Anyone who loves adventure will have a field day exploring these ancient temple ruins Angkor Wat has over 1,000 temples and there is so much to know before visiting, like when is the best time to go to avoid crowds, prices, must-see temples, and the attire to enter the temples.
In this post, you’ll find the ultimate guide to Angkor Wat, including my tips for making the most out of your visit.
If you’re interested in visiting Cambodia I’m sure you already know what Angkor Wat is, but for those who are unaware, Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and one of the largest religious monuments in the world. It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple and is one of the most important archaeological sites in South-East Asia. It contains the remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Plus, it is considered the 7th wonder of the world.
MUST-SEE ANGKOR WAT TEMPLES
As I previously mentioned, Angkor Wat consists of over 1,000 temples so it’s not possible to visit them all, unless you’re a professional temple seeker and that’s your goal. For the majority of us who visit for two-three days, all we want to see are the most unique and most popular temples.
Before I continue I must address attire. Temples are sacred sites where many go to pray to a higher source, with that said anyone who decides to visit MUST respect the culture and dress appropriately. Shoulders must be covered at all times, so if you’re wearing a tank top because it’s hot outside I don’t blame you but make sure to pack a scarf that you can throw over your shoulders when you enter a temple. Long pants, long shorts or long skirts that go below the knee are mandatory.
Now onto the must-see temples at Angkor Wat:
Angkor Wat is the centerpiece of any visit to the temples of Angkor. The three-tiered pyramid is crowned by five lotus-like towers rising from the ground. The best time to grab a gorgeous picture of the temple of Angkor Wat is sunrise or sunset. I saw plenty of gorgeous pictures of Angor Wat before visiting, but nothing prepared me for the actual experience of seeing this temple in person, it was Magnificent.
The Bayon temple is my favorite temple because of all the smiling faces, 216 to be exact were originally carved onto the giant towers. The temple has 37 towers and almost every one of them has four carved faces. Today, about 200 smiling faces remain as a few have toppled over.
Preah Khan originally served as a Buddhist monastery. The overgrowth of the trees and the amazing photo opportunities makes this place one of the highlights.
A small temple far away from the main temples makes Ta Som relatively quiet. It is unique for the massive and impressive tree, stamping its dominance on the temple.
You might recognize the Ta Prohm temple from Tomb Raider. It is bound by the massive roots of huge trees and is one of the most popular temples.
ANGKOR WAT TICKET PRICES:
Like many big attractions around the world, Angkor Wat has a fee to enter.
One day: $37 USD
Three days: $62 USD (valid for 3 visits in a 7 day period)
One week: $72 USD (valid for 7 visits in a 1 month period)
STEPS: Angkor Wat is ancient and therefore some of the structures are in build with very narrow steep steps, also some of the structures are not in the best condition, so watch your steps.
WATER: Angkor Wat get super hot, especially mid-day so lots of sunscreen and plenty of water is good to travel with.
CHILDREN SELLING: Children will be selling different items or food around Angkor Wat. Their beautiful faces will wheel you in, but avoid buying from them because it’s basically organized begging, and it devalues education. The children will not go to school because they feel like they can make money selling.
MONEY: Cambodia has its own currency, but U.S. dollars are used everywhere, you can even withdraw U.S. dollars from the ATMs.
The majestic temples of Angkor Wat are the top of most peoples to do lists when visiting Cambodia. With so much to see and explore, take your time to visit and have fun!
Have you been to Angkor Wat? Do you have any tips?
If you enjoyed this post, you might also like: