Siem Reap and a tour of Angkor was the higlight of my time in Cambodia. Whilst on my mini tour of Laos and Cambodia, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville just hadn’t set my world alight in the same way that Luang Prabang and Vang Vieng had the week previous. So, by the time my partner and I had reached Siem Reap it must be said, I felt I was owed something a bit special from Cambodia, and in no way did not fail to deliver.
Now most people would argue against spending just a single day within the Angkor complex, when a 3 day pass is on offer why only use a 1 day pass? Well, when you’re restricted by budget and more importantly, time, a one day tour is better than no tour at all right? If it’s of seeing only a small part of a UNESCO world heritage site (1992), or seeing none of it, I choose the first option.
The journey from central Siem Reap to the Angkor complex takes about 25 minutes by tuk tuk and about 2 hours by walk (depending on how heavy your hiking camera backpack is). En Route you will stop at the admissions desk (more info at the bottom of this post) to pay for your pass (if you haven’t already got one) before continuing on to the temples of your choice. Once we had our day passes in hand, the tour itself was a bit of a whirlwind. Cruising around the 400 km2 complex, we were unable to escape the staggering heat of the April sunshine beating down on us and making it hard to concentrate. We ran for shade on occasions rather than strolling. We were also glad of the tuk tuk journeys in between the different temples. In reality we probably missed a lot of the good stuff, but what we didn’t miss was simply incredible!
Now I won’t repeat what I’ve already said (typed) about Angkor. I’ve written a whole heap of info on Angkor over on the Asia Room community, so if you’re after more info why not head here -> http://www.asiarooms.com/en/community/guest-articles/temples-of-angkor-wat-cambodia/ . The post on the Asia Rooms community (one of my sponsors whilst in Cambodia) will give you a whole overview of our day tour, a breakdown of all the temples, costs, timings etc. Right here, right now, all I want to concentrate on is how beautiful the Angkor complex was to explore and photograph. That’s why I’m simply giving you my top 10 photos from my Angkor Wat tour. Simple but beautiful.
Admission and cost
Ok so I couldn’t leave without tell you how much it costs to witness those 10 shots for yourself. Quite simply this is what you can expect to pay
- Day pass – $20 USD per person
- 3 Day pass – $40 USD per person
- Tuk Tuk – $10 – 15 USD per day depending upon your haggling skills.
You can also tackle Angkor by car, van or bike. We were tempted by the biking option as it looked great fun, but an injury and the significant heat eventually saw us choose the tuk tuk option.
Purchasing your pass is easy enough. As mentioned above, en route to the temple complex is an Admissions Kiosk. It is at this kiosk where where the process of issuing passes is efficiently dealt with. It takes literally minutes to pay your money, have a quick photo taken and be issued with your pass including said photo. Keep the pass safe as you will be asked for it every once in a while by the site staff, but they never more than take a quick glance of it. An impressive set up I thought.
Something to remember
No I do not mean taking small segments of the temples as a keepsake, I mean there are certain things YOU should remember if you plan to take a tour of the Angkor complex. Aside from the obvious food, water and money, its up to you to remember that Angkor and its temples are sites of huge religious significance and tradition. Yes it’s a tourist attraction, each year over 2 million people visit, but that doesn’t mean that shouldn’t show respect and give the site the treatment it deserves. Don’t be the worst of those 2 million visitors, aim to be the best.. At the very least make sure that the your shoulders, chest and knees are covered.