"By one o'clock the temperature was hot and humid. Properly seeing the main temple, Angkor Wat, involved walking three or four
kilometres across the moat, around the sculpted galleries, and climbing the steep stairway to the top of the artificial mountain. I couldn't imagine walking or riding a bicycle another five
kilometres to the next temple complex. Instead, at the appointed hour, our driver was waiting near the gate. Waiting in the air conditioned sedan were iced towels and bottles of water. As we refreshed ourselves on the way to The Terrace of Elephants, our driver explained it was a viewing stand from which the royal Khmers watched parades and processions. The life-sized stone carved elephants were complete with their Mahouts (drivers) and ceremonial garb."
The temples of Angkor, built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, represent one of humankind's most
astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. From Angkor the Khmer kings ruled over a vast domain that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal. The structures
one sees at Angkor today, more than 100 stone temples in all, are the surviving remains of a grand religious, social and administrative metropolis whose other buildings -
palaces, public buildings, and houses - were built of wood and are long since decayed and gone.
Angkor Thom (literally: "Great City") was the last and most enduring capital city of the Khmer empire. It was established in the late twelfth century by king Jayavarman VII. It
covers an area of 9 km˛, within which are located several monuments from earlier eras as well as those established by Jayavarman and his successors. At the centre of the city is
Jayavarman's state temple, the Bayon, with the other major sites clustered around the Victory Square immediately to the north.
Angkor Wat (or Angkor Vat) is a Hindu temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II 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.