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RECENTLY UPDATED! With profiles of 23 of Angkor's top temples and nearly 200 high resolution images, this is the definitive guide to the Temples of Angkor. (2015)

Travel guidebooks for the ultra curious, Approach Guides reveal a destination’s essence by exploring a compelling aspect of its cultural heritage: art, architecture, history, food, or wine.

Angkor — the ancient capital of the Khmer Empire that thrived for 500 years from 802-1327 — is one of the most magnificent sites in Southeast Asia. This recently updated and expanded Approach Guide serves as an ideal companion for travelers seeking a deeper understanding of its art and architecture.

What’s in this guidebook:

  • Context. We begin by laying out basic features of the Khmer civilization that are particularly relevant for understanding Angkor’s legacy of art and architecture: the global factors that took the Khmer Empire from a fragmented, trade-based society to a centralized, agriculture-based powerhouse; its early cultural exchange with India; the rationale underlying the establishment of the capital in Angkor; and the nature of interactions with Southeast Asian neighbors. 
  • Comprehensive look at Angkor’s art and architecture. We examine the distinctive Khmer style of art and architecture, isolating key features that you will see again and again on your temple visits; we tell you what makes them unique and what they symbolize. To make things come alive, we have packed our descriptions with high-resolution images so that you can see it for yourself.
  • Detailed temple profiles. This guidebook provides detailed profiles for twenty-five of the premier religious monuments in Angkor. For each, we provide information on its history, a detailed plan that highlights its most important architectural and artistic features, high-resolution images, and a discussion that ties it all together.
  • Advice for getting the best cultural experience. To help you plan and prioritize your temple touring itinerary, this guidebook ranks temples based on the quality of their art and architecture and offers brief summaries of each temple’s highlights, so you can focus in on what most interests you. Plus, we provide tips designed to help you get the most from your visit, such as where to find the best reliefs, how to avoid the crowds, and which temple entrances to use.

This guidebook include profiles of Angkor Thom, Angkor Wat, Bakong, Baksei Chamkrong, Banteay Kdei, Banteay Samre, Banteay Srei, Baphuon, Bayon, Beng Mealea, Chau Say Tevoda, East Mebon, Lolei, Neak Pean, Phnom Bakheng, Prasat Kravan, Preah Khan, Preah Ko, Pre Rup, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Ta Som, and Thommanon.

We hope that this cultural guidebook offers you fresh insights into Angkor’s art and architecture and sets you on a path to making your own discoveries.

One of the benefits of Approach Guides is that we can easily update content and release new editions of our guidebooks. These updates are free for existing customers. Please visit for a list of recently updated guides and instructions on downloading the new version.



Compulsive (and compulsively informed) travelers, the Raezers are the masterminds behind the downloadable Approach Guides, which are filled with a university course-worth of history and insights for 62 destinations worldwide. WHY WE LOVE IT: The Raezers share our desire for deep, well-researched information on the wonders of the world.

- Travel + Leisure


What started as one couple's travel notes aimed at filling in the gaps in guidebooks has become - a menu of downloadable travel guides that cover cultural and historical topics of interest to thoughtful travelers.  What's hot: Bite-sized travel guides that specialize in topics ranging from 29 pages on the foods of Italy to one that helps you explore the historical and architectural significance of Angkor's famous temple structures in Cambodia.

- LA Times


Approach Guides encompass the whole cultural experience of a place, whether it is Ancient Buddhist Caves in India and China, Islamic Cairo, Ancient Mediterranean Mosaics, or a Guide to the Regional Foods of Italy. Each guide delves into the subject, truly exploring it (and making you want to GO THERE NOW). Perfect for the thinking traveler, Approach Guides are one of the best travel guides I've ever found.

- Wandering Educators

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