Siem Reap gateway to Angkor Wat, the largest religious archaeological site in the world or at least in South East Asia.
I had wanted to visit this place for years. It was finally happening.
Siem Reap, a central Cambodian town. Quite chilled and laid back but incredibly hot and dusty.
We had been there for few days and because of our laziness or because of the exhausting heath, we delayed arranging our visit to Angkor Wat. We also had no tight schedule – or more likely no schedule at all – so we just took it easy.
We had looked around researching how people normally visit the site.
Hostels/hotels can help you arrange the trip with a tuk tuk driver to take you around from temple to temple.
Prices start from approx $15 onwards depending on the length of the circuit you want to do and how many hours you want to spend at the temples. Tuk tuk can fit max 4 people so it is a good idea to find someone willing to share the transport to reduce costs.
The site is about 7 Km from the town center and it covers a square area of several kilometers.
We also considered riding bicycles to, from and around Angkor Wat. Some people do that. We thought it would have been fun and a little bit of exercise would have not hurt. However, we did not take in real consideration the vast distances and the scorching heath.
You can choose to visit Angkor Wat in one day, 2/3 days or several days over a week. One day passes cost $20 per person, 3 days $40 and one week $60. Since passes are non transferable, a photo is required for all passes. The ticket officers will take the photo at the ticket office.
The 3 days pass does not have to be used in consecutive days but it needs to be used within a week.
There is a lot to see. If you are a temple lover it is definitely worth visiting over few days.
The site opens at 5:30am for sunrise and it closes after sunset. It is possible to see sunset from Angkor Wat for free if you get there after 5:00pm they will let you in to watch the sun setting on the beautiful temple.
Now we had to decide how we wanted to do our visit. Dom had already been to Angkor Wat few times but for me was the first time.
One of our lazy days we were sitting at one of the shady tables of a bar trying to cool down with one of the cheap Angkor pints when we were approached by two young ladies, Lea and Anna two sisters from Vienna.
They were looking for a couple of people to share a tuk tuk to the Temples for the following two days.
We had a chat with the girls, they were going to do a two days visit to the temples.
I found out that the best temples can be seen in one visit so Dom and I were only going to do one day and I definitely wanted to see the sunrise.
Lucky enough, Lea and Anna were planning exactly the same tour I wanted to do on their second day to Angkor Wat.
We had known them for 10 minutes, they seemed very cool and fun girls to be with so we accepted their offer to join them in two days.
This is one of the beauties of traveling. The ability to make friends in the space of no time. It seems also that you meet the right people at the right moment.
Our visit to Angkor Wat was happening.
One has to remember Angkor Wat is a religious site. Even though it is very hot, it is good custom and respect to wear proper clothing. Keep your shoulders covered, a short sleeve t-shirt is good. Do not wear shorts above your knees for both men and women. No short skirts for women.
Be respectful and bring plenty water.
Click here to find out more about Angkor Wat.