Ever since I was a kid, I’ve dreamed of visiting the temples of Angkor, especially the iconic Angkor Wat. I finally fulfilled my travel dream, and it was truly one of the most amazing places I’ve ever been to.
In this article, I’d like to share my travel experience and tips to plan an amazing trip to the temples of Angkor.
This article includes the following section:
Things to know before visiting
Best places to stay
How to get to Angkor Wat from Siem Reap
Getting around the temples of Angkor
Opening hours and map
Best time to visit
Independent visit or a tour?
Best way to visit Angkor Wat in one day
Best temples to visit
How to watch sunset and sunrise
What to eat
Things to know before visiting Angkor Wat
Money: Cambodians mainly use USD, so don’t forget to exchange first in your home country.
SIM: Book your SIM card in advance and receive it when you arrive to travel easier.
Plan where you want to go
You should plan which temples you don’t want to miss. Popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple), Preah Khan, and Banteay Srei (further away from the city).
Clothes: Dress politely to visit Angkor Archaeological Park. Do not wear skirts, pants and sleeveless shirts. The guards will not allow you to enter if the clothes are not suitable.
Be prepared for changes in weather
It’s fine if you are in Siem Reap during the dry season. However, in the rainy season, sudden rains will make you unprepared. If you go at this time, you should have raincoats and umbrellas ready.
Rest when needed
If you’re tired, find a comfortable spot to read a book or just sit back and enjoy it. Many temples have stalls selling coconut water, soft drinks, and beer, so drink water, have a snack and take a break.
Ticket price for Angkor Wat
Tickets for Angkor can be bought for 1, 3, or 7 days, so you should consider what you intend to see before buying your ticket.
1 day: $37. Tickets are valid from the time of purchase
3 days: $62. Tickets are valid for 10 days after the date of purchase, and you can use the ticket to visit any of Angkor Archaeological Park for 3 days within 10 days.
7 days: $72. Tickets are valid for 1 month after the date of purchase, allowing you to visit any of the Angkor complexes for 7 days within 1 month.
If you don’t have much time, a 1-day ticket is enough. If you love exploring and have more time, buy a 3-day ticket.
Alternatively, you can also book a 1-day tour to visit Angkor. This tour includes an on-site shuttle, admission to Angkor, drinks, cold towels, and a guide.
Angkor Wat tickets are valid from the day you purchase the ticket unless you buy it after 5 pm, in which case the ticket is valid starting the next day.
You can visit the Angkor Archaeological Park any day of the week after 5:30 pm free of charge, no ticket required.
Keep the ticket to the temple: Admission tickets are used at the main entrance of the temple. There will also be checkers at some large temples inside. So be careful to keep your tickets. If you lose it, you have to buy a new ticket when you go there.
How to buy tickets for Angkor Wat
The office is located next to the Angkor Panorama Museum and opposite the Asian Traditional Museum.
When buying tickets, don’t forget to bring cash and your passport. Simply go to the window and purchase. The seller will then take a picture of you and issue a ticket for you.
In some temples, the guard will check the ticket so you should always bring your ticket with you.
Address: Angkor Enterprise, Street 60, Siem Reap, Cambodia.
Opening hours: from 5 am to 5:30 pm
Best places to stay in Siem Reap
After an exhausting day of sightseeing, there’s nothing better than resting and soaking in the water.
You should book a hotel with a swimming pool to make your trip the most relaxing.
Booking in advance will be better for you because Siem Reap is Cambodia’s most popular tourist destination, so good hotels here are often out of room very quickly, especially in the peak season.
How to get to Angkor Wat from Siem Reap
The gateway to the temples is Siem Reap, a tourist hotspot. From Siem Reap, you can hire a tuk-tuk for a day or join a tour to enjoy a hassle-free transfer.
How to get around Angkor Wat?
The area of Angkor is very large, and each temple is far from each other. So, don’t walk!
If it’s your first time visiting or you only have 1 day visiting, taking a tuk-tuk or joining a tour is more ideal. Alternatively, you can rent a bicycle in Siem Reap to explore the Angkor.
Opening hours of Angkor temples
All temples except Angkor Wat, Sras Srang, Pre Rup, and Phnom Bakheng are open from 7:30 am – 5:30 pm. These temples below are open earlier than before sunrise or late afternoon sunset.
Angkor. Wat: 5:00 am – 5:30 pm
Sras Srang: 5:00 am – 5:30 pm
Pre Rup: 5:00 am – 7:00 pm
Phnom Bakheng: 5:00 am – 7:00 pm
Angkor temples map
Angkor Archaeological Park forms 2 different routes: Small Circuits (17 km loop) and Large Circuits (26 km loop).
The main temple in the small circuits: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei, Prasat Kravan
The main temple in the big loop (Large Circuit): Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, Eastern Mebon, Pre Rup
Best time to visit Angkor Wat
The most ideal time of the year to visit Angkor Wat is from November to March. At this time, the weather is mild and dry. However, it’s also the peak of the tourist season.
From June to October, the weather is hotter and wetter, and the afternoon rain makes the next morning the best time to explore.
To avoid the heat, you should visit Angkor temples in the early morning or in the afternoon (after 3 pm).
Should I visit Angkor Wat alone or by tour?
You probably wonder about this when planning your trip to Angkor temples.
As Angkor Archaeological Park has many large temples and each temple has its own story, it is necessary to have a guide to show you around and explain the mysterious stories.
To have a guide, you can either join a private tuk-tuk tour or sign up for a group tour. Once you have a certain understanding of the temples, on your 2nd or 3rd day, it’s a good time to explore the temples on your own.
An independent visit is a great way to explore the temples at your own pace, view, and photograph the amazing architecture. You can decide how to much time to spend at each site and when to return to your hotel.