Hints & Tips For Visiting Angkor Temples
The magnificent Angkor Temples are probably one of the most famous archaeological sites in Asia. The impressive remains of the Khmer Empire were built between the 9th and the 15th century. The site was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992 and has been attracting masses of tourists for decades.
If you’re taking a trip to Angkor, you’ll more than likely be staying in the closest city, Siem Reap.
Siem Reap Accommodation Price
Expect to pay around $10-20 per night for a double room with a fan and en-suite, and possibly a pool. Where as a place with air con and a pool might cost you anything up to $25 per night.
I’d definitely recommend hiring a tuk tuk from Siem Reap, rather than from around Angkor Temples, which would be more expensive. The drivers will usually drive you around for the day to the different temples for around $15. They have their own routes they can take you on, most have the same route with is a big loop and a small loop. These are good routes to take, you might have to make some alterations on these routes like we did, in order to see everything you want to see. You can also hire a bike and cycle round the temples, I wouldn’t really advise this though in 30 odd degree heat.
Tickets are only available for purchase at the main entrance to the site. There are a number of different passes which you can buy. 1 day pass – $20. 3 day pass – $40 (can visit 3 days or times in a 1 week period). 7 day pass – $60 (can visit 7 days or times in a 1 month period). Free for children under 12. Visiting hours are 5:00am-5:30pm.
- Know your route before you go. Especially if you only have a 1 day ticket, you should plan your route, so you use your time wisely.
- Having said the above, try and see the temples over at least 3 days. It’s such a huge site and there’s so much to see, it is impossible to do in 1 day. You will probably only be able to see the main few temples in 1 day.
- Take plenty of water. The days can seem very long and tiring when you’re walking around outside in over 30 degree heat. Also the water sold on the site is overpriced.
- Get there early. You’ll want to avoid the crowds and the midday heat if you’re anything like me. It might be tempting to stay in bed after a night on Pub Street, but it will be worth getting up early in the end.
- Dress modestly. These are temples after all and you may not be permitted access to the temples if they feel you’re dressed inappropriately. Although, these temples don’t seem to be as strict as others across South East Asia, but it’s not worth the risk.
Must See Temples
The largest and most famous monument in the Angkor site. It’s well worth an early rise to get to the temple for opening time at 5:00am to see the sun rise over Angkor Wat, make sure you do get there at opening time though as it does get very busy.
Arguably the most spectacular temple of the Angkor group. Located north of Angkor Wat in the Angkor Thom complex, this temple is probably in most guide books ‘must see’ (understandable why). One of the reasons Bayon is so eye-catching is down the many huge stone faces carved into its towers. There are 51 towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.
When you see this temple, you’ll instantly think Tomb Raider. You’ll be right in thinking that, part of the film was shot at this temple. The fact that part of a famous Hollywood movie was filmed here, isn’t the only draw of the temple. The crumbling ruins are embraced by many vast roots, which make for an interesting viewing of the battle between nature and a man-made building.
This temple was built as the state temple of Khmer king Rajendravarman. Pre Rup is a popular spot for sunset. The temple consists of a pyramid shaped temple-mountain with the most elevated of the three tiers carrying five lotus towers.
The temple consists of five towers. These towers represent the five peaks of the mythical Mount Meru. The Mebon once stood on a small island and was only accessible via boat. What was once the East Baray Reservoir is now dry and the temple can be accessed by foot.