The huge Angkorian-era temple of Banteay Chhmar is one of Cambodia’s least-visited and most intriguing destinations, still untouched by the mass tourism that has long since enveloped the temples of Angkor and which is now (following recent road improvements) beginning to reach out even to the formerly remote and inaccessible temples of Koh Ker and Preah Vihear. Covering an area of around three square kilometres, the temple was built by Jayavarman VII as a memorial to soldiers killed while defending his son in a battle against the Chams. The temple is best known for its magnificent carvings, once rivalling those at the Bayon and Angkor Wat, although many of these have been looted – most notoriously in 1998 when a group of rogue soldiers removed two massive panels and trucked them across the border for sale in Bangkok. Confiscated by the Thai police and returned to Cambodia, the panels are now in the National Museum in Phnom Penh. A massive programme run by the Global Heritage Fund and Heritage Watch is now slowly restoring the site, while efforts are also being made to have the temple listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Travel offers; book through Rough Guides

Cambodia features

The latest articles, galleries, quizzes and videos.

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

The truth about elephant tourism in Asia

Elephants are born free, but are everywhere in chains – and it’s tourism which is increasingly to blame. Riding an elephant used to be on every visitor’s …

11 Aug 2017 • Gavin Thomas insert_drive_file Article
Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Should Sihanoukville be your next beach escape?

Sihanoukville, in southwest Cambodia, is an oft-misunderstood town. Seen as sleepy by day and seedy by night, this coastal bolthole has earned itself an undeser…

02 May 2017 • Meera Dattani insert_drive_file Article
26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

26 awe-inspiring architectural wonders

From ancient temples to hyper-modern skyscrapers, these are just a few of the world's most incredible architectural wonders. Whether you're looking to wander l…

01 Feb 2017 • Rough Guides Editors camera_alt Gallery
View more featureschevron_right

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month

Join over 60,000 subscribers and get travel tips, competitions and more every month