Angkor Archeological Park, a UNESCO World Heritage site, lies just 6 km south of Siem Reap, and is the key reason to visit this city.
The site stretches over 400 kms, and while you could spend weeks touring all the different temples and sites, three days were sufficient for us. We hired a tuk tuk driver to get around while in town and visited a number of different temples. Some of the highlights were:
Angkor Wat, the most famous of all the temples, was built in the mid-twelfth century by King Suryavarman II and was a temple to Vishnu. It is the most well preserved temple and contains nearly a mile of reliefs depicting historic battles and Hindu epics: The Ramayana and Mahabarata.
Angkor Thom was the last capital of the Khmer empire and was build in the late twelfth century by King Jayavarma VII. We visited Bayon, Phimeanakas, Royal Palace, Kleangs, Preah Pithu Group, Terrace of the Leper King and Elephant Terace.
Made famous by Angelina Jolie and Tomb Raider, it really did feel like something out of a movie. The temple was built in the Bayon style in the late 12th century. Unlike many of the other temples, it has not been restored and with trees growing out of the ruins, makes for a unique surroundings and amazing photography.
Banteay Srei is a 10th century Shiva temple that sit 25km NE. The temple is made from a red sandstone and is intricately carved and in great condition. It is smaller than many of the others, but the site is well worth the drive.