The temples of Angkor belong to the classic period of Khmer art and civilisation. They were created by a succession of Khmer kings who presided over an empire that dominated the region from 800AD to 1430AD, reaching its peak in the 12th century. From the 15th century the temples were abandoned and forgotten, although visited by a number of travellers including the French naturalist Henri Mouhot, who is attributed with their rediscovery in 1861. Highlights include the walled and moated royal city of Angkor Thom, the giant stone faces of Bayon, and the huge three-tiered pyramid of Angkor Wat. At least two days are recommended to get the most from the site, allowing time to visit some of the outer temples such as Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Prasat Kravan or Pre Rup. A guided tour by private vehicle is the most convenient way to explore the temples. For a totally different experience, a helicopter ride is a unique way to appreciate the enormous scale of the site.