To grasp the impact of the temples around Angkor Wat, think of Chartres. Chartres is wonderful — here you find a dozen-plus Chartres, all within 45 minutes of each other. The Cambodian temples are every bit as spectacular as their reputation would have you believe. Their massive scale, their finely crafted detail, their lovely jungle settings, their ruin and their restoration combine to make this one of the world’s great places.
Yes, it is very hot, and many of the sites are crowded with tourists. Some temples were probably over restored. But the architecture is compelling and the sculpture fascinating.
Scroll through highlights on this page, and if you want to see more details, there are links to hundreds more photos at the bottom.