Cambodia

Phnom Santuk

Climbing the Colorful, Quirky Mountain of Phnom Santuk

Near the city of Kampong Thom, almost exactly in Cambodia’s center, stands one of the country’s most sacred mountains. Phnom Santuk, as it’s known, has long been a pilgrimage spot for locals, but remains well off the radar for most foreign visitors. The mountain, though, has something to offer both nature lovers as well as

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Sambor Prei Kuk northern group

Visiting the Pre-Angkorian Ruins of Sambor Prei Kuk

When visiting the very oldest temples of Angkor, it’s clear that their art and architecture were already very refined. Obviously, the civilization didn’t just spring up out of nowhere. But who was there before? While the exact details are murky, it’s generally believed that two Cambodian kingdoms preceded the birth of Angkor in the 9th

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Baksei Chamkrong

5 of Angkor’s Most Unique Structures

In total, the Angkor Archaeological Park is home to hundreds of monuments. And most temples, even some of the more extravagant ones, can be neatly categorized into distinct architectural styles. There are several unique temples, however, that break the mold. And, while just about every stone structure left by the ancient Khmer was a temple

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Bayon Angkor Thom

A Day in Angkor Thom: Cycling Through the Heart of the Khmer Empire

Though the Khmer Empire lasted for several hundred years, we only have one single firsthand account from a foreign visitor. When the Chinese diplomat Zhou Daguan visited in the year 1296, Angkor Thom was still a thriving, vibrant and wealthy capital. And today, visitors can easily retrace Daguan’s steps, seeing everything from the monumental temples

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Ta Prohm Triad

The Mysteries of Jayavarman VII’s Triad Temples

The late 12th century Angkor temples of Ta Prohm, Preah Khan and Banteay Kdei make up what are known as Jayavarman VII’s ‘triad temples.’ Each temple, in fact, represents a member of the monarch’s favored Buddhist trinity, an ideology he worked hard to promote after centuries of Hindu dominance. Today, these temples have largely been

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Ramayana

Decoding the Symbolism of Angkor

Everywhere you look, the Angkor temples are teeming with symbolism. Thanks to the master artists who constructed and carved the temples, the vivid imagery is bound to captivate even those with little knowledge of its deeper meanings. Familiarizing yourself with the deities, mythological beings and basic concepts of Angkorian religion, however, can make exploring the

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