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Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the largest ever temple erected in the history of mankind. Like Machu Picchu and the great pyramid of Giza, Angkor Wat was made of stone.

These magnificent monuments don’t only share archaeological beauty and imperishable structure, but they also have the same philosophy behind their construction; man wanting to be immortal like gods.

Even with today’s technological advancement, Angkor Wat astonishes archeologists, engineers and travellers due to its mysterious beauty.

If Khufu wanted to look at the god of Moses more than 4500 years ago when he constructed the great pyramid of Giza, what did Suryavarman II 37 centuries later want?

After he harvested his uncle’s life to claim the throne and become the king of the Khmer empire in Asia, Suryavarman II wanted to express gratitude to the supreme god of Vaishnavism, Vishnu.

To fulfill his vision and please Vishnu, Suryavarman II spent more than 3 decades and the manpower of the whole Khmer empire, to build the massive Angkor Wat; the temple of all temples.

To be the home of the gods Angkor Wat had to look like one. The five central towers represent the five peaks of Mount Meru, where the gods lived. However, conflict soon arose when there was talk that Suryavarman II did not build the temple as a dedication to Vishnu, but as a secure way to heaven after his death by making it face west.

Visiting Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple that occupies a stretch of about 400 square kilometers in the Cambodian jungle is not without health hazards.

To know how to safely go to this popular tourist destination, talk to your travel doctor about recommended vaccines and primary prevention travel health advice.

Most travellers take to Siem Reap city, after flying from major Asian airports, as their base to the Angkor Wat and neighboring temples excursions.

Since Angkor temples are located in the jungle of rural Cambodia, mosquitoes infected with dengue, Japanese encephalitis and malaria can be anywhere. For that reason, have the mosquito repellent in one hand and the camera in the other hand. (See: Mosquito Safety section.) The risk and prevention of these diseases will be conveyed to you in extreme detail during the pre-travel consult (hyperlink) components: risk assessment, risk communication and risk management.

Injury is always the most important risk the travellers should avoid in any destination. (See: Injuries and Travel in our While You’re There section.)

Land mines and unexploded ordnance from the decades of conflict are still found in rural areas in Cambodia, including those located in the Siem Reap Province*. Given the millions of visitors to the Angkor Temples in the past decade, Siem Reap town and the areas around the popular temples appear to be low risk*. However, it is wise to exercise caution, especially when venturing out to the more remote temples and forest, by staying on roads and paths and using a guide with knowledge of local hazards*. Travellers should not touch anything resembling a mine or unexploded ordnance; if these items are observed, the Cambodia Mine Action Center should be notified*.

Please note:

The information in this page is for educational purposes only. It is not the substitute to a formal travel consult with your travel doctor. The risks expressed are not exact and range from low to high depending on many factors like the length of stay and style of travel. Not all destination-specific general risks are listed on this page.


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