Often overlooked by visitors exploring Angkor Archaeological Park, Bakong is a 5-tier temple with its own unique charm. One of the earliest temples in the region, Bakong was built within a strict geometric matrix, a style recognizable in the later Angkor Wat. The temple grounds, home to multiple freestanding satellite temples, provide a welcome break from the crowds of nearby Angkor Wat.The Basics
If Bakong piques your interest, you can visit the temple as part of a private, custom Angkor Archaeological Park tour, which typically come with different transport options and durations. Travelers can explore the UNESCO World Heritage Site by traditional tuk-tuk or stay cool in an air-conditioned, private vehicle. If you want to explore independently, booking a skip-the-line Angkor admission ticket saves waiting in line at the park headquarters on the day of your visit—particularly convenient if visiting Angkor Wat at sunrise. Things to Know Before You Go
How to Get There
- Bakong is a lesser-known temple that provides a break from the crowds of Angkor Wat.
- Exploring with a guide is the best way to understand Bakong’s historical significance.
- Take plenty of bug spray as mosquitos are rife.
- Wear comfortable shoes and bring ample water.
Bakong is located 9 miles (15 kilometers) from the center of Siem Reap. You can reach the temple complex by taxi, which takes around 30 minutes, or by motorized tuk-tuk, which takes 10–20 minutes longer. When to Get There
In Cambodia, the rainy season lasts from May through November and reaches its zenith in September and October, when heavy rains and floods make sightseeing difficult. In order to beat the sweltering midday heat, opt to arrive at the temple either first thing in the morning or before sunset. The History of Bakong
Although at present the most prevalent religion in Cambodia is Buddhism, most of the temples in Angkor Archaeological Park are dedicated to Hindu gods. The central temple of Bakong was dedicated to Shiva; it dates back to AD 881, though the tower that forms its focal point was added much later, along with stupas that embrace Buddhist visuals.