Cambodia - a guide to the temple complex of Angkor Wat
Updated: Dec 12, 2019
A guide to the temple complex of Angkor Wat, with lots of tips on where to stay, how to get around, what to wear, costs and much more.
The UNESCO world heritage site once was the center of the Khmer empire that ruled most of South-East Asia. It contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals from the 9th to the 15th century. These amazing temples and buildings were reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years.
Although this tourist attraction is always crowded, we can highly recommend a visit! The temples are the most breath-taking and beautiful ones we have seen so far - and believe us, we have seen a lot ;)
Unless you are Cambodian or related to a Cambodian, the prices are as follows
1-day pass: 37 $
3-day pass: 62 $
7-day pass: 72 $
The Angkor Pass can only be purchased at the official ticket center, which is located 4 km away from Siem Reap town and open from 4.30 am to 5.30 pm every day. Tickets purchased from hotels, tour companies and other third parties are not valid.
You can pay your ticket by cash (US Dollars, Cambodian Riel, Thai Bath, Euro) or by credit card. There is also an ATM available, usually they charge 4$ for each transaction.
Our recommendation is to buy the 1-day pass and do a big circle tour with a hired Tuk Tuk driver. We spent 8,5 hours of temple sightseeing, which was amazing - but after that you don't need to see any more temples :)
How to get Around Angkor Wat
There are two ways to get to the temple complex and to see it:
Rent a tuk tuk – The easiest option to get around and the one we would recommend. You can't miss the drivers in Siem Reap as they will be yelling "Tuk Tuk?" at you everywhere ;) Usually they charge about 25 $ for the big circle tour, we had a really nice driver, that gave us a lot of insights to the temples and did the tour for only 20 $! If you like to go with him, send us message and we will forward his number to you.
Bicycle Rental – a great way to explore the complex, if you are sporty enough to walk about 20 km through the temples and drive all the way around. They are really cheap, you pay about 2 $ per day.
As a tourist you are not allowed to rent a motorbike in Siem Reap, there are police controls at different parts of the city and the fees are really high, so you don't want to risk that.
What to wear to the temple complex
This shouldn't be something new, if you have visited temples before. Make sure to dress accordingly. Although we have seen some women with short pants and they were allowed to go into some temples, this has to do with the respect of the religion and the culture of these people - at least in our opinion.
Long pants/skirt, needs to go over the knees
Shoulders need to be covered
Long pants, pants that go to/over the knees
Shoulders need to be covered, no muscle shirts
When to go to Angkor Wat
The temple complex is open year-round, so you will always have the chance to visit it.
Dry season is from late November to early April. December and January are best for weather, but the busiest months as well. April is really hot and the monsoon season starts in May/June until November.
We have been there at the end of July and had just a little bit of rain in between, but the temples where less crowded, which we definitely prefer.
The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Phrom and Angkor Thom.
When doing the big circle tour you will get to see the above mentioned temples as well as Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Pre Rup, Bateay Kdei, Sarah Srang and the Kravan Temples.
In the gallery you can find some impressions from the gorgeous temples we have visited.
See the sunset without buying a ticket!
The temple complex has two temples - Phnom Bakheng and Pre Rup - which are open until 7pm. Without having a ticket you are allowed to enter these temples after 5.30 pm to watch the sunset.
You can hire a Tuk Tuk driver to get you there. There is a check point, which you can not pass before 5.25 pm without having a ticket. Make sure your driver waits there with you and goes straight to the temple at this time.
We visited the Phnom Bakheng for Sunset and you first have to do a easy hike about 20 minutes to the top of the hill. Probably you have to wait in line, as the temple has a limited number of visitors at a time (300 max.) But we just made it in time and the Sunset was gorgeous!
Winter: 5:30 pm
Spring/Fall: 6:00 pm
Summer: 6:30 pm
Where to stay in Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the closest city to the temple complex and the location where all the busses arrive. So that's where you want to stay.
We can highly recommend our cute little accommodation - La Villa du Bonheur - as it had a pool (which you will really enjoy after the whole day of temple sightseeing) and it was quite cheap for what we got.
If you want so save more money, make sure to use our Booking Link and get 15 € off of your booking!