One thing that we found difficult to grasp is just how big the ruins of Angkor are. If you look at this map, note the city of Siem Reap (which is about twice the size of Red Deer in terms of population)- then look at how large all of the ruins are to the north. Ankor Thom alone is 9 sq km's. These weren't just temples- this was an empire that claims the title of the largest preindustrial city in the world (in terms of urban sprawl).
Just a quick history lesson - the Angkor area was built by kings of Cambodia starting in the 9th century and coming to its peak in the 14th century.
To get the most bang for our buck (it costs $40/pp for a 3-day pass) we hired a tuk-tuk driver, Lim, to take us around some of the main sites. Lim was recommended to us by some friends in Calgary who used him a few years ago, and we're very glad we have him guiding us around this ancient maze!
Here are some pictures from around the temples starting with the sunrise at Angkor Wat.
(This face is a likeness of King Jayavarman II, who declared himself a god-King and built the city of Angkor Thom)
(The Elephant Terrace)