5 Tips for a Perfect Trip to Angkor Complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Angkor Complex is a 12th century natural wonder located in Cambodia in South East Asia. This magical place has its own special energy that you can feel from the moment you step foot there and when walking through the ancient temple ruins.

It would take months to explore and really come to know all of the greatness of the Angkor Complex, which is why its highly recommended to visit there without any sense of rush. Visiting slowly and with time allows one to really get a full unforgettable experience.

Upon visiting the temples, you will see three options available in order to visit the complex: one, three and seven day. Many tourists try to see it all in one day, which is difficult and quite exhausting. 3-7 day passes are even better options if time is not an issue.

I chose the 3 day pass and felt very satisfied with the amount of time that I had at each place.

Preparation

When you go to the ticket office to buy your ticket they will take a photo and print it off on a small ticket, which will be your gateway into the temples during the time frame that you choose.

This ticket is not able to be shared with other people and if you lose it you are out of luck. You will be asked to present this ticket multiple times and there is simply no way of sneaking around paying the price.

Take care of this ticket and make sure that it does not get wet. If that happens and they cannot recognize who you are, they will not let you inside. Many people carry their ticket in a plastic bag in order to avoid problems.

Updated Prices

 

One Day: $37

Three Day:  $62

Seven Day: $72

The price has increased over the years and many say that its more expensive than they would like. However, the positive part is that a small amount of the money of every ticket goes to helping a Cambodian children’s hospital.

Clothes

Just like any other temple around the world, a modest dress code is obligatory. This consists of long skirts, shirts that cover your shoulders and nothing see through. While that might be difficult during the scorching summer months, it’s necessary and you will be refused entrance if you are dressed any other way.

I had a sleeveless shirt with a scarf around me that completely covered me up, but I was asked to change into a complete t-shirt, regardless of the scarf around me.  If you have any doubts about whether your clothes are acceptable or not, its better to be safe than sorry.

If you run into a dress code problem there are many places to buy around the temples at a very low price.

Also, its very important to choose the type of shoes that you wear carefully. The complex is very large and it will require lots of walking. In addition, there will be some great opportunities to climb up the temples to get good views, so its much better to wear sport sandals or tennis shoes.

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1. Start Early and Watch the Sunrise

Many people are uncertain about whether they should get up or not to see the sunrise, especially given all of the mixed reviews that you will find online about the amount of tourists at that time of the morning.

While it is true that you will come across many tourists while visiting at sunrise, I still believe that its an experience that you must have while visiting there.

I went during the low season and I came across tons of tourists, so I couldn’t even imagine what its like in the high season. Its impossible to escape the tourists, but if you can focus your mind away from them and on the beauty of the temple, the beautiful sky and the peace of the sunrise, it can be a magical experience.

If you are really wanting to miss a lot of the crowds, avoid visiting sunrise at the main temple. There are other places that you can go that are less crowded and can give you very beautiful views.

2. Clearly Organize your Transportation & Price

There are many different ways to get around to the different temples. The most common ways are by tuk tuk or by bike. Many opt to bike around the complex, but keep in mind the time of the year if you plan on going about this way. Temperatures can spike to around 110 degrees in the middle of the day and biking under the burning hot sun could turn your peaceful day into an exhausting experience.

The best and cheapest way to get around, especially if you are with multiple people, is to hire a tuk tuk for a day. They will be at your disposal all day in order to take you exactly where you want to go, including to the temples that are around 40km away.

You can easily find drivers in the streets or through your hotel.

Given the language barrier, I would highly suggest to organize it through your hotel and make it very clear from the beginning where you want to go and a set price.

I met a few travelers that hired drivers that did not speak English and in the end they found themselves in an uncomfortable situation and getting charged way more than they though they were going to pay. In addition, the driver joined in for lunch and he ordered a big meal and left and expected the girls to pay.

Language barrier problems and conflicts about prices are very common, so make sure to go prepared so you don’t get ripped off.

Tuk tuks can be hired as low as $15/day to visit the nearby temples, but if you want to venture off to temples that are up to 45 minutes away, such as Banteay Srei or Beng Mealea, you can expect to pay up to $45 for a full day.

In additon, its very important to also establish the meeting point with your driver, given that the temples have many different exits, which can be long distances apart. Make sure to take your drivers phone number and if you get into any problems you can contact him easily.

3. Do your Own Research or Hire a Quality Guide

Walking around temples and exploring on your own can be a good experience, but I highly suggest if you get the chance, even if it’s just for a day, to hire a guide that can give you a good explanation of the places that you are visiting.

There are so many temples and if you don’t know where you are going, it can get a bit complicated.  I had a guide during my time and it was a positive experience. He was able to show me the best places to take pictures, history about the temples and give his own perspective as a local that was born and raised near the Angkor Complex.

Trip advisor has many reviews of the best guides that speak multiple languages, so do your homework before making any decision.

4. Don’t Attempt to See it All in One Day

In many online reviews and articles you will read about something called “temple fatigue.” When I first heard about that I thought it was a joke, but after my first day there I had a big dose of it.

I started in the hottest part of the day, at the most popular temples and had to fight large crowds of people, tour groups and lines up to 2 hours just to climb to the top of the main temple and experience the view.

After my first day I was not feeling so motivated about visiting again, but with a nice traditional spa treatment in the night, a good nights rest and a new agenda, I went back for the second and third day and enjoyed it to the fullest.

Getting up early really does make a difference, as well as packing adequate water and taking an umbrella, hat or sunblock to protect you from the sun.

5. Visit at Sunset Time

Maybe you decided that getting up at 4am is not your cup of tea. If that is the case, you can visit at sunset time instead and experience some beautiful views as well. There are many places to view the sunset, but again, it all depends on if you want to be surrounded by tourists or not.

One of my most precious views of all my time in Cambodia was at sunset time. There was not a single person around and the view was spectacular!

 

Don’t forget to also check out: 

10 UNIQUE TRAVEL EXPERIENCES IN SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA

TOP EXPERIENCES YOU MUST HAVE IN SPAIN

ETHICAL ELEPHANT PARK VISIT IN CHIANG MAI, THAILAND

 

 

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