Visiting The Temples Of Angkor In Cambodia!


Angkor Wat is a complex of temples in the North West of Cambodia. It spans over 400 acres, and was built in the 12th century for the Khmer Empire. It's the largest religious monument on the planet and is also the 8th man-made wonder of the world. These accolades mean it's no surprise that Angkor Wat is the most visited UNESCO World Heritage Site, with over 2 million visitors each year. 

Getting Around The Temples
As the temples are so spread out it's impossible to walk between each one. Therefore you're going to need a different mode of transport besides your own two feet! There are several options for visitors to choose from: tour buses, bicycles, scooters... even a private helicopter tour! There's something to suit all budgets. 

A popular option is to hire a tuk-tuk driver to pick you up from your accommodation in Siem Reap (the base town for seeing the temples) and drive you around to the various temples of interest. It sounds expensive, but it only costs around $15 for an entire day. The driver will wait at each temple whilst you go off and explore, and then drop you back at your hotel or hostel at the end of the day. 

Don't worry about booking ahead weeks in advance. You can arrange this with almost any tuk-tuk driver (or one of his mates if he's busy) in Siem Reap the day before you want to visit.

Buying Your Tickets
Before heading to any of the temples you'll need to buy your ticket at the main ticket booth on the road to Angkor Wat from Siem Reap. We wanted to go for sunrise so our tuk-tuk driver picked us up at 04:30am and took us to buy our pass. The queues look long but they move pretty fast. You'll have your photo taken which is then printed onto your ticket. I assume to stop visitors sharing their ticket with others! There are different queues for each type of pass, so make sure you're in the correct one. 

The Types Of Passes:
  • One Day: When we visited in August 2016 a day ticket cost $20. However, apparently since February 2017 it now costs $37.
  • 3 Day Pass: From February 2017 a three-day pass costs $62. These passes can be used on any three days over the space of one week, so you don't need to go on three consecutive days.
  • One Week Pass: Now costs $72. A one-week pass can be used for any seven days in a month. 
We only bought the one-day pass and saw everything we wanted to without feeling rushed.

Exploring The Temples
With dozens of temples within the complex, it's hard to know where to begin. We picked a few of the main ones and stuck to seeing those. In my opinion, you're better off picking a small selection of really unique temples to visit. After you've explored a few of the most well-known locations you might be happy enough and templed-out anyway. 

  • Angkor Wat - Potentially the most photographed out of all of the temples. This is the place where everyone goes to watch the sunrise. You won't get the experience to yourself anymore, but it's still an amazing way to start your visit.
  • Bayon - My favourite out of the temples saw! This is the temple that has the huge statues of faces. They're so impressive it's unsurprising that this temple is one of the most popular ones to visit.
  • Ta Prohm - Used as a location for filming Tomb Raider, Ta Prohm is in a league of its own. The jungle is slowly taking over, and so this is where you'll find trees growing out of the temple buildings.

To visit Angkor Wat, the easiest way is to stay in Siem Reap for a couple of nights. Siem Reap has plenty of other activities for visitors to do as well, including amazing cooking classes and night markets.


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