Have you ever dreamt of watching the sunrise over the famed Angkor Wat Temple? Or learning the history of the Angkor Wat Complex first hand?
If you say yes- this post is for you!
I had dreamt just that, and believe me when I say that when dreams like this come true, it’s one of the most phenomenal and overwhelming things that can happen.
Angkor Wat. Home to one of the most ancient civilisations in the world, some of the greatest history of both modern and ancient times, and one of the most beautiful tourist attractions of the 21st century.
If you haven’t been yet, you absolutely have to add it to your list. This Angkor Wat Temple Travel Guide details the three main temples you can visit and everything you need to know about visiting them!
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A Little History of Angkor Wat
You may have heard of Angkor Wat, but even if you haven’t, it’s a place well worth learning about!
The temple is an enormous Buddhist temple constructed in the 12th century. Originally, it was built to serve as a Hindu temple but converted into a Buddhist temple in the latter half of the century.
Standing at over 400 acres, the Angkor Wat Complex is the largest religious monument in the world! So big, in fact, it’s viewable from space!
The temple used to be the centre of the Khmer Empire (or Angkor Empire) which ruled most of Southeast Asia from the 9th century to the 15th century.
This civilisation went extinct, but not before building amazing temples and buildings that were reclaimed by the jungle for hundreds of years. it was rediscovered in the 1840s by the French explorer Henri Mouhot, who wrote that the site was “grander than anything left to us by Greece or Rome-” a pretty big claim!
Read a full scope of the history here, or better yet, visit the temple complex yourself!
The most popular temples are Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Phrom. Although I only did a one day pass to these three temples, I would recommend getting a multi-day pass so you can visit some of the outer temples where there are fewer visitors.
Where is Angkor Wat Located?
Angkor Wat is one of the world’s most popular travel destinations, located just outside Siem Reap in Cambodia. You can get to Angkor Wat by hiring a Tuk-Tuk from the main City of Siem Reap around 15-20 minutes away. Many Tuk-Tuk drivers offer tours of the area and can stick around for the day, however just be wary they aren’t scamming you or overcharging!
Alternatively, book a tour to Angkor Wat. That way transport is already sorted, and you have a guide that’s able to walk you through the complex and teach you the important history of the place! I recommend this sunrise Angkor Wat tour or one of these small group tours throughout the complex!
When is the best time of year to visit the Angkor Wat Complex?
I visited Angkor Wat when it was hot (November), and very rainy. I wouldn’t recommend it unless you LOVE sweating in the muggy and humid heat and being covered in flies.
According to what I heard, the best time to visit is the dry season, which falls between December and March as the temperature is mild and there isn’t a lot of rain. However, keep in mind that this is when it is busiest so tourists will be swarming and hotel prices may be up!
Is Angkor Wat Suitable for Solo Travellers?
There were many people travelling solo throughout my time in Cambodia, however, like anywhere you travel, I would definitely recommend practising caution (especially as a solo female)! There were some times when I felt a little uncomfortable by the stares or in rural areas very far away from western medicine and safety (even though I was travelling in a group).
Of course, this happens anywhere in the world, but being a different culture and being entirely different from the Westernised we’re used to, I definitely recommend doing your research and practising safety and caution as much as possible!
Opening Times for Angkor Wat
Angkor wat opens its gates for sunrise every day at 5 am and closes at dusk- 6 pm. I highly recommend getting to Angkor Wat to watch the sunrise, as this is the best and most stunning thing to do there! You also beat a lot of the day visitors, so it can be nice to wander the temples for a little while before it gets really really busy (it will still be super busy though).
As there is so much to see, you will need most of the day to explore, so be prepared for a long day of adventure if you do so!
How Much Does It Cost To See The Temples at Angkor Wat?
Firstly, it is important that you have a ticket pass BEFORE you get to the gates. There is only one place to buy the pass, and it has to be done in person. This is done at the Angkor Ticket Centre (The Angkor Enterprise), located on the corner of Road 60 and the Apsara Road (near the complex).
When you book a tour, most of the time you will stop in here on the way to the park in the morning as it is a quick and easy stop.
There are three types of passes you can buy.
Angkor Wat Temple Travel Guide- The Temples
Angkor Wat Temple
Ta Prohm Temple in the Angkor Wat Complex
The Bayon Temple in the Angkor Wat Complex
Book Your Trip to Siem Reap (Angkor Wat)
Book Cheap Flights
Still in the planning stage of your trip? Currently, the best and easiest way to find cheap flights is to use eDreams, Bravofly and Skyscanner. Between them all, you’ll be guaranteed to always find the cheapest flight, anywhere in the world.
Book Your Accommodation
Whether you’re looking for hostels, hotels, guest houses, or resorts Booking.comwill always give you the best deals. Sometimes, if I want to stay in a place a little longer, I’ll use Airbnb. You can sign up with Airbnb and get $51 AUD off your first trip!
Book Tours and Transport
Although a combination of independent travel and touring is my ideal form of travel, if the best, cheapest, and safest way to explore is to book a tour or package, I’ll do it! For this, I always use Viator andGet Your Guide.
Finding a Car
Having a car or camper is an awesome way to travel. You can compare rental car deals on EuropCar.
Don’t Forget Adventure Travel Insurance
If you’re reading this blog then you’re more likely to be seeking epic adventures for an affordable price over relaxing and luxurious vacations. By far, my favourite, most comprehensive adventure travel insurance is World Nomads.