Angkor, the former capital of the ancient Khmer Empire, is one of the greatest and most spectacular Hindu religious sites in the world. Construction of this elaborate temple complex – built in honour of the god Vishnu – began in AD 879 during the reign of King Suryavarman II and was completed in 1191. It lay concealed for many years, however, until the site was discovered by Frenchman Henri Mahout in 1860. The central complex, Angkor Wat, features an elaborate, unmortared 66-metre (215-foot) central tower surrounded by four smaller towers. Stretching around the outside of the temple complex is an 800m-long (2625ft) bas-relief, the longest in the world. This is Cambodia’s most iconic sight, and particularly popular at sunset among tour groups. The temple is so synonymous with the country that it dominates the national flag, and to visit it today is to marvel at the scale of its ambition, built as it was in the 12th century.
Another of the most distinctive Angkor temples, Bayon is characterised by a series of colossal stone faces, gazing out serenely in all four directions, as well as some painstakingly detailed bas-reliefs. Bayon was built at a similar time to Angkor Wat.
Bokor Hill Station
An abandoned French hill station in the south of the country, Bokor was built originally as a weekend sanctuary for settlers stuck in stifling Phnom Penh. Today, the hotel and casino complex stands as an eerily derelict reminder of days gone by.