Angkor Wat Guide

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Siem Reap:

1-3 Day Angkor Wat Tour

 

Dates Visited: February 2018

Most people going to Siem Reap plan on doing an Angkor Wat Tour. However, there are so many other temples to see that are included with the Archaeological Park ticket.

In order to do a proper Angkor Wat Tour and experience other sites like Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm (as seen in Tomb Raider), we recommend spending at least 2 days seeing the temples. Below we will go over ticket prices, which temples to see, a schedule to keep you on track, plus where to stay in Siem Reap.

Dates Visited: February 2018

Most people going to Siem Reap plan on doing an Angkor Wat Tour. However, there are so many other temples to see that are included with the Archaeological Park ticket.

In order to do a proper Angkor Wat Tour and experience other sites like Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm (as seen in Tomb Raider), we recommend spending at least 2 days seeing the temples.

Below we will go over ticket prices, which temples to see, a schedule to keep you on track, plus where to stay in Siem Reap.

Ticket Prices

1 Day: $37 USD
(Only valid on day of purchase)

3 Days: $62 USD
(Valid for 10 days after purchase)

7 Days: $72 USD
(Valid for one calendar month after purchase)

The Cambodian Riel is the official currency of the country, however almost all prices are in USD as it's the primary currency. When buying Angkor Wat tour tickets you will see prices stated in USD as well. Personally I think the prices are quite expensive if you just want to go for the day. In 2017 prices were raised from $20 for 1 Day, $40 for 3 Day, and $60 for 7 Day tickets. Unfortunately, only an estimated 28% of the ticket sale money goes back into the restoration of the temples.[1]

Despite the costly entrance fee, if you only care about seeing the main Angkor Wat temple then the one day pass is enough. However, if you've come all the way to Siem Reap you may as well make it worth your time and get the best bang for your buck. We bought the 3 day pass because it gave us plenty of time to see all of the temples included in the pass. Read more below to see a map of everything you gain access with your ticket.

How to take a tour of Angkor Wat

The most cost effective way to do an Angkor Wat tour is to hire a tuk tuk driver for the day. However, be aware of Tuk Tuk scams! By this, we mean always agree on a price of the tour before entering the Tuk Tuk. Put aside the money in a separate pocket and have it ready to pay at the end of the day. If you can't agree on a price (don't pay more than $20 for a day) then don't be afraid to walk away.

We had a bad experience with one driver who demanded twice what we originally agreed upon. It was an awkward interaction to say the least but we ended up overpaying just a bit. Nonetheless, we found a much better driver the next day, Mr Hok (pictured here). He had much more reasonable prices and was super nice. We highly recommend him for a tour, his WhatsApp is +855 17 535 210. Below are his prices:

IMG_2353 - 600 4x5

We had a bad experience with one driver who demanded twice what we originally agreed upon. It was an awkward interaction to say the least but we ended up overpaying just a bit. Nonetheless, we found a much better driver the next day, Mr Hok (pictured here). He had much more reasonable prices and was super nice. We highly recommend him for a tour, his WhatsApp is +855 17 535 210. Below are his prices:

Prices
  • One Day Angkor Wat Tour: $15 USD total for 3 people
  • Banteay Srei (Lady Temple) and Bakong Temple: $20 USD total for 3 people
    • These are the farther away, roughly 30-45 minutes in opposite directions from downtown Siem Reap. So it costs a little bit more

 

What's included in the Ticket

Like we mentioned, there are a ton of temples to see included in the Angkor Archaeological Park ticket. Below is our suggested 1-3 day routes to tour Angkor Wat, plus all the other sites to see. If you travel super slow like us, then you might as well make the most of the 3 day pass.

Disclaimer: Most people tend to do the Angkor Wat tour at sunrise. We opted against this because almost everyone we talked to said it was quite crowded at this time. So our suggested routes do not include starting that early. However, you will be able to see more temples if you get an earlier start.

If you're looking to go on a tour of Angkor Wat when it's not busy you'll be hard pressed to find a slow time. Nonetheless we noticed that around lunch time (12:00-1:00PM) there appeared to be less people walking inside the complex.

One Day Tour

Two Day Tour

Day One (Red Loop)

Day Two (Blue Loop)

Three Day Tour

Day One

  • 8:30AM: Purchase Tickets; Visit Angkor Wat
  • 12:00PM: Have some lunch
  • 1:00PM: Angkor Thom
  • 4:30PM: Return to Siem Reap

Day Two

Day Three

Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Wat was originally built as a Hindu temple in the early 12th century by King Suryavarman II of the Khmer Empire. However, by the end of the 12th it had transformed into a Buddhist temple. It's truly massive, and one of the largest religious monuments in the world measuring in at 402 acres[2]. The temple is the best preserved structure in the complex and has remained a significant religious icon. In fact, Angkor Wat is a national icon of Cambodia, even appearing on its flag.

Angkor Wat Tour
Angkor Wat Tour

Angkor Thom

Compared to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is absolutely massive. Its name translates to 'Great City' and was the last capital of the Khmer Empire[3]. This city includes many structures such as Bayon, King Jayavarman VII's state temple. The south gate entrance to Angkor Thom is amazingly beautiful and features a bridge with faces that crosses over the complex's surrounding moat.

Also found within Angkor Thom is Phimeanakas, a three tiered Hindu temple located within the Royal Palace of Angkor Thom. Just outside Phimeanakas is the Terrace of Elephants built by King Jayavarman VII to view his army returning from battle.

Bayon
Bayon
Angkor Wat Tour
Terrace of the Elephants
Angkor Wat Tour
Prasat Preah Palilay
Angkor Wat Tour
Phimeanakas

We spent hours wandering around Angkor Thom since there is so much to see. After walking around for a bit we came across Prasat Preah Palilay, which we thought was a hidden temple at first. But it's actually a small Buddhist sanctuary located just north of the Royal palace. This hidden gem is a bit of a mystery since Buddhist imagery of the time was not well tolerated by King Jayavarman VIII.

Preah Khan Temple

Preah Khan was built in the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII as a monument to his father. The bridge pictured below slightly resembles the south gate to Angkor Thom and is beautiful in the late afternoon to sunset.

*Tip* - Do not do any handstands in or around temples because it is seen as disrespectful to the religious monuments. If you're seen taking any pictures of somebody doing this, a worker will make you delete the photos from your camera.

Angkor Wat Tour: Preah Khan

Ta Som Temple

Ta Som was also constructed during the 12th century reign of King Jayavarman VII. It's a small temple that features a large overgrown fig tree over the the third eastern entrance way. From 1998-2012, the Ta Som Temple Restoration Project was led by the World Monuments Foundation[4] to make it safer for visitors.

GOPR8221 - 600 4x5
GOPR8246 - 600 4x5

Ta Prohm Temple

Ta Prohm Temple is most famous for its appearance in the original Tomb Raider (2001) film. It was constructed in the late 12th to early 13th centuries in a similar style to the Bayon Temple within Angkor Thom. Interestingly enough, this temple is surprisingly intact and is remains nearly in the same condition today as when it was found.

This temple is one of Angkor's top tourist attractions with the picturesque trees overgrown on the temple. In fact, UNESCO added Ta Prohm to its World Heritage list in 1992 [5].

Angkor Wat Tour: Ta Prohm Tomb Raider
Angkor Wat Tour: Ta Prohm Tomb Raider
Angkor Wat Tour: Ta Prohm Tomb Raider

Pre Rup Temple

Pre Rup was constructed in the late 10th century as the state temple of King Rajendravarman. It's also one of the oldest temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. The earlier temples have a more distinct red-ish because they primarily use red brick as opposed to sandstone.

Fun Fact: If you sit on the stairs long enough, the crowds might clear out and you can get a brief moment to yourself before the next wave comes through.

IMG_2212 - 1000 16x9

Preah Ko Temple

The Preah Ko Temple was the first temple built in the ancient city of Hariharalaya, located about 15 km southeast of Angkor Wat. This temple was built under the King Indravarman I the late 9th century and dedicated to the Hindu god, Shiva [6].

Guide to Angkor Wat: Preah Ko
Guide to Angkor Wat: Preah Ko

Bakong Temple

Bakong Temple was also built in the late 9th century and served as the state temple of King Indravarman I. Similar to Preah Ko, this temple is also located in the ancient capital of Hariharalaya. Unfortunately, Bakong would only remain the state temple for a few years. Nonetheless, evidence suggests it did not become an abandoned temple since there were additions made in the 12th and 13th centuries [7].

GOPR8328 - 1000 16x9

Prasat Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei, also known as the Pink Lady Temple, was constructed as a monument to the Hindu God, Shiva. Unlike most major temples of its time, Banteay Srei was the only one not to be constructed by a Khmer King. Instead, credit is given to a couple courtiers of the King. Though it was originally constructed in the early 10th century, later additions to Banteay Srei were added up until the early 14th century [8].

IMG_2383 - 600 4x5
IMG_2366 - 600 4x5

What to Wear to Angkor Wat

Clothing will need to cover shoulders and knees, it's better if ladies also have their ankles covered. Angkor Wat temple is particularly strict on the dress code. Molly almost got turned away for having a thin sarong on her shoulders and needed to put on her sweater, even though it was 30+C (90 F).

Gentlemen are okay wearing shorts (covering knees) and a t-shirt. Hats are okay unless you want to go into a temple, sometimes they make you remove hats, particularly when climbing to the top of Angkor Wat.

Where to stay in Siem Reap

From our experience, we like to use Hostel World to check out potential hostels, then check other booking websites like Booking.com to make our reservations. Sometimes we also message hostels directly to get a better price. We also like to use Airbnb to book accommodations if its a better deal than hostels. Clicking on either of the icons will give you a deal with either of the sites, but are affiliate links so we earn a small commission.

Dorms: $9+ USD

Private Rooms: $40 USD ($32 USD Cash Price)

Amenities: Free Water Refills, Bar, Pool, English Speaking, Tour Desk, Free Breakfast, Wifi

Lub D Hostel was recommended to us by countless people. It is a really nice hostel but to be quite honest, it's on the pricey side. However, the western food they serve is actually quite good and reasonably priced. Plus the beer is cheap ($0.50 USD for a draft beer).

We originally booked 4 nights here but ended up staying 8 and just hanging around the hostel a few days. The tour desk was helpful for price checking and helped us book a bus ticket back to Bangkok.

 

Dorms: $6+ USD

Privates: $20+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Bar, 24/7 Reception, Luggage Storage, Tour Desk, Free City Maps

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

Dorms: $3.04+ USD

Private Rooms: $6.60+ USD

Amenities: Free Wifi, Free Breakfast, 24/7 Reception, Luggage Storage, Airport Transfers, Currency Exchange, Free Coffee/Tea

Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com
Photo Courtesy: Hostelworld.com

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By |2019-11-10T23:28:11-05:00February 8th, 2019|Asia, Cambodia, Day Trip Guides, Travel Guides|0 Comments

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