Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat is one of the most impressive temple complexes in the world.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, let’s address the elephant in the room. Can You Go Inside Angkor Wat?

While the interior of Angkor Wat is currently inaccessible due to ongoing preservation efforts, there’s still a world of wonder to discover beyond its doors. From the exterior’s breathtaking bas-reliefs to ascending the central tower for panoramic views, our journey promises an unforgettable experience.

There are plenty of incredible sights and experiences to be had exploring the exterior and grounds of this magnificent UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Keep reading to learn more!

Key Takeaways

  • The interior of Angkor Wat is currently inaccessible due to preservation efforts.
  • The exterior of Angkor Wat features bas-reliefs depicting scenes from Hindu mythology.
  • Ascending the central tower of Angkor Wat offers a breathtaking view of the surrounding area.
  • Angkor Wat contains hidden chambers that were used for meditation, rituals, and sacred artifacts.

Historical Significance of Angkor Wat

You can’t visit Angkor Wat without appreciating its immense historical significance. Understanding the cultural impact it has had is crucial to fully grasp its importance.

Built in the 12th century by the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat stands as a testament to their architectural and engineering prowess. This magnificent temple complex was originally dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, but later transformed into a Buddhist site. Its intricate carvings depict scenes from Hindu mythology and offer insight into ancient beliefs and customs.

Preservation efforts have been ongoing since the early 20th century, with organizations working tirelessly to protect and restore this UNESCO World Heritage Site. Thanks to these efforts, visitors today can experience the grandeur of Angkor Wat while gaining a deeper understanding of its cultural significance.

Exploring the Exterior Architecture

Visitors can admire the intricate exterior architecture of Angkor Wat while exploring the temple grounds. The temple’s exterior is a remarkable display of Khmer artistry and craftsmanship. Here are some key features to look out for:

  • Bas-reliefs: These stone carvings depict scenes from Hindu mythology, ancient battles, and everyday life in exquisite detail.
  • Galleries: The outer walls of Angkor Wat are adorned with long galleries that feature beautiful decorative carvings, including dancers, deities, and celestial beings.
  • Towers: Rising above the surrounding landscape, the central towers of Angkor Wat are an architectural marvel. They symbolize Mount Meru, the mythical home of the gods.

While you cannot enter the interior of Angkor Wat due to preservation efforts, you can still appreciate its grandeur from outside. The interior design and construction techniques used in this ancient temple continue to inspire awe and wonder today.

Unveiling the Intricate Bas-Reliefs

The bas-reliefs of Angkor Wat, depicting scenes from Hindu mythology, are a stunning display of ancient artistry and storytelling. As you explore the intricate details of these reliefs, you uncover ancient stories that have been preserved through time.

The walls of this magnificent temple complex come alive with depictions of gods, demons, and celestial beings engaged in epic battles and cosmic dramas. Each panel tells a different story, and deciphering the artistic details allows you to immerse yourself in the rich mythology of the Khmer Empire.

From the famous Churning of the Ocean of Milk to the tale of Ravana abducting Sita, these bas-reliefs provide a window into an ancient world filled with symbolism and spiritual significance. It’s truly an awe-inspiring experience to witness firsthand this remarkable fusion of art, history, and mythology at Angkor Wat.

Ascending the Central Tower

As you make your way up the steep stairs, the view from the top of the central tower is absolutely breathtaking. The majestic Angkor Wat spreads out before you, its intricate architecture and vast expanse captivating your senses.

Here are a few things to take in as you soak up the beauty:

  • The sprawling complex of Angkor Wat stretches across an area of 402 acres, making it one of the largest religious monuments in the world.
  • From this vantage point, you can see the stunning symmetry and grandeur of Angkor Wat’s five towers, representing Mount Meru from Hindu mythology.
  • The lush greenery surrounding Angkor Wat provides a serene backdrop to these awe-inspiring structures.

While climbing restrictions have been put in place for preservation purposes, allowing only limited access to certain areas, the views from atop the central tower will undoubtedly leave an indelible impression on your mind. It is a sight that truly embodies freedom and liberation.

Discovering the Hidden Chambers

While exploring the central tower, don’t miss the opportunity to discover the hidden chambers. Within the majestic Angkor Wat lies a treasure trove of hidden secrets and ancient mysteries waiting to be unveiled.

As you venture further into the heart of this magnificent temple, you will encounter concealed chambers that hold stories from a bygone era. These secret spaces were once used for various purposes, such as meditation, rituals, or even as repositories for sacred artifacts.

The mystery surrounding these chambers adds an air of intrigue and fascination to your visit. As you step into these hidden realms, take a moment to appreciate the intricate carvings and architectural wonders that adorn their walls.

Unlocking the secrets within these chambers allows you to connect with the rich history and culture that envelops Angkor Wat, providing a glimpse into a world long forgotten yet forever preserved within its stone walls.


Even though the interior is off-limits, there’s still so much to marvel at on the outside of Angkor Wat.

From the spellbinding bas-reliefs to the panoramic views from the tower, this 12th century Khmer temple complex has wonders that will stick with you long after your visit.

The sheer artistry and engineering are a testament to what humans are capable of creating. I don’t know about you, but I’m in awe just thinking about it!

Whenever you can explore Angkor Wat in person, it’s bound to be an unforgettable experience.