The Best Guide to Angkor Wat

A guide to Angkor Wat?

Ta Prohm Temple

Anyone that enjoys an epic journey will have the time of their lives exploring these ancient temple ruins consumed by dense jungle – You will feel just like Indiana Jones exploring the Temple of Doom. But wait,  if you think that you can simply waltz in there and take one temple at a time, you’re quite mistaken. Angkor Wat has over 1,000 temples and these temples cover a very large area. Given the time frame, you will probably have there are several things to remember like when to travel, prices, must-see temples and also the Dangerous land Mines in a number of the less traveled ruins.Danger Mines

Ahh! got you, only joking.

 

This guide will try to give you some good ideas to get the most out of your trip to the Temples of Angkor together with a few special must know tips for making your visit go smoothly and turn out to be an awesome experience you’ll never forget.

HIRE A GUIDE

Tuk Tuk Transport
An English-speaking guide costs Approximately $20-$30 per day.

Okay, firstly, you should think about hiring a good guide. I hired a guide on the first day and then the next few days I explored everything else on my own. A guide to Angkor Wat will not only give you the story behind the temples, he will also show you the best spots for photographs! If you don’t want to pay the extra for a guide, ask your driver for some advice. He might have some great tips to help you out.

 

Please Be Aware: The Temples of Angkor are religious sites so please make sure to dress modestly and show respect. Similar to visiting any Temple make sure to dress appropriately. Long pants and shirts or light sundresses which cover your body are fine and, scarfs and hats help guard against the sun as well as the local sensibilities.

MUST-SEE TEMPLES OF ANGKOR

As I mentioned before, The Temples of Angkor consist of more than 1,000 temples so it’s practically impossible to visit them all even with a week long pass. Therefore You’d probably want to know which temples are the most exotic or have the best photographic opportunities which temples have trees growing over them, which ones have unique face carvings, and where you can watch the sunrise and sunset, Yes? Below is a good guide to helping you figure this out.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is, of course, the main attraction to any visit to the temples of Angkor. The 3-tiered Temple is topped by 5 lotus-like towers rising up 65 meters from the bottom.

Bayon temple

The Face of Bayon

The Bayon temple is especially known for its amazing face carvings. The temple has 37 towers and just about every one of them has four carved faces. This would have to be one of the most photographed temples at Angkor Wat.

 Baphuon temple

Carvings on The Baphuon Temple

The Baphuon temple was created for King Udayadityavarman II as a state temple. It is located close to Bayon temple in the old Khmer capital city Angkor Thom.

Preah Khan

Preah Khan Temple

Preah Khan is a monastic temple area that originally served as a Buddhist monastery. Similar to Ta Prohm, most of the ruins are overgrown by trees.

Ta Prohm

Ta Phrom Temple

You will most likely recognize this temple from the movie Tomb Raider. It is bound by massive roots of huge trees and is another one of the most popular temples.

Ta Som

 Ta Som Temple

Ta Som is tiny, but please don’t miss this temple. It is unique for the dense jungle surrounding it, but there is also a huge tree growing into one of its doorways.

PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS

The Right Time

Sunrise and Sunset is the best time for photographing the temple of Angkor Wat. Other temples like Bayon, Ta Som, and Ta Prohm are surrounded by thick jungle so afternoon is a better time to photograph these places.

Perfect Location

Taking that perfect shot is not always easy, however, you’ll find lots of hidden spots for photography in many places all over the temple sites. Your guide if you have one usually has good advice on this subject. Ask other visitors & locals for advice as you search through the temples. The Bayon and Ta Prohm temples offer excellent opportunities for that perfect Photo.

WARNINGS & DANGERS

Steps at the temples

Angkor Wat, Bayon, and many other temples here are very old as you might guess, a lot of the structures are in very poor condition. Watch out on the steps – they’re steep and narrow. Climbing up can be quite different to climbing back down.

Landmines

Although the locals say there are no landmines at Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples, better to be safe and stay on the marked paths. By staying on these paths you are also protecting the area for future visitors.
Health issues

All travelers should be aware of mosquitos, especially in the day time. Japanese encephalitis and Dengue fever are possible to contract. Protect yourself with a good insect repellant. It gets extremely hot and humid in this area so remember to bring some sunscreen and protective clothing. Try to drink plenty of water also.

Getting Around

It is pretty crazy driving around Cambodia. This area is no different so please beware when driving or riding around. whether it be in a Car, Bike or even on Foot keep a look out and beware of traffic.

PRICE GUIDE TO ANGKOR WAT

A single day is just not enough to see everything, Luckily there are different options for you to choose from when visiting. Here they are below: as of 1 January 2017

Ticket Old Price New Price     
1 Day 20 $ 37 $
3 Days 40 $ 62 $
7 Days 60 $ 72 $

Please Note: With a 3 or 7-day pass, the viewing days do not have to immediately follow on from each other.

  • 1 Day: This ticket is valid only on the day of purchase.
  • 3 Days: This ticket is valid for 7 days from the date of purchase. You pick which 3 days you want to visit the temples.
  • 7 Days: This ticket is valid for 1 month from the date of purchase. You have 1 month in which to Pick 7 days to visit.
Tip:  By buying your ticket in the evening after 5 pm. Your ticket will be valid for the next day.So on the same evening of purchase, you can watch the sunset for free. Srah Srang Lake is a nice tranquil place to watch it.

Hours for the Angkor Park and Angkor Ticket Office

  • Angkor Ticket Center (Angkor Enterprise): Daily from 5.00am until 5.30pm
  • Angkor Wat and Srah Srang: Daily from 5.00 am to 5.30 pm.
  • Phnom Bakheng and Pre Rup: Daily from 5.00 am to 7 pm.
  • All other Temples: Daily from 7.30 am to 5.30 pm.

NOTE: For Phnom Kulen and Beng Mealea. you will need to buy an extra ticket to visit these places.

HOW TO GET AROUND

The Angkor Wat temples cover an area of approximately 400 km2 so walking around is pretty much out of the question. I personally prefer tuk-tuks to get around, however other options are bicycles which you can rent around $1 to $3 per day. Motorbike taxis are another option at around $6 to $10 per day.  The best option for me personally was using a Tuk-tuk at around $10 to $15 per day. The next step up from a Tuk Tuk is using a taxi this option will cost around $20 to $30 per day, however, I feel a Tuk Tuk offers a more visual experience and the lack of windows offer a better photo opportunity when moving between the temples.

WHEN TO GO

Visiting the Angkor Wat temple is possible all year round. I’ve visited the temples both times during high-season (in February) and low-season (in June- July). There were pros and cons for visiting at both these times. The high season which runs from November to March will offer cool, dry days but the downside is there are a lot more people around. The low season running from June to October is a period where you can avoid the crowds, however, it will be a lot hotter and the weather at this time can be very wet. Avoid visiting in April though it is extremely hot weather at his time and it makes for a very exhausting time traversing the many temples and ruins.

AVOID GETTING TEMPLED OUT

Divide your visit over several days. I have visited the temples numerous times. Once over a period of 2 weeks and a few other times doing a 2-3 day trip. If you have the time get a week pass which you can use over a month and try two days on and two days off. This way lets you relax and really enjoy the place. If you don’t have time never mind you certainly won’t regret it even only 1 day at these temples is a memory that will last a lifetime. Just have fun and immerse yourself in this amazing place.

For the ultimate Guide to Angkor Please check out these books Below.

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