Travelers who love marveling at ancient architectures often do not leave Cambodia disappointed. Most arrive here under the allure of visiting Angkor Wat, a massive and elaborate temple that is certainly at par with the world’s most famous ancient wonders.

Incredible as it was, Angkor Wat was just one of the many astounding feats of engineering and artistry built in the ruined City of Angkor. Ruled by the Khmer kingdom, Angkor was the most extensive urban complex of the pre-industrial world, and, although much of the city had already vanished, what survives until this day still continues to impress.

I have traveled twice to Cambodia, mostly to visit Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor. Except for major transport hubs, it was a rare thing for me to re-visit destinations considering the vast number of other new places at my choosing… I simply could not get enough of exploring the temples of Angkor.

On my first visit, I did the little circuit (or le petit circuit, if you must), and then followed it up with a tour around the big circuit (le grand circuit), and then the temples of the Rolous group. Since I traveled by land from Laos on my second visit, I was also able to see a bit of the Cambodian countryside while transiting through the riverside town of Kratie, and then Phnom Penh, the royal capital of the country.

Cambodia sits right in the middle of the heavily worn-out Thailand-Cambodia-Vietnam section of the Indochina trail. This convenience made it easy to explore the country, and also to meet other travelers. I loved traveling in Cambodia because it was a cheap destination with lots of interesting cultural experiences to offer.

Here are 25 of my best travel photos that show Cambodia really is the Kingdom of Wonder:

1. Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Silhouette of the lotus-shaped spires of Angkor Wat against the sunrise — The perfect way to start a tour of the lost city of Angkor.

2. Angkor Wat Reflecting Pond

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Wat with its reflection mirrored on the lotus-filled water of the “reflecting pond.” The temple was built to resemble Mount Meru, the abode of the gods in Hindu mythology.

3. Stone carvings at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

“Churning of the Ocean of Milk,” depicted on stone carvings at Angkor Wat. This insanely intricate image tells the Hindu story of Vishnu leading deities called Devas and Asuras on the epic effort of stirring up the ocean of milk to free precious objects lost within, including the elixir of immortality.

4. Stone Carvings at Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Ta Prohm pretty much captures the spirit of movies like Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider. It was my favorite temple by far. Inside was a series of maze-like crumbling corridors and galleries filled with stone carvings. One famous carving depicts what appears to be a stegausarus (not in photo).

5. The Forest Taking Over Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Centuries of human abandonment allowed gigantic forest trees to engulf parts of the temple walls and towers at Ta Prohm.

6. Play Time at Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Local children playing and tourists exploring Ta Prohm. It was the perfect place to fantasize about lost worlds.

7. Alone at Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

An extended visit meant being able to visit Ta Prohm and other temples on certain times when tourist crowds were nowhere to be found.

8. Ta Prohm, the Tomb Raider Temple

Ta Prohm, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The most famous and captivating part of Ta Prohm temple. This spot any many others in Angkor appeared in the epic movie, Tomb Raider, starred by Angelina Jolie.

9. Pre Rup

Pre Rup, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Glorious view from the top of Pre Rup, one of the temple mountains in Angkor.

10. Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Built from pink-colored sandstone, Banteay Srei was dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva, and appeared remarkably well-preserved.

11. Neak Pean

Neak Pean, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Hidden inside a huge flooded forest, Neak Pean stands at the center of Preah Khan baray, part of the complex waterworks used to support the ancient metropolis.

12. Preah Khan

Preah Khan, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Halls filled with deteriorated stone carvings at Preah Khan, one of the lesser visited but interesting temples along Angkor’s Big Circuit tour route.

13. Bakong

Bayon, Rolous Group, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bakong was the first temple mountain constructed in Angkor. It can be found in the Rolous group of temples on the opposite side of Siem Reap.

14. Bayon

Preah Khan, Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Bayon temple adorned with giant faces carved on its stone towers. Bayon stands at the center of the massive Angkor Thom, the city of temples.

15. Angkor Village Resort and Spa

Angkor Village Resort, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Sunset at Angkor Village Resort and Spa, a lavish resort in Siem Reap with beautiful Khmer-style buildings that appear to float on top of a gorgeous pond.

16. Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor

Raffles D Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Poolside view of Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor, a historic resort in Siem Reap that captures the French-colonial spirit of the city.

17. Traditional Khmer Dancers

Apsara Dancers at Raffles D Angkor Hotel, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Khmer ladies dressed as Apsaras (celestial beings) perform at Raffles Grand Hotel d’Angkor

18. Mekong River

Mekong River, Kratie, Cambodia

Small boat crossing the Mekong River… fading off into the beautiful sunset twilight.

19. Cambodia Independence Monument

Independence Monument, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Cloudy skies hover over the Independence Monument at Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia.

20. Cambodia National Museum

National Museum, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Refreshing garden inside the beautifully-built Cambodia National Museum in Phnom Penh. There were a lot of exquisite statues displayed at the museum galleries.

21. Cambodia Royal Palace

Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

The Silver Pagoda at the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh under an ominous sky. The pagoda was named as such because of 5,329 handcrafted silver tiles that covered the floor. It housed a sitting Buddha image made of emerald and a 90kg standing Buddha made of gold.

22. Cambodia Royal Palace

Silver Pagoda, Royal Palace, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

A Buddhist monk passes by the Chanchhaya Pavilion at the Royal Palace.

23. Killing Fields

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields), Phnom Penh, Cambod

Skulls stacked and displayed at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, more popularly known as “The Killing Fields.”

24. Swamplands at the Killing Fields

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields), Phnom Penh, Cambod

Swamplands at the Choeung Ek Genocidal Center, a mass grave where victims of the Cambodian genocide (orchestrated by the Khmer Rouge) were killed and buried.

25. A Fresh Beginning

Choeung Ek Genocidal Center (Killing Fields), Phnom Penh, Cambod

A sprout emerges from the ground covered with colorful bracelets that visitors leave at The Killing Fields to honor the victims of the Cambodian genocide.