When you’re travelling through the ancient capital of the once glorious Khmer Empire, Angkor, you might be awed and intimidated by the sheer number of temples which grapple for your attention. However, you can see the most famous and stunning of them in a day. This is a tour which runs for 17 kilometres through Angkor, and features both renowned ones like Angkor Wat, and less known ones like Sras Srang, before winding up. Here is a list of the temples and places which you can see during the Small Circuit tour. You can wrap up the tour in about nine hours.
This is easily the most well-known temple in Cambodia. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument. It was built by the Khmer empire as a homage to Lord Vishnu in the 12th century. The complex has been declared as a UNESCO World Heritage Site and is notable for the intricate bas reliefs which have been carved into it. There are also guardian spirits, or Devatas, which are visible on the walls.
This temple is located right in the middle of the Angkor Thom Complex. The temple is best known for its gorgeous stone faces carved into the towers seen on the top and the centre of the temple. It is also significant for its unique bas reliefs which showcase the happenings of daily life. Bayon has been called the loveliest example of the Baroque style of architecture of the Khmer Empire.
This is one of the most famous temples in Cambodia! It also features on the UNESCO World Heritage List and was constructed by King Jayavarman VII to honour his family members. The temple has roots and plants which artistically flow through the area, and this manner of setting ensured it was used as a location in the Tomb Raider movie.
This temple, built as a tribute to Lord Shiva, is a three-tiered mountain temple. It has intricate carvings that cover every part of the temple. It was constructed to be the state temple for King Udayadityavarman II. It has been restored and rebuilt almost from scratch.
This is a Hindu temple which had been constructed at the end of the tenth century. It is built in the Khleang style of architecture. It is shaped like a 3-tiered pyramid, and there are some galleries on the top level for you to see.
Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King
This is another structure built by King Jayavarman VII so that he could watch his troops return from battle victoriously. The walls here, especially the midsection, are inscribed with eagle guardians or garudas, as well as lions as a way of making sure the place is well guarded. The place is named after all the elephants which have been inscribed into the terrace.
The second terrace has many well-carved eagle guardians (garudas), snake reliefs, and apsara statues. The place is titled after a statue of king Yasovarman, who suffered from leprosy.
The name of this temple means Citadel of Chambers. Monks lived here till the nineteenth century. The temple is home to some beautiful frescoes.
The Twelve Prasats
This is a set of twelve towers which are situated right in front of the two terraces. Their function is a matter of debate, though the towers were supposedly used to settle disputes.
The name means ‘Bridge of Stone’, and it is one of the few bridges built during the Khmer Era to survive into the present day. You can also see several other bridges in the vicinity having a similar model.
This is a reservoir located east of Banteay Kdei, and is a popular site for viewing that temple. It was dug in the 10th century on behalf of king Rajendravarman II, though it was modified by Jayavarman II later on.
Why You Should Embark On The Small Circuit Tour
This tour holds quite a few significant advantages for tourists. Firstly, it can be done in a single day. If you have limited time to spend in Siem Reap, and are wondering which sights are the best, this tour covers them all.
You will get to see the major temples such as the Bayon and Angkor Wat, as well as structures like the Terrace of The Elephants which look beautiful. The tour also provides you with great bang for your buck- a one day pass for the temple complex costs 37 USD for a day. The Grand Bayon hotel can arrange all transport and guides for your trip. We’re happy to help.