With the heat blazing at temperatures around 35 degrees celsius (95 degrees fahrenheit) with close to 50 percent humidity we opted for a schedule unlike most while touring the Angkor temples. We started each day leaving our hotel at 5:30 a.m. and returned between 11:30 and 12:30. We did this to avoid the heat and also to avoid the masses of people touring the temples. We toured temples every other day in order to not overdue it and rest a bit. This was a good move for us and we enjoyed our time more. Sunrise at Angkor Wat is one of the most popular things to do while touring the temples, but we decided to pass on this because we really didn’t feel like dealing with the hundreds of people who line the lagoon just outside of the temple. Although we’re sure it’s pretty (if you can actually see it due to the haze), we just decided against the experience. We really enjoyed our time here and these are our top ten tips for exploring Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor.
- Pass options for the Angkor complex: One is a seven-day pass for $60/person that you can use over a thirty-day period and the other (this is the one that we purchased) is a three-day pass with a cost of $40/person, which you have seven days to use. There is also a one day pass for $20/person
- A tuk-tuk through your hotel to the main temples should cost $15-$18 USD/day depending on where you go.
- When you purchase your ticket at the entrance, you should purchase it at 5:00p.m. when the ticket booth opens because you’re able to go into the park at this time (without using one of your days) to watch the sunset at Phnom Bakheng. This temple sits on a hill overlooking Angkor Wat.
- Start early (5:30am) and finish early (before 12:00 pm) if you have the time.
- Tell your driver where you want to go and in what order, don’t let them tell you, but take their suggestions into consideration.
- Take lots of water, although your driver may provide it.
- The average tourist in Siem Reap is only there for three days. Give yourself more (a week if you can). You’ll want to give yourself time to rest from the heat and people.
- If you want to do sunrise at Angkor, get there really early and get ready for a crowd.
- Feel comfortable staying anywhere because a tuk-tuk into town should only run you $2-$3 per trip with some hotels offering free tuk-tuks to the town center.
- Get out and experience things other than the temples. Here are some of the other activities that we did. We also did a cooking class and a trip to Tonle Sap Lake.
Do you have any tips for around Siem Reap or the temples?