Angkor Archeological Park is 400 sq.km. The size of this ancient city was difficult to comprehend. We bought the 3-day pass, so we could cover the main attractions plus few more temples (some were not temples).
The top 5 sites that I would recommend would be in the order of:
1) Angkor Wat – it even appeared in the Cambodian flag, so you know how important this site would be.
2) Banteay Srei – the sandstone carvings were livelier than drawings.
3) The Bayon – the big faces were my first impression of Angkor.
4) Ta Prohm – who can forget those giant trees and roots that swallowing (still eating) the ancient temple? You could not miss this if you are a fan of Tomb Raider
5) Preah Khan – nothing special from the first glance, but closer look at the architecture would reveal the importance of this site.
Of course, if you like ruins, Beng Mealea would be a good choice (but further afield).
Now let’s see how small was the Lolei Temple （罗蕾寺）. This was the place for the King to pray for rain.
Tourist often visit Preah Ko, Bakong and Lolei together (both 3 sites were nearby each other). We were the first visitor on the day we visited Bakong （巴孔寺）. I climbed all the way to the top, waited for 2 hours and the sunrise ended up a cloudy day.
So we decided to move on to Preah Ko (圣牛寺). The picture below was one of the 3 Nadia (holy cow) in front of the temple.
Another tiny site that 10 minutes tour was sufficient. You can visit the Little Angel workshop just opposite Preah Ko to see the orphans and street kids learn new skills in stone carving, weaving and shadow puppets.
Ta Keo was an incomplete temple with impressive structure. The lightning strike during the construction of this temple was deemed as unlucky. There were other versions of the reasons of the stop work. If this temple was to be completed, it would resemble Angkor Wat.
The Baphuon temple was the only 3 tiers pyramid structure in Angkor. The foundation couldn’t bear the heavy weight of the stones and collapsed.