Visiting The Angkor Temples In Cambodia
This huge area contains the largest religious monument in the world, Angkor Wat. This city of temples is one of most significant archaeological locations in Southeast Asia and is a must for those visiting Cambodia. The Angkor Temples require several days to explore but provide one of the most unforgettable experience you will have in this part of the world. These incredible remains of the Khmer Empire contain beautiful architecture and symbolism that you just can't miss!
- 1 We wanted to get the best view of Angkor Wat so we woke up at 4am to catch the sunrise here! It was totally worth it! Don't be fooled by the photo, though, it gets extremely busy. We suggest you get there as early as possible to secure a spot for getting the best shot.
- 2 Cambodia Angkor Temples
- 3 How To Visit Angkor Temples In Cambodia
- 4 Where To Stay Near Angkor Temples
- 5 Siem Reap Nightlife
We wanted to get the best view of Angkor Wat so we woke up at 4am to catch the sunrise here! It was totally worth it! Don't be fooled by the photo, though, it gets extremely busy. We suggest you get there as early as possible to secure a spot for getting the best shot.
Good luck trying to get a photo with no one else in it!
It costs $20 to enter the area each day or you can purchase a three-day pass for $40. Each day a tuk tuk can cost $15-$18. The experience is priceless!
Also, please make sure to tip your tuk tuk driver. It's also nice to get them a bottle of water or snack as they are spending an entire day driving you around.
Cambodia Angkor Temples
The final three days and two nights of our first trip from Thailand were spent in Siem Reap, Cambodia (we had visited Vietnam at the start of our trip). This country shares a lot of similarities with its neighbor, Thailand. The kindness of it's people were a familiar experience for us as well as the food. The weather was hot and sunny every day with temperatures reaching 90 degrees Fahrenheit.
But that didn't stop us from exploring through this mystical space with awe and wonder!
How To Visit Angkor Temples In Cambodia
Cambodia is definitely a place I would recommend and would love to have the opportunity to visit again. Next time we go, I would prefer a longer stay, maybe two weeks to really get to do and see everything Cambodia has to offer. Aside from the pleasant people and delicious food, we thoroughly enjoyed visiting the numerous temples.
On our first day, we visited the temples on the outer perimeter of the compound. We hired a tuk tuk for the day that took us to each temple. It took about 8 hours to see it all.
There is A LOT of walking involved.
Some of the temples have several steps to climb to get to the top. The steps are narrow and maybe a little difficult for some. The views from atop the temples are breathtaking!
For lunch, we stopped at one of many food stalls along the way. There are also lots of souvenir stalls in these areas. Every stall tries to get your business so it's a bit difficult to choose as everyone rushes towards you to get your attention. At times we were approached by little kids trying to get us to go into the shop to make a purchase. They speak English and even try to have a bit a conversation with you, which made us think there must be some kind of training they all go through.
It was hard to have to keep saying no to the vendors but we did get water and snacks along the way and even purchased a painting of Angkor Wat.
On the second day, we spent another 8 hours going to the inner temples which included Angkor Wat and the famous site of Tomb Raider filming, Ta Prohm. It was truly an amazing experience, likened to what I imagine it would be visiting the Great Pyramids.
Almost all of the walls of these temples are covered in beautiful, intricate carvings. It is difficult to believe that these temples were built over a thousand years ago. They are so magnificent and have so many delicate details that took skill and talent to produce. Angkor Wat is the largest religious monument in the world and is also recognized as a World Heritage Site.
Where To Stay Near Angkor Temples
We stayed at Hostelling International ($14USD/night). This was one of the best experiences on our trip. The friendly staff were very honest and helpful. They spoke great English and helped with all of our transportation and tour bookings, making it convenient and seamless for us. The room was clean and spacious. The water was horrible. It had a very bad smell and taste. Of course, we never drank it but it made brushing your teeth difficult and you had a funny smell after showering.
Our hostel was located across the street from one of the night markets (there are 7 or 8 markets!). The vendors here try to get your attention and call you into there shop, but they are very kind and are willing to negotiate a good price with you. Be careful not to get carried away as they always try to get you to buy more items! I purchased some very beautiful and unique dresses at this market, while Rob got massages ($5USD/hour!).
Siem Reap Nightlife
In the evenings the tourists pour into Pub Street for dinner and nightlife. The area is full of shopping with stores and its many night markets. Also lining the streets are pubs and restaurants with a variety of foods available. Most menus are placed at the entrance and there is a good range in prices so you can bet they will have what you want. Almost all of the restaurants advertise $0.50 beer on draft and happy hour all night. There is also plenty of street food and smoothies available if you're just looking for something light.
Cambodia was hard to leave. I really wish I could go back to the temples one more time. They are so overwhelming that you need a day or two to let it all sink in and go back to see if you missed anything.
To have been able to go on this adventure was a humbling blessing.
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"Travel: something you spend money on but become richer in the end."
About the Author
Hi! I'm just a California girl addicted to travel and adventure with a passion for art and dance on the side. Born in Iran, but I consider myself a citizen of Earth, adhering to the belief that "The world is but one country and mankind its citizen." I strive to make a positive impact on everyone I meet and learn as much as possible from them. My degree out of college is in Marketing. However, I entered the hospitality business at an early age and worked my way up to hotel management. After about 13 years in that industry (5 of which I was a hotel assistant manager), I made the decision to move to Thailand and leave the 9 to 5 grind behind. My husband and I set off for a life of living abroad and hopes to continue traveling the world, just 3 months after our wedding. It all started with the two of us, along with our cat, together in Thailand. Can't wait to see where life takes us next!