Situated in Siem Reap province next to the provincial capital of the same name, Angkor Wat is the most famous of the Angkorian Temples and the world’s largest religious monument. It is a common misconception that Angkor Wat is the whole group, which is obviously not true. Part of the magnificence of the Angkorian group is the sheer size and scale of grandeur on which many of the temples were built. So boggling a scale, in fact, that it really can’t be grasped until seen firsthand.
It’s also not uncommon to get ‘templed out’, a condition which can happen after just a couple of days of temple touring. All you want to do is sit in your hotel room with a good book because it isn’t possible to fit any more incredible carvings, bas-reliefs, amazing sunsets/sunrises or temples-the-size-of-mountains into your head.
Points Onward & Riding Conditions
Around Siem Reap: (Novice)
The roads around town are all well paved, but be careful not to ride your bike around the temple complex because if the temple traffic mafia stop you they can impound your steed and without papers it can be difficult to get it back.
Preah Vihear/The north: (Novice)
Conversely, at present (but soon to change) the temples sit across the public highway to the provinces to the north and so you have every right to use them. Just don’t stop at any of the temples on the way.
Koh Ker Temple: (Novice/Intermediate)
Several routes, the new road past Beng Mealea is recently cut from the bush and easy, but you have to pay to use it.
Phnom Penh: (Novice)
Big fat tarmac road all the way Phnom Penh, just watch out for the traffic, it can get pretty nuts.
Thai Border: (Novice)
The road to the border sucks. The cynical would say because a certain Thai airline has the monopoly to fly into Siem Reap, so they keep the road in poor condition so only the poor use it. Along this road is also the off-the-beaten-track temple of Banteay Chmar.