For most tourists to Cambodia, a trip to Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, is high on the list of must-see sights. The Angkor Archaeological Park covers 400 square kilometres and contains the remains of several Khmer Empire capitals from the ninth to 15th centuries. This remarkable site includes Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, as well as the renowned Angkor Wat. Here are seven tips to help plan your visit.
#1 Get a pass
Passes for one, three and seven days are US$37, $62 and $72 respectively. Children under 12 go free (they may need to show a passport). The ticket office lies on the 6km road between Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Your guide or tuk-tuk driver will take you through on the way to the temples.
#2 Make the most of your entry fee
Buy your one-day pass after 5pm and see a temple sunset on the day of purchase. You’ll then also have access to the park the following day.
#3 Head to the museum
It’s useful to get some background on the history of the area before you explore. Visit the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap to learn a bit about the temples before heading out to them.
#4 Take a tuk-tuk
Tuk-tuks can be hired for around US$15 a day, and guides for about US$20 a day. The latter are available for most major languages. Either ask your hotel concierge to book you one or try khmerangkortourguide.com, whose guides are trained by the Ministry of Tourism and UNESCO.
#5 Be an early bird!
Arrive early to beat the crowds (and the sun). The Park opens at 5am. Take a break at your hotel in the middle of the day and then head out again late afternoon to watch the sunset.
#6 Dress well
The temples are still holy spaces for Cambodians, so be respectful and follow the dress code of long trousers or skirt, and covered shoulders.
#7 Go further afield
Banteay Srei temple is well worth the extra distance (it lies 35 kilometres northeast of Siem Reap). Made of red sandstone, this pretty temple is known for its beautiful and intricate carvings.
Head to our Travel section for more tips and advice!
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This article first appeared in an Expat Living Travel Guide. You can purchase an issue of Expat Living or subscribe so you never miss our stories!