Angkor Wat would probably be one of the most visited historical sites in the whole Southeast Asian region. This is one place that you shouldn’t miss when you go to Indo-China.
Some facts from Wikipedia
“Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation—first Hindu, dedicated to the god Vishnu, then Buddhist. The temple is the epitome of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.
Angkor Wat combines two basic plans of Khmer temple architecture: the temple mountain and the later galleried temple, based on early South Indian Hindu architecture, with key features such as the Jagati. It is designed to represent Mount Meru, home of the devas in Hindu mythology: within a moat and an outer wall 3.6 kilometres (2.2 mi) long are three rectangular galleries, each raised above the next. At the centre of the temple stands a quincunx of towers. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west; scholars are divided as to the significance of this. The temple is admired for the grandeur and harmony of the architecture, its extensive bas-reliefs and for the numerous devatas (guardian spirits) adorning its walls.”
From Manila, you can fly to Bangkok and do the overland trip to Phnom Penh and continue on to Siem Reap. Alternatively, you can fly to Kuala Lumpur and then fly directly to Siem Reap (via Air Asia) if you don’t have much time.
When you get to Siem Reap, there’s a lot of cheap hostels to choose from. There’s also a lot of cheap food stalls that you’ll find around town. Most people go to Angkor Wat around dusk and stay there until dawn to capture the magnificent sunrise and sunset view of the temple. I went there around midday because of sheer laziness to wake up early. I suggest you rent a tuktuk or a motorcycle so you could go to most of the nearby temples easily. I think I just paid $7 for the whole day rent of the motorcycle that took me to different sights around Angkor Wat.
Here’s the admission information from www.tourismcambodia.com
“You must possess an admission pass (an ‘Angkor Pass’) to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. One-day tickets only can be purchased at the secondary tollgate on airport road entrance near Angkor Wat and at Banteay Srey.
Passes are sold in one-day ($20), three-day ($40) and seven-day ($60) blocks that must be used on consecutive days. Photo taken on the spot with free of charge is required at time of purchase.
Visiting hours are 5:00AM – 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. Always carry your ticket. It will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples. There is a significant fine for not possessing a valid ticket inside the park. A regular admission ticket is not required to visit Phnom Kulen, Koh Ker or Beng Melea, but there is a separate entrance fee of $20, $10 and $5, respectively.”
Here are more pictures: