6 Unbelievable Facts About the Angkor Wat Temple
Do you think you know everything there is to know about the Angkor Wat temple? Think again. This mystical temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia has gained a lot of traction and attention over the past couple of years, seeing a significant increase in visitors coming to discover and explore the hidden treasures and secrets from a mythical past. If you are planning a trip to Siem Reap to visit these amazing structures anytime soon, you’d better get down with some of the facts.
In this post, we uncover some of the most unbelievable and captivating facts about Angkor Wat temple that will blow your mind. Let’s get started!
#1 Jackie Onassis was here
The fact that Mrs. US of A visited this UNESCO World Heritage site is not what is actually intriguing. Rather the fact that she went during the time of the Vietnam war, which is noted for a time of unrest. She risked it anyway because she reckoned there is no time like the present to fulfill a ‘lifelong dream’.
#2 A Colourful Temple Complex
Did you know that the temple walls in the complex were once painted? Very few tourists coming to discover and explore these ruins notice this, but on some pieces of the wall, you can actually still see little bits of traces of paint. The age and wear and tear of the temple complex, however little it may seem, is quite a bit when taking this into account. Can you imagine how magnificent Angkor Wat would have looked dolled up in colors?
#3 Time is of the Essence
The majority of tourists coming to view the temple complexes are not savvy or informed, and unaware of the size of the complex. The actual size of the complex, which includes all the temples stretches over more than 400 sq.m! Yes, time is of the essence, lots of it. Be sure to set apart enough time to visit all the temples, even the smaller, less popular ones. You may need more than one day to do so.
#4 There is More than One Temple
Did you know that the name Angkor Wat can be translated to ‘City of Temples’? This, of course, implies more than one temple. Angkor Wat is home to hundreds of temples, and one can easily get lost there. It is said that new temples and complexes are still discovered each passing year.
#5 Biggest Religious Structure in the World
Okay, you probably knew this one already, but here is an extra fun fact. Did you know that the temple was initially built by Hindu monks? It is however used today by Buddhist monks, this change took place in the early 1300’s. Even though this magnificent treasure is not featured on the Wonders of the World list anymore, it’s got a very special place right in the middle of the national flag of Cambodia. It is also one of the main attractions in the country and it is estimated that nearly 50% of travelers coming to Cambodia come merely to visit the Angkor Wat Temple complex.
#6 Tomb Raider Temple
Yes, you are probably familiar with Angelina’s role as Lara Croft in the Tomb Raider movie. You are probably also familiar with Ta Prohm, the temple with all the overgrowth and roots running down the buildings. Well, Ta Prohm was featured in Tomb Raider, and locals today refer to Ta Prohm as Tomb Raider temple and other variations.
Did you learn something you didn’t know? We sure hope so! Now, at least you are prepared with some background information on this iconic temple complex and know that you should plan ahead and stay for at least more than one day to get to most of the amazing temples around the complex. For more information on how to book an affordable flight, read this post.