From the World Heritage inscription for Angkor:
Angkor, in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, is one of the most important archaeological sites in Southeast Asia. It extends over approximately 400 square kilometers and consists of scores of temples, hydraulic structures (basins, dikes, reservoirs, canals) as well as communication routes. For several centuries Angkor was the center of the Khmer Kingdom. With impressive monuments, several different ancient urban plans, and large water reservoirs, the site is a unique concentration of features testifying to an exceptional civilization. Temples such as Angkor Wat, the Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Prohm, exemplars of Khmer architecture, are closely linked to their geographical context as well as being imbued with symbolic significance. The architecture and layout of the successive capitals bear witness to a high level of social order and ranking within the Khmer Empire. Angkor is, therefore, a major site exemplifying cultural, religious and symbolic values, as well as containing high architectural, archaeological and artistic significance.
The park is inhabited, and many villages, some of whom the ancestors are dating back to the Angkor period are scattered throughout the park. The population practices agriculture and more specifically rice cultivation.
I could spend a month here and fill every day taking photos. There were hundreds of photos I could have taken if I was only at a place at a different time of day.
Most people only think of Angkor Wat and assume that temple is all there is to see. The entire complex is enormous and encompasses many square kilometers, not including the many smaller temples on the outskirts of Siem Reap. People still live on the grounds of Angkor and make a living selling things to tourists (often annoyingly so).
I spent about four days exploring and I could go back today and see things I didn’t see my first time around.
View the complete list of UNESCO World Heritage Sites in Cambodia.
View the list of all of the UNESCO World Heritage sites I have visited on my travels.