Top Destinations World Angkor Wat

Cambodia's famous UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor Wat, is breathtaking. You won't soon forget wandering and exploring the sprawling, carved ruins of a once-great civilization.

Enjoy these 10 interesting Angkor Wat facts to greater appreciate your visit to Cambodia.

Fact #1
Angkor Wat is the primary reason that more than 50% of international tourists visit Cambodia.
Cambodians are proud of their ancient monument and put it on the Cambodian flag in 1850.
The only other country flag in the world that features a national monument is the current flag of Afghanistan. Images from Angkor Wat also appear on many denominations of the riel banknote.

Fact #2
Constructed in the early 12th century (between 1113 and 1150) Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world.

Fact #3
Angkor Wat is unusually oriented to the west, a direction typically associated with death in Hindu culture. Archaeologists and scholars disagree as to why the ancient builders chose to deviate from the 'norm' at the time.

Fact #4
Bas-reliefs at Angkor Wat read counterclockwise, another indication that the temple is associated with funeral rituals.

Fact #5
Also unusual for the time of construction, Angkor Wat was dedicated to Vishnu, a Hindu deity, rather than the current king.

Fact #6
Angkor Wat was shifted from Hindu to Buddhist use sometime around the late 13th century. The temple is still used by Buddhists today.

Fact #7
Jacqueline Kennedy risked a visit to Angkor Wat during the Vietnam War to fulfill a "lifelong dream" of seeing the monument.

Fact #8
Angkor Wat translates to 'City of Temples' or simply 'City Temple'.

Fact #9
Henri Mouhot, a French explorer, helped bring Angkor Wat to fame in the West by publishing an account of his visit in the mid-19th century.

Fact #10
The Angkor ruins stretch over more than 248 square miles (400 square kilometers).