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Ancient Angkor

3.93 of 5 stars 3.93  ·  rating details  ·  107 ratings  ·  23 reviews
The Khmer civilization centred on Angkor was one of the most remarkable to flourish in Southeast Asia. Between the 8th and the 13th centuries, a succession of Hindu and Buddhist kings created magnificent temples in stone. Their elaborate carvings and intricate architecture amazed the first Europeans who visited in the 19th century and continue to fascinate today, when afte ...more
Paperback, 244 pages
Published December 1st 1999 by Weatherhill
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Rick Silva
Like many people, I purchased my copy of Ancient Angkor from a local vendor at the Angkor Wat temple in the midst of my visit to Cambodia.

I read the book after the trip, which is not the primary way in which it is intended to be read, but I still found it an enjoyable read that brought back memories and gave context to many things I saw on my temple tour.

The book is focused primarily on the architecture itself, and on the decorative carvings that adorn much of the Angkor architecture. There are
Michael Brady
There are bootleg versions (of unknown quality) of this excellent guide sold for a dollar on the causeway to Angkor Wat (and other temples). But this book is one you should review before you arrive and carry with you while there. It made our visit much more enjoyable, informative, and productive. PS, Be sure to visit the Rolous Group to the east of Siem Reap. Bakong and Lolei were two of my favorites.
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I bought this tour guide off the hands of one of the sellers loitering near the temples I was visiting. I think it was supposed to be USD 1, but I got conned into paying USD 11 when I showed interest and paid up. It really is supposed to be USD 1, because that is what I heard at first, and later all over the place with the other sellers. With its flawed binding, I think it is a reject from the printi
Sivaram Velauthapillai
This is probably the most definitive book on the ruins of Angkor Wat. It is an excellent historical guide for anyone planning a visit. Instead of showing up at the site without any understanding of the ruins, reading this ahead of time provides the history and context. The book also contains excellent photographs that one can use to get a feel for what to visit at the site (the ruins are too big to cover everything).
Tso William
I find this book immensely useful, as I used it to supplant the poor guide of the travel agency. The directions are lucid and the snippets of information about the architectural style, the Hindu symbols on the carving/lintel/pediment and history of the temples allows me to immerse myself in the mysterious Angkor Wat. Although the photos are lavishly coloured, they gave little help in illustrating the directions of the visit. Instead, I would rather have maps with little arrows indicating the flo ...more
I read this while staying in Siem Reap to get a feel for the ruins before and while I was there. It had a good history of the Khmer, but was a bit pretentious and assuming of the reader's knowledge of other authors' works regarding Angkor Wat.

Helped a lot with understanding the layout, themes, and reliefs found in the ruins of Angkor Wat.
Ancient Angkor is an informative guidebook to the complete complex of Angkor and other Angkorian sites in Cambodia such as the Roluos group. The lavish photographs of the temples and other sites are complemented by an informative introduction by Freeman to each site.

Each entry introduces the site in question and recommends whether one should visit it depending on how much time and how historically and culturally significant it is. The guide's introduction also has an interesting history of Khme
Vivek Thangaswamy

ANCIENT ANGKOR, quiet amazing pictures.

I just thought suggesting this piece of information.

Originally, South Indian empires

One of the temples they built in Indonesia also similar.

And in the book I never seen any route saying about Tamil Language. But whole Cambodia is ruled by Tamil speaking kings from India, I have seen many temples with Tamil inscriptions still exist.

In the book it mentioned as Sanskrit, but we
i dare you to pick this book up and not immediately start planning your trip to southeast asia. i have been looking forward to seeing ankor wat for sometime now, but this book has created a long stream of drool as i long to get there asap. the pictures are amazing, though some a bit too small, but the text that goes along with them has blown me away.

i am so ready to be trekking though the ruins in a little over a week, and will have such better knowledge of what is going on and what i am looking
Adi Arifin
If you haven't and are planning to explore one of the world's most magnificent historic remains in Cambodia, the Angkor Complex, then this book is a must read to maximize your experience. Unfortunately it is cheaper to get it from a hawkers in Angkor or sidewalk stalls in Siem Reap rather than from a book shops. Detail and insightful guide plus extraordinary shots by Michael Freeman shows us where to go and what to see when we come, helping you to avoid missing important thing. A lot helpful eve ...more
This book is an excellent guide around the temples of Angkor surrounding Siem Reap, Cambodia. Each temple, both on the beaten tourist track [where you will most likely purchase this book] and off it is described in detail with great insight into the construction and original purpose of the temples. If you have a willing reader in your travel group it almost completely replaces the need for a tour guide. And, with plenty of great pictures of the temples it doubles as a reminder of how beautiful y ...more
Look. If you, like me, prefer to shuffle through the temples with an informative book in hand, rather than make awkward conversation with a guide, this book will do nicely. But you have to believe me, no matter how bad the little girl hawkers make you feel, the going price for this book outside the temples is US$1, not what I paid (US$18, with a cowboy hat, and various little girl hawker commentaries on how I looked in it, thrown in).
Josie Crimp
I didn't read this cover-to-cover, but I did find it really useful when exploring Angkor Wat and the other temples around Siem Reap. It's clearly very well-researched, but I think it could be improved by having a bit more historical/social context, rather than just descriptions of what is left and what can be seen.
Matthew Laing
An excellent guide to the ancient city of Angkor and its amazing sites. A great cross between a guide and a book on the subject, I felt it really enhanced my appreciation for my three days at these fascinating monuments of the Khmer Empire.
Ted Conbeer
Decent little guide to the temples, although the $1 version you can buy all around Siem Reap is poorly printed and out-of-date w.r.t. current renovations, etc.

Still, much, much more informative than the Lonely Planet and the like.
Zeny May Dy Recidoro
This book was really helpful when we were going around the Angkorian temples in Siem Reap. Besides being a useful guide for tourists, the information is decent enough to be used for formal research.
Read as I explored temples. This is sold at $9 or less by locals.
The guide was more helpful and better at explaining than the book. The book just shows highlights and pictures.
Ambrose Miles
This is a detailed travel book of Angkor. Even though this is meant to be a guide book, it would have been a better book if the color photographs could have been larger.
Useful guide while visiting the temples. Short and good background information about several aspects related to the temples. Lots of pictures!
Talbot Hook
As far as guidebooks are concerned, this one is excellent.
Make me more interested to visit Angkor Wat once more
good guide book - especially of the reliefs.
Sarah added it
Jun 21, 2015
Ali Maskuron
Ali Maskuron marked it as to-read
Jun 18, 2015
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Librarian note: There is more than one author with this name in the Goodreads database.

Michael Freeman is a professional photographer and author. He wrote more than 100 book titles. He was born in England in 1945, took a Masters in geography at Brasenose College, Oxford University, and then worked in advertising in London for six years. He made the break from there in 1971 to travel up the Amazon
More about Michael Freeman...
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