DestinationsAsiaCambodia25 Interesting Angkor Wat Facts Everyone Should Know
25 Interesting Angkor Wat Facts Everyone Should Know

25 Interesting Angkor Wat Facts Everyone Should Know

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia, and the largest religious monument in the world. Up to the recent days, the temple still has its secrets of construction which urge many scientists to explore. Many people even say Angkor Wat is made by aliens. Anyway, it’s now the top destination that travelers visit in Cambodia. For the trip to be more experience, let see the Angkor Wat facts that everyone should know:

The Angkor Wat Background and History

the ancient pillars in Angkor Wat

1. Angkor Wat means “The Capital of Temples”, or the “Temple City” in short.

2. Angkor Wat is the largest temple in the world with an area of ​​162 hectares on square land (1,620,000 square meters) with 4 moats surrounding it.

3. The temple is built in the early part of the 12th century, between 1113 and 1150. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world.

4. According to ancient records, it took 300,000 workers, and 1,000 healthy young elephants to transport 5 million tons of materials to build Angkor Wat, totally cost 35 years until finish.

5. Sandstone, the stone used to build national monuments of Cambodia, weighing at least 5 tons, was transported from a quarry 25 miles away.

6. Khmer bricks were joined together by a colorless mixture made of plants, instead of mortar.

7. On the walls of Angkor Wat are thousands of meticulously carved figures and religious stories. There are more than 3000 sculptures of Apsara and Devata carved into the wall.

8. The outer walls of the early period Angkor Wat are integrated around the entire temple, city, and royal palace. It is approximately 203 acres (British measurement), or 820,000 square meters. Today, there is no trace of the wall.

Angkor Wat is now a buddhist temple, converted from Hinduism

9. Around the end of the 13th century, Angkor Wat was converted from Hinduism to Buddhism. Today, the temples are still used by Buddhists. Overall, Angkor Wat is the home of two religions – Hindu and Buddhism, living together in harmony, and respecting each other’s beliefs.

10. In contrary to many temples of that time, Angkor Wat was headed west, the direction of the death in Hinduism. A lot of archaeologists and scholars disagree about that, asking why the ancient builders chose to go against the “standards” of those times. On the other hand, many people believe that the Khmer King Suryavaman intended to build Angkor Wat as his tomb after he passed away.

11. The reliefs at Angkor Wat are placed anticlockwise, another sign that the temple has a funeral ritual connection.

12. Unusual at the time of construction, Angkor Temple is a tribute to the god Vishnu, a Hindu god, not for the king.

one of the Angkor Wat facts: the ancient tree roots wrapped around a part of Angkor Wat

13. The forgotten period has created a spectacular image at Angkor Wat, ancient tree roots wrapped around the temple like a soulmate.

The Stories around Angkor Wat

14. In 1586, the Portuguese pastor Antonio da Madalena was considered the first European to visit Angkor Wat. However, till the mid-19th century, when the French explorer Henri Mouhot wrote a book about the trip discovering Cambodia, Angkor Wat became famous worldwide until today.

15. Long time before the visit of Antonio da Madalena, there was a Chinese envoy Zhou Daguan lived in Angkor Wat for nearly a year (1296-1297). He wrote texts about Angkor Wat with his experiences before 1312. Zhou Daguan’s book is the only document about Angkor Wat in the 13th century, translated into English by Peter Harris in his book: A Record of Cambodia: the Land and Its People.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

16. Lara Croft, a movie character played by Angelina Jolie, used to fly, climb, somersault, shoot all kinds here when filming Tomb Raider. During the seven days of filming there, the crew had to pay $10,000 a day.

17. A temple of Angkor named Ta Prohm is famous for its giant creepers. They partially collapse the temple, and were used to set the movie blockbuster Tomb Raider. Unfortunately, too many branches are growing out of control which could crush Ta Prohm, so they must be cut off to not affect the temple.

18. On Nov 1967, Jacqueline Kennedy, the US first lady, had a visit to the temple during the Vietnam War to persuade her “lifelong dream of seeing Angkor Wat”.

19. Angkor Wat is the main reason for most international tourists to visit Siem Reap, Cambodia by bus from Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam. The Cambodian people are very proud of their architecture. Evenly, it was featured on the flag of Cambodia since 1850. Images of Angkor Wat also appear on many denominations of riel, the country’s banknotes.

Angkor Wat fact, the ancient status were beheaded and renovated

20. Angkor Wat was accorded a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992. Nevertheless, the place is unregulated by tourism industry for decades. It is also the place where the artifact robbery occurred. Consequently, many ancient statues were beheaded, and those heads were sold to private collectors, being a part of their collection.
An effort with international cooperation has been execute to restore those places, as well as prevent the destruction due to unstable structure.

21. International funds are the main resources for the Angkor Wat restoration. Only about 28% of ticket sales are returned to the temple.

22. Sokimex, a private company founded by a Vietnamese-Cambodian businessman, has hired Cambodia’s Angkor Wat since 1990 to make a profitable tourism business there. Sokimex also trades in oil and gas, hotel management, complex resorts, and operates Sarika aviation services.

23. More than 2 million tourists visit Angkor Wat every year, making it the most attractive place in Cambodia.

24. A trip to Angkor Wat for 3 days will cost you $62, a one-day trip will cost you $37, or a week will cost you only $72. Hurry up the ticket price is increasing continuously, you should visit the temple ASAP!

25. Tourists do not realize that many surfaces of the Angkor Wat temple have been renovated. Currently, only a few temples are left with old paint stains.

26. It’s Nov 9, Happy Cambodia Independence Day!


25 Angkor Wat Facts - The Broad Life's Pinterest Board


I hope you like this post and find it well informed. Here are other interesting posts about Cambodia that I believe you would love reading too:

Khoi Nguyen builds The Broad Life with a desire to inspire people go exploring the world and live a more interesting, experience, and adventurous life. This blog shares the stories, pictures, and experiences at destinations where he has traveled to.


  • Kelly Martin

    This was really interesting. Angkor Wat would be an amazing place to visit. I haven’t been to Cambodia yet.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah Angkor Wat is truly an amazing place in the world. You should visit this place ASAP, it gonna be on maintenance soon and do not allow tourists to visit

  • Stacie

    I would love to see Angkor Wat one day! That architecture is amazing, and I always enjoy seeing ancient structures and learning about them.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah you should put it on top of your bucket list. I’m sure you will regret by missed visiting it once in your life

  • Simply healthy vegan

    I was just talking about going here today! Its hight up on my bucket list of places to visit. glad i know a little more about the place now.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Hope that you will enjoy traveling there more with new knowledge you just knew 😉

  • couponmamacita

    What amazing architecture .Reading about ancient structures has always been a passion.

  • Matt Taylor

    I have heard about it Angkor Wat but never knew this much about it. So interesting and makes me want to visit there even more!! 🙂

  • katrina Kroeplin

    oh wow, i def learned something. this needs to be on my bucket list for sure. it looks beautiful.

  • kidneyfornikki

    Wow! This is an amazing-looking place. I didn’t know any of this information but now that I do, I think I would definitely try to visit one day!

  • kidneyfornikki

    This is an amazing-looking place. I didn’t know any of this before but now that I do, I might have to try to visit one day!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      You definitely should take a visit at the place ASAP, before it’s under maintenance

  • Ave Hla

    Happy Independence Day to Cambodia! I hope I can visit the country one day and also wonder around Angkor Wat. I had no idea it was the largest religious monument in the world.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      Yeah it is the largest religious monument in the world, and you will be amazed at your first sight!

  • TheSuperMomLife

    I have never heard of Angkor Wat before. I appreciate the opportunity to learn more about it!

    • Khoi Nguyen

      It’s one of the must visited destination in the world. You should travel there, I’m sure you will be amazed!

  • Rose A (@mail4rosey)

    There was a time when I wanted to visit. My son was too small and we were worried it might be too hot/hard of a trip for him at that time. Now things are different and we haven’t traveled regularly in awhile. Maybe someday.

    • Khoi Nguyen

      yeah the weather on Cambodia could be kinda hot and dry for a kid. I’m so sorry about that.
      I believe your boy will love the place a lots if he has a chance to visit. The story and history of Angkor Wat interest anyone 🙂


    Wow, what a historic temple! I love all of the time and thought put into sharing these 25 facts. It gives me a deeper understanding and respect for what the temple means and stands for. And happy independence day, Cambodia!

  • Ed Gagnon

    Great article, excellent images!

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