The temple complex at Angkor is one of the world’s greatest historical sites, and it’s also Cambodia’s biggest tourist attraction. Yet the massive (400 sq km) 12th-century landmark may be best known to many from its role in 2001’s ‘Tomb Raider.’ That’s not the only time the complex has starred on the big screen, though, it’s also the location of the moving finale of Wong Kar-Wai’s 2000 film ‘In the Mood for Love.’ See it for yourself after the jump…
To get to Angkor, fly to Siem Reap in Cambodia. From there it’s about 20 minutes northward. Once you reach the complex — which features Buddhist and Hindu temples from the 9th through 15th centuries — you’ll have to pay for a pass, which are available in 1-, 3- and 7-day increments. There are many ways to experience Angkor, from bus tours to bicycles to traditional tuk-tuk, and no matter what way you decide to explore you’ll want to see the arresting Angkor Wat, star of both ‘Tomb Raider’ and ‘In the Mood For Love.’ The most impressive temple of the complex, Angkor Wat is featured on the Cambodian flag. When deciding where else to visit, take a cue from Laura Croft and check out the equally awe-inspiring Bayon temple in Angkor Thom. The richly decorated Buddhist temple is covered in ornate carvings of smiling faces — a stark contrast to the more classical Angkor Wat. No matter what you choose to see though, remember that Angkor is a religious site — the world’s largest, in fact — and dress accordingly. That means long pants or skirts and covered shoulders. And if you’re worried about the heat, try to visit Angkor in the early morning. The park opens at sunrise, which is a great time to see the temples without the crowds.
Want to learn more about Angkor? Pick up Museyon Guides’ Film + Travel, and join Jose Lustre Jr. as he explores Cambodia and Thailand.
photo: Akira Chiba