valid Cambodian visa, as it is required for entry into the country. Additionally, it’s a good idea to check the weather conditions beforehand, as certain seasons may be more favorable for exploring the temple complex.

Exploring Angkor Wat

Once you arrive at Angkor Wat, you’ll be greeted by its iconic entrance, known as the West Gate. From there, you can start your exploration of the temple complex. The main temple is surrounded by a massive moat, which adds to its grandeur. As you enter the temple, you’ll be captivated by the intricate carvings and stunning architecture.

Must-Visit Highlights

While the entire Angkor Wat complex is worth exploring, there are a few highlights that you shouldn’t miss. One of them is the central sanctuary, which is the heart of the temple and houses the main deity. The galleries surrounding the central sanctuary are adorned with bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology and historical events.

Exploring Beyond Angkor Wat

Although Angkor Wat is the most famous temple within the complex, there are many other temples and sites worth visiting in the vicinity. Ta Prohm, known for its atmospheric jungle setting and intertwining tree roots, is a popular choice among visitors. Bayon Temple, with its massive stone faces, is another must-see attraction.

Practical Tips for Visiting Angkor Wat

To ensure a smooth and enjoyable visit to Angkor Wat, here are a few practical tips to keep in mind:

  1. Dress appropriately: As Angkor Wat is still an active religious site, it’s important to dress modestly. Ensure your shoulders and knees are covered to show respect.

  2. Stay hydrated: The temple complex is vast, and the weather can be hot and humid. Carry plenty of water and stay hydrated throughout your visit.

  3. Engage a local guide: Hiring a local guide can greatly enhance your experience by providing historical and cultural insights.

  4. Start early: Angkor Wat gets crowded, so it’s best to arrive early in the morning to beat the crowds and enjoy a more serene experience.

  5. Don’t forget insect repellent: Given the temple’s location in tropical Cambodia, mosquitoes and other insects can be bothersome. Apply insect repellent to protect yourself.


A visit to Angkor Wat is a journey back in time, immersing you in the rich history and architectural marvels of the Khmer Empire. From the awe-inspiring main temple to the captivating surrounding sites, Angkor Wat offers a truly unforgettable experience. By following this guide, you’ll be well-prepared to make the most of your visit to this extraordinary destination. So pack your bags, immerse yourself in the mystique of Angkor Wat, and create memories that will last a lifetime.