The Angkor Wat temple complex dates back over a thousand years, turreted temples stretching upward from the jungle canopy, rouged bricks and sandstone slabs urged apart by questing tree roots. It’s mysterious and astounding and muggy, and there’s a very good reason it is a worldwide treasure and tourist attraction.

You should go. You should book your ticket, pack your bags, and get in the nearest tuk tuk to take you on a temple tour. I mean sure, the temples of Angkor aren’t for everyone. Just people who love adventure, epic histories, radical beauty, and the best travel photos around. So I mean, I can understand if you’d rather skip it. If I can keep twisting your arm just a little bit, see below for my personal top five reasons to visit Angkor Wat.

5. Food

cambodian cuisine honey chicken and mango sticky rice
I have only a few things to say. First, Honey Chicken and Mango Sticky Rice. Second, how does this sound after a long hot day exploring ancient ruins? How about for $5? Sold yet?

4. New Friends

monkeys sitting on a motorcycle
I’ve always felt that friends who carry rabies are the best kind of friends.

3. But joking aside…there’s the artistry:

Angkor Wat Carvings Sunrise
Temple carvings at Angkor Wat
And more.
And more.

2. Natural beauty meeting the manmade

The moat at Baray
The moat at Baray

Arcade running along the outside of Angkor Wat Temple

1. The sunrise everyone raves about…

angkor wat temple at sunrise
You know, THAT one

…and the one only you get to see.

secret angkor wat sunrise

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