The Ultimate Guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Well hello to you my reader chums! Angkor Wat and its surrounding temples are one of the biggest tourist attractions in Cambodia, and for many reasons, as they're beautiful - and a once in a lifetime thing to see. Till this day, I'm still in awe of the Angkor Wat and how massive the entire Angkor Archaeological park actually was. Every temple had so much history to it and I feel privileged to have seen the ancient monuments.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

When my boyfriend and I made out trip to the park, I was taken aback of how much I didn't know about it, how to get there, how massive it was and how pricey. If you're heading to Cambodia and going to visit these temples, here are some things you should know.

The Angkor Archaeological Park is huge

The main Angkor Wat is the prime temple everyone will go to visit as it's the first on the temple route, the largest and most renowned. However, if you want to see beyond the Angkor Wat and the plenty of other temples, be wary of how big it actually is. The temples are actually located miles apart - which I didn't realise on my trip. I assumed, they were all in walking distance and literally next to each other.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The best way to see everything is to do it across a few days, I'd recommend two as after that you'll be templed' out. As it's so big, you'll need to hire a tuk-tuk driver who will be able to take you to the ticket office (it's located out of the temples), and along the different routes. Usually, most tuk-tuk drivers will have a little insight into the temples as well and tell you where you're going and why each temple is important. You'll be amazed at how different each temple is, and how much beauty they hold. Angkor Wat is the biggest and most impressive but the others have a unique look and interest to them. My favourites were the Bayon, Ta Prohm, Ta Som, and Pre Rup. I think whilst you're there, you should make the most of seeing them all.

Visit in the morning time

Cambodia can get incredibly hot, especially around lunchtime and in the afternoon, that it's best to see the temples when they first open in the morning. The majority of temples open between 6-7am, and the Angkor Wat is open from 4.30/5am as a lot of people go and watch the sunrise there. Going in the morning really is heavenly as you'll miss out on the unbearable heat, and sometimes on the crowds too, depending on what route you do.

Watch the Angkor Wat at sunrise


The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat was one of the most beautiful moments in Cambodia and makes the 4am rise completely worthwhile. I would highly recommend it to any visitor going. However, do be aware that every tourist will have the same idea as you and the temple will be packed really early in the morning. It's probably the one time I've seen so many people up and awake at 5am. That's the only downside to it, but once you see the sunrise, you'll forget about the bustling crowds.

It's an expensive excursion


The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

I was pretty shocked about how much the whole experience cost us in total. For a three day pass, we paid $62 each. They offer packages for one day ($37), the three days and the seven days ($72) which must be used on consecutive days. Two days was the perfect amount of time to see the temples so I don't understand why there isn't a two-day option, as it would be incredibly popular. It's not just the tickets that are costly, you have to pay to get around the temples as they're so widespread. Both days we went it cost $15 each to hire a tuk-tuk. With that in mind, if you do want to experience it, set that money aside out of your budget or just go for the one day option. You can try and ram it all in one day but it will be tiring in the heat.

Cover up

Like with any temple, out of respect, you need to cover up. Not every single temple will tell you to cover your shoulders or knees but it's important to be aware and carry a cardigan with you. I wore a jumpsuit there which covered my knees and brought a cardigan so I could put it on when entering temples - and take it off when it wasn't necessary.

Drink lots of water

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

Visiting the temples can be a really long day out, as the heat, walking, and climbing can tire you out a lot. It's important in that situation to keep hydrated and fed as you trek around the different temples. Some temples will have shops nearby with food and drink you can buy. And if you're lucky like we were, your tuk-tuk driver may carry a tub of water bottles for you to drink at every stop.

Keep hold of that ticket

When you get issued a ticket for the temples, it will have your face on which you need to have with you at all times when entering new temples. Don't lose it otherwise you'll be paying a large sum to get a new one.

Hire a tuk-tuk driver instead of a tour operator

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know
Unless you want to extend your spending, even more, going with a tuk-tuk driver is a far less cheap option than hiring a tour operator, and it's more authentic. Usually, tuk-tuk drivers will have a good knowledge of the temples anyway and it can just be you and whoever you're travelling with rather than a huge group of people. This means you can work on your time and with your agenda. It's also worth noting that a lot of tuk-tuk drivers will be keen to drive you around for multiple days so there will be no need to find someone new.

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know

The Ultimate guide to Angkor Archaeological Park - all you need to know


I hope you enjoyed this post. Have you visited Cambodia before?

Thank you for reading <3

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