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 the 15th centuries, which include Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm, as well as Angkor Wat. Here are seven tips to help plan your visit.
#1 Passes are required to enter the Park. The prices have recently increased: a one-day pass is US$37, three-day pass $62, and seven-day pass ($72). 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 the office on the way to the temples.
#2 Buy your one-day pass after 5pm and see a temple sunset on the day– of purchase as well as having access to the park the following day.
#3 Visit the Angkor National Museum in Siem Reap to learn a bit about the temples before heading out to them.
#4 Tuk-tuks can be hired for around US$15 a day, and guides for about US$20 a day, 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 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 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 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.
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