Top 3 temple complexes
Koh Ker is a remote archaeological site in northern Cambodia, about 200km from Siem Reap. From CE 928-944, the site served as the capital of the Angkorian Empire. King Jayavarman IV built a temple complex there to worship Treypuvanesvara, the god of happiness. In an area exceeding 36 square kilometres, there are more than 40 major structures to see. Accordingly, an overnight stay is recommended.
Unesco world heritage site Banteay Chhmar is a temple complex in the northwest of the country, close to the Thai border. The bas-relief artworks that mark more than a kilometre of the outer gallery walls are a particularly impressive feature here. Having remained almost completely untouched for 800 years, this complex is a pertinent link between the Khmer people and their Angkorian roots. Visitors have the chance to stay the night in the nearby village, which offers homestays to assist with community development.
The history of Preah Khan is shrouded in mystery, but there is a consensus that it has long been a location of religious importance. The temple complex, far-flung and enveloped by nature, has structures dating back to the 9th century. Despite being damaged by looters in the late 1990s, the temple remains a site of serenity. The relatively small size of the complex makes it ideal for a half-day visit. It is worth making the trip for the exquisitely carved elephants at the eastern end of the reservoir.