The Small Circuit is 17 km long and includes the most important temples of the Angkor complex. It includes Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom – Bayon, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, and other smaller ones along the way. Unfortunately, I was not allowed to see Ta Keo because it was being renovated. I made a small loop on foot, mainly on the first day of my visit to Siem Reap. Only the last temple – Banteay Kdei, I did the last day by bike.
o be able to enter the park you need tickets: more about them in the entry: Cambodia, Siem Reap, Angkor Wat in 3 days
In addition to the small loop, a Grand Circuit is also marked.
Angkor Wat is one of the temples everyone has heard of. The most important temple of the complex. It is even on the flag of Cambodia. Angkor – “City”, Wat – “Temple” occupies the area of 20 hectares. Visits to this place at the dawn of the sun are very popular. The report from this event can be found in the entry about big loop.
Angkor Wat is situated on a small rectangular island and is also the best-preserved temple of the complex. It is best to visit it in the morning, just after sunrise, when the crowd of tourists will return to hotels. In the heart of the temple is the Bakan tower, where the number of people who can be there at the same time is limited and you have to stand in line before you be able to climb up. The walls of the temple buildings are richly decorated with bas-reliefs.
Baksei Chamkrong, South Gate
On the way to Angkor Thom, from the side of Angkor Wat there is a well-preserved gate, with a huge statue of heads at its top. On the left, you can also see the small temple of Baksei Cham Krong.
Angkor Thom – Bayon
Angkor Thom was the capital of the Khmer Empire in the 12th century. In the heart of the city is the Bayon Temple, which is famous for its large faces. They are located on 54 towers called “Prasats” and there are exactly 216 of them.
The temples are located in Angkor Thom, northwest of Bayon. On the western wall of Baphuon, you can see the figure of a reclining Buddha, 70 m long and 9 m high.
Moving farther, we bid farewell to the Angkor Thom area through the west gate called Victory Gate.
Thommanon, Chau Say Tevoda
Just behind the gate, there are two small, very similar temples of Thommanon and Chau Say Tevoda.
This Keo – which is officially on the list of a small circuit has never been completed. Unfortunately, during my visit she was surrounded by scaffolding and work was carried out on it.
Ta Prohm – Tomb Raider
Ta Prohm – is famous for 2 things: Her ruins are overgrown with lush vegetation. The trees break the stone and adapt it to each other. You can see the power of nature here. It accurately depicts my imagination about the ruins in the jungle. The second thing that she is known for is that Tomb Raider movie was filmed there in which you can watch Lara Croft (Angelina Jolie) on the background of the walls of Ta Prohm.
The temple is as often visited by tourists as Angkor Wat, but it is much smaller than it, which means there is a bigger crowd of people inside.
The last temple of the small circuit is Banteay Kdei known as the Citadel of monks. I did not make it on the first day. I came back here on my bike the third day.
Along the way, you can also stay in other smaller ruins, which I encourage. Especially in the area of Angkor Thom is full of them. Outside the complex, however, you have to be careful, because the area is full of landmines from the war.
See also a Large circuit which includes Preah Khan, Neak Pean (in the middle of the lake), Ta Som, East Baray / Mebon and Prasat Leak Neang