Known as a popular city on the backpacking route, Siem Reap is also the link to the world wonder, Angkor Wat temple. Let’s be real, you can’t come to Siem Reap and not go check out Angkor Wat. To make the most of your time exploring the temples, there’s a few Angkor Wat tips you need to know.
From where to get the best photographs to buying tickets and how early you should actually arrive at the temples, this is the only guide to Angkor Wat you’ll need.
Angkor Wat: Tips For Making the Most of the Temples
1. Plan Your Transport in Advance
Whether you cycle or book a Tuk Tuk to cover the 5.5km distance from Siem Reap is up to you. We will say that cycling around the temples is only for the tough, especially in the heat. We suggest hiring a Tuk Tuk driver for the whole day and they will bring you to the ticket office and all the best spots.
2. Arrive Before 5am For Sunrise Views
You’ll have to wake up very early, but the sunrise views really are worth it. Aim to be at the ticket office as soon as it opens for 5am, or preferably before as the queues can be long in the morning. For the Angkor Wat Sunrise, you must be at the complex around 5.30 am.
3. Schedule in Enough Time To Properly See the Temples
If you have the time, you really should opt for at least two full days to fully explore Angkor Wat. We suggest doing sunrise on your first day, and staying for sunset on the second day. You can choose from three types of tickets:
- 1-day pass – $37 USD
- 3-day pass – $62 USD (has to be used within a week)
- 7-day pass – $72 USD (has to be used within a month)
4. Visit Less Popular Temples at Peak Times
The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom, and Angkor Thom. Naturally, people visit these first before moving onto other temples, so start your ‘big circle’ route of the complex in the opposite direction. Ask your driver to begin at Banteay Kdei, opposite to Angkor Thom, which is where everybody goes after the Angkor Wat Sunrise.
You’ll then get to explore less popular temples by yourself, and reach the popular ones mid-afternoon when the crowds have moved on!
5. Hire an Official Guide to Learn About The Temples
This really is the best way to get the most out of your visit. Hire an official guide either online or through your hotel and they can teach you all about the fascinating history and Khmer culture.
6. Check out the Geotag Location on Instagram for Photo Ideas
The most epic shot here is directly in front of Mirrow Pond as you’ll be able to catch your reflection. Be warned, it can get extremely crowded here with other picture-taking tourists! Have a look at the Angkor Wat geotag on Instagram to see other inspiring photo ideas.
7. Bring LOTS of Water and Wear Comfy Shoes
This might sound obvious, but it’s going to be a long, hot day with plenty of walking and climbing of temples. Don’t wear flip flops, we beg you. Bring plenty of water that you can leave with your driver in a cooler and wear runners that you can spend a whole day exploring in.
There are a few stalls and little restaurants throughout the complex that you can get drinks and snacks.