Are you planning to spend a great time in Siem Reap? What’s a better way to delve deep into the ancient time of Angkor?
This is a list of recommended books about Angkor Wat you should read before visiting Cambodia. Get one of the books from our list of 10 best Angkor Wat History books. You should read some of these Angkor Wat history books.
- A List of Must-Read Books About Angkor Wat History
- 1. Angkor Wat: The History and Legacy of the World’s Largest Hindu Temple
- 2. Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples
- 3. Angkor Wat: Time, Space, and Kingship
- 4. Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor
- 5. Sacred Angkor: The Carved Reliefs of Angkor Wat
- 6. A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
- 7. Ancient Angkor (River Books Guides)
- 8. A Woman of Angkor
- 9. Temple of a Thousand Faces
- 10. The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel
- Good to Know
A List of Must-Read Books About Angkor Wat History
1. Angkor Wat: The History and Legacy of the World’s Largest Hindu Temple
Did not realize that the Angkor Wat Temple complex was Hindu? This book centers around the architecture of the temples that were influenced by Hindu and Buddhist religion. What elaborated about the architecture and building may be hard to follow. But the featured photographs make this book very worthwhile.
- Published: December 19, 2017
- Charles River Editors (Author)
2. Angkor: Cambodia’s Wondrous Khmer Temples
If you’re interested in detailed monument-by-monument itineraries and maps to the temple sites, this is one of the few books you should read. In some way, this book is like the bible for any visit to the temples, including the best restaurant tips. This book is the must-have guide to Angkor Wat!
- by Dawn Rooney (Author), Magnus Bartlett (Photographer), Peter Danford (Photographer)
- Fifth edition (July 29, 2005)
3. Angkor Wat: Time, Space, and Kingship
This is one of the most insightful, scholarly, unorthodox, and well written books about ancient Angkor for most people. The 360 pages detailed the principles of 12th-century Khmer temple architecture. Therefore, it’s not highly recommended for the travelers and backpackers because it is dauntingly technical.
- Published: 2000
- by Eleanor Mannikka
4. Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor
This books explains the mixed Hindu and Khmer myths that lie behind the carved reliefs at Angkor Wat. The Khmer Mythology: Secrets of Angkor is one of a few excellent books on Khmer mythology. The book discusses the rulers, Buddhist and Hindu interplay, and outstanding description of individual ruins. You’d find it quite helpful if you are traveling to Siem Reap and want to read up on what you will be seeing.
- Published: May 1, 1998
- Vittorio Roveda (Author)
5. Sacred Angkor: The Carved Reliefs of Angkor Wat
For those who are fascinated by the magnificent carvings of the long galleries, the corner pavilions, pediments, lintels, as well as the lesser-known sculpted tapestry reliefs, this is another excellent book on this particular subject.
- Published: 2007
- Vittorio Roveda (Author)
6. A Dragon Apparent: Travels in Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam
This is one of the must-read books for those who enjoys travel writing or anyone interested in anthropology or in the recent history of South-East Asia. Overall, this book is both informative and entertaining for most readers.
- Published: December 19, 2003
- Norman Lewis (Author)
7. Ancient Angkor (River Books Guides)
The book provides an excellent overview of the Angkor temples. If you’re heading to Cambodia and visiting the ancient Angkor, you should get this book with you. It’s as if you’ve got a historian and a photographer as your personal guide while visiting the wonder temple of the world.
- Published: January 16, 2009
- by Michael Freeman (photographer) and Claude Jacques (historian)
8. A Woman of Angkor
A Woman of Angkor book? What’s in a book title? Well, this book is wonderful work of historical fiction by John Burgess, an American author and journalist. If you’re looking for the best way to learn about Khmer culture, then you should get this book.
- Published: January 21, 2013
- by John Burgess
9. Temple of a Thousand Faces
The author wrote that “a story set nearly a thousand years ago, an empire is lost, a royal love is tested, and heroism is reborn.” The 544 pages gives most readers a wonderful historical fiction. A good metaphor is reading this book is like really living in Ancient Cambodia.
- February 5, 2013
- John Shors (Author)
10. The Map of Lost Memories: A Novel
This fiction is the author’s “quest to make the greatest archaeological discovery of the century soon becomes a quest for her family’s secrets.” This novel about Angkor has these three elements in one: adventure, romance, and history.
- June 18, 2013
- Kim Fay (Author)
Good to Know
Are you going to visit Angkor Wat or are you interested in history and archaeology?
If you’re planning to travel to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat, you may have read news, reviews, and travel guides on the web. You may have been amazed and fascinated by this wonder of the world. The recommended books will help you learn more about the history the Cambodian ancient temples across Siem Reap and other parts of Cambodia. I hope these books about the history of Angkor Wat will help you to gain more knowledge about the beautiful past of ancient Cambodia.
Built in the 12th century, the grand, complex architecture is an expression of Khmer civilization and one of the planet’s largest religious monuments. Many centuries later, Angkor Wat temple and its rich history still and will continue to amaze the travelers, tourists, historians, and researchers from all over the world.
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