Top 10 must-visit temples in Siem Reap

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Cambodia is known as the country of pagoda with more than 90% of its population being Buddhists. Therefore, it would be a great mistake if you travel Cambodia without visiting the famous temples. If you want to discover magnificent pagodas, monuments as well as learn more about Cambodian’s history and architecture, Siem Reap is the best place for you. Here is the top 10 the most well-known temples in Siem Reap you should not miss.

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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest and most beautiful temple in Angkor temple complex. Built under the reign of King Suryavarman II in the 12th century, it is regarded as the pinnacle of Khmer architecture. The temple is famous for its long corridors depicted hundreds of Hindu epics and thousands of gorgeous Apsara statues.

Angkor Wat is the largest and most beautiful temple in Angkor temple complex (via Carmencitta Magazine)

Bayon temple

Situated in the Angkor Thom area, Bayon temple is remembered by hundreds of beautiful four-sided statues. Constructed in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, Bayon is the only national temples in Angkor dedicated to the Buddha of Mahayana Buddhism. After the death of King Jayavarman, it was remodeled by Hinduism.

Ta Keo Temple

Ta Keo was built of green sandstone and is the only unfinished temple in Angkor Thom. Constructed by King Jayavarman V when he was 17 years old, the temple is a place dedicated to Shiva. However, Ta Keo was never completed because of the death of the King.

Ta Keo was built of green sandstone and is the only unfinished temple in Angkor Thom (via Takeo)

Ta Prohm Temple

Built in 1186, Ta Prohm is a Buddhist temple dedicated to Jayavarman VII’s mother. It was home to more than 12,500 people, however, after the fall of Khmer Empire in the 15th century, the temple was abandoned. The tree roots growing on the walls create a mysterious beauty of Ta Prohm Temple.

Banteay Kdei

Next to Ta Prohm is Banteay Kdei Temple – the “citadel of Monk’s cells” and a Buddhist temple in Angkor. It was built in the early 13th century under the reign of Jayavarman VII but now the temple was severely damaged due to faulty construction and poor quality sandstone.

Banteay Kdei Temple (via Bách khoa toàn thư mở)

Pre Rup

Pre Rup Temple looks like a miniature Angkor Wat with three towers in the center. It was built of gray sandstone which is less durable than pink sandstone of other temple. Pre Rup Temple was used as a crematorium of royal families.

Preah Khan Temple

As one of the largest temples in Angkor, Preah Khan was built by King Jayavarman VII to honor his father. It is surrounded by a moat, the outer wall is decorated with five-meter-tall Garudas that are frozen in the battle with fighting Naga snakes. There are four gates to enter the temple, each gate has two huge lion statues standing guard.

Preah Khan Temple in Siem Reap (via World Monuments Fund)

Phnom Bakheng Temple

Built in the late 9th century, this Hindu temple was the architecture symbol of the new capital under the reign of King Yasovarman. Phnom Bakheng faces toward the east in a six-storey pyramid. It has totally 108 small towers surrounding the temple both on the ground and on the floors.

Banteay Srei

About 30km from Angkor Wat, Banteay Srei is an unmissable temple in Angkor. This charming temple was built to dedicate Shiva. Banteay Srei or “temple of women” is a masterpiece of sculpture on laterite and red sandstone.

Banteay Srei Temple (via blogger)

Preah Palilay Temple

Preah Palilay is a very small temple located on the back of Elephant Court. This is a Buddhist temple, similar to Bayon temple. It impresses with the chimney-shaped towers and beautiful Naga statues at the entrance.

That is a list of top 10 famous temples in Siem Reap that you should not miss. Find more places to see, things to do and travel guides in Cambodia, please visit our website. Please let us know if you have any questions or further information. You can also share this article if you liked it!