Tips for Visiting Angkor Wat: Cambodia’s Most Popular Tourist Attraction
We (Dan and Bailey) visited the beautiful country of Cambodia two years ago on our Southeast Asia trip. One of the highlights of our entire trip was exploring Angkor Wat! Our friend from the blog “I Am Dan Elson” recently visited Angkor Wat himself and has written this guest post for us about all of the tips for visiting Angkor Wat that he learned while there!
Tips for Visiting Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat has quickly become one of the world’s most popular tourist attractions, and for good reason – it is beautiful! But with such popularity comes some challenges. Here I have written all of my tips for visiting Angkor Wat to make your visit a bit more enjoyable.
But first, a little bit about Angkor Wat…
Where is Angkor Wat?
That’s an easy one! Siem Reap!
The compact, friendly city of Siem Reap is just awesome. It really is one of my all-time fave cities around the world.
It is crazy but in all the right places and it is the home of Angkor Wat! Angkor Wat is the “must see” ancient temple of Cambodia and is a place you have to plan to visit!!
“Do yourself a favour and allow at least one day for exploring the city and then hitting the main party street literally called ‘Pub Street’. While Sime Reap is the city closest for exploring Angkor Wat, it is also one of the best party cities! Oh, and don’t plan on getting up for sunrise the day after either, you’re hangover will be killer in the Cambodian sun!” -Dan and Bailey
You might find this awesome blog helpful, it’s a itinerary for travelling Cambodia in two weeks!
Why visit Angkor Wat?
Again, another easy one!
Instead of me going on and on, which is easy when you’re talking about such an impressive place such as Angkor Wat, but instead I’ll let pictures paint a thousand words.
How to get to Angkor Wat?
Any hostel or hotel in Siem Reap will offer one-day, two-day, or three-day tours to Angkor Wat. The tours are done privately or in a group up to four people on a tuk-tuk (pictured below.)
Check out this awesome itinerary for traveling Cambodia and Laos in two weeks!
Tours of Angkor Wat
You will be able to choose from a general visit of the temples of Angkor Wat, a sunset or sunrise (caution 5 am start or earlier!!), or 1 day, 2 days or even 3-day trips.
On a one-day trip, the tuk-tuk driver will pick you up well before sunrise to allow enough time to get you to the famous sunrise in time. After, you will explore the ruins and then meet your tuk-tuk driver again. He will take you to a couple of other nearby ruins and explain about the history as well. It is a full day or checking out various ruin sites.
If a full tour doesn’t sound appealing then just pull over a tuk-tuk which are often parked outside hostels too, and ask them to take you. Most, if not all tuk-tuk drivers will speak English or enough to communicate. You’d be looking at $10 USD for them to take you to the ticket office, pick up a ticket, drive you to the temples and wait until you’re done. I know right, welcome to Cambodia!
Your tuk-tuk driver will just wait outside until you’re done. IT’S AWESOME. That’s why I love Cambodia.
This was the option I took as it was late in the day, a couple of hours before the temples were shutting (so be aware, these shut around 5 pm – its South East Asia!).
I hired a tuk-tuk driver, went to the ticket office, grabbed a ticket, powered to the temples, and spent an hour or so looking around which was enough for me. A couple of hours later, I was on my way back to the city with lots of awesome memories of this amazing temple complex.
“We went on a one day tour, and while it was a long, hot, and exhausting day it was enough time exploring the ruins. The only way we would suggest going on a multi-day tour is if you really want a lot of time in the ruins.” -Dan and Bailey
What to Bring to Angkor Wat
Even though I went to late in the day, the heat was strong. Lots of sweating and drinking water One of the best tips for visiting Angkor Wat is to take a big bottle of water with you, you will need it!
Obviously, wear good walking shoes and clothing appropriate for entering the temples. Your shoulders and knees must be covered. And don’t forget your camera!
“Wear layers so that when you are not in a temple, you can remove layers and be comfortable in your tank top and shorts.” -Dan and Bailey
Where to Stay to visit Angkor Wat
I highly recommend the Mad Monkey or Funky Flashpackers hostels in Siem Reap, where I’ve personally stayed more than a couple of times. I felt more like I lived there though as the people became like a family!
Both will be able to sell you a very reasonable priced tour to Angkor Wat. But in your downtime you can meet new people and have a great time in Siem Reap.
What are the prices like?
Well, don’t worry about that! I mean it, a country like Cambodia needs every penny! And it really is worth it! Expect to pay about $38 USD.
Prices have gone up recently, but to be honest, I reckon a marketing dude (like myself) came up with this strategy to bring more tourists. Tourism to Angkor Wat, especially from China, has increased because of the price rises!
The 50 coaches in the car park were clear evidence for this! Put the prices up and the tourists will come. An interesting concept, something that BBC was asking back in Jan 2017 in an article. The answer was an overwhelming YES!
To be honest, once I left I completely forgot what I paid simply because the price wasn’t an issue. And isn’t that what a magical, awesome place is meant to do? Be so amazing that price is not an issue? I think so! And Angkor Wat did just that. It was worth every penny.
“One of the best tips for visiting Angkor Wat is to make sure you bring a couple of extra dollars to tip your driver at the end. Tips are greatly appreciated in Cambodia and make a huge difference to the tuk-tuk drivers’ salary.” -Dan and Bailey
Price increase or no price increase this really is a must see when visiting Southeast Asia!
Not only that, but you get to visit Cambodia! The people are wonderful, some of the nicest you will come across, it’s super cheap even if things are in American dollars, and you get to see one of the wonders of the world. Oh, and the spicy food is such a winner.
Do you have any tips for visiting Angkor Wat that we may have forgot? Tell us in the comments, the more advice the better!
Guest post by I Am Dan Elson. Dan writes about things he is passionate about – improving your life through travel and remote working! His background is in digital marketing, and when he’s not travelling the world he’s making a dollar for the next adventure! Currently in Sydney.
April 28, 2020