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Bridge at the entrance of Angkor Thom

Ancient civilisations: The Khmer Empire

Bridge at the entrance of Angkor Thom

Discover Cambodia, Laos, Thailand and Vietnam

Reigning over an area that would today include Cambodia and parts of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam, the Khmer Empire flourished from the 9th to the 13th century and at its peak was the most powerful empire in Southeast Asia.

At the heart of this great civilisation was the capital city of Angkor, a lasting legacy of the Khmer’s enormous wealth and power and site of the magnificent Angkor Wat, the single largest religious building ever constructed.

Plan your trip with Audley

Our knowledgeable specialists can create a unique itinerary that visits the very best historic sites, along with a few places that you might not have known about. We've suggested a couple of sites below to help you get started.

The last state temple to be built within the ancient Angkor complex, the Bayon was constructed as a shrine dedicated to the Khmer Empire’s Mahayana Buddhist god-king. Gazing upon the image of Jayavarman VII himself, replicated 216 times in the giant stone faces of the Bayon, is to gain a glimpse of the ego and power of this ancient ruler.

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Thirty miles to the north of the main Angkor complex, hidden among deep, tropical jungle, lies the little-known site of Kbal Spean. Featuring Hindu deities carved into the bed of a sacred river and hidden among the surrounding rock faces, Kbal Spean offers the perfect antidote for temple-weary visitors. Contact us to find out more about how we can create a personalised itinerary for you, including a visit to these sites. Or take a look at our suggested itineraries below, which can all be tailored to suit your own personal taste and budget.

Itinerary ideas

Start thinking about your experience. These itineraries are simply suggestions for how you could enjoy some of the same experiences as our specialists. They’re just for inspiration, because your trip will be created around your particular tastes.

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