Probably not a lot! The things that strike you most are the scale and number of temples together with the fact that the temples span both the Hindu and Buddhist religions reflecting the fact that the country’s dominant religion has shifted several times over the course of its history
We bought a three-day pass, probably the minimum amount of time you need to visit the temples. It also gives you chance to revisit one of the temples should the heavens open as was the case on our second day!
Angkor Wat (Hindu), the most iconic of the temples, is a three-tiered pyramid crowned with five lotus-like towers with the highest rising 65m above the ground. The lower levels are covered in bas-reliefs depicting stories and characters from Hindu mythology and the historical wars of Suryavarman II who used it as his state temple. The best time of day to see the temple is at dawn from across the moat when the rising sun creates a dramatic silhouette of the temple and its surrounding buildings
Angkor Thom (Buddhist) is a walled and moated city covering over three square kilometres that was the last capital of the Angkorian empire. Most of the construction took place in the late 12th and early 13th centuries coinciding with the reign of Jayavarman VII. The city walls have five enormous entrance gates each crowned with four giant faces
Bayon Temple (Buddhist) is the state temple of Angkor Thom which took over a century to complete. It’s made up of 37 standing towers most of which also have four giant faces
Ta Prohm (Buddhist) is probably most famous for being the location used for Tomb Raider starring Angelina Jolie! In some respects this was the most dramatic of all the temples with large parts of it having fallen into ruin but held in place by the root systems of towering silk cotton and fig trees growing around and sometimes through the stonework!
Perhaps the best way of all to see the temples is by hot air balloon, maybe next time!