Bucket List · Sightseeing

Siem Reap: Angkor Wat & The Ancient Temples

Traditionally when people think of Cambodia they think temples. More specifically they think of Angkor Wat – the largest religious monument in the world. This sacred site alone is probably the main reason that Siem Reap is the city that trumps on the number of tourists that visit Cambodia each year.

Siem Reap was the last leg of my Cambodian adventure. We took a two-hour (ish) bus from Battambang and once we arrived, we headed to Siem Reap Pub Hostel. The hostel is:

  • Clean
  • Has large beds, with your own socket and light
  • Is reasonably priced at around $6/7 a night depending on room and season
  • Has a restaurant and bar area – beers at $1
  • Has free Wi-Fi
  • Has a pool
  • Great location – walking distance to pub street madness and some great cheap eats

If you’re looking for crazy, there are plenty of party hostels in the area. Whilst I think this hostel could achieve that in peak season, it was fairly quiet in the common areas.

Angkor Wat & the Ancient Temples

On our second day we booked to do Angkor Wat and the Ancient Temples. You can take a one day or three-day pass. We opted for the former. The cost of a ticket is $20. Three days comes in at $40.

Things you need to know:

  • The ticket is not inclusive of a driver. You will need to find this yourself. I’d recommend going to a busy street with lots of tuk tuk drivers. You’ll be able to barter down a price for around $12
  • Your driver will take you to get your ticket
  • You must dress appropriately. No shoulders on show, dress / skirt below the knee
  • Wear comfortable shoes – there is quite a bit of trekking and climbing involved
  • Bring a raincoat in off season. We got caught out in extreme downpours by the Tomb Raider Temple
  • You can hire a tour guide for historical background but it comes at quite the price – almost as much as a one-day ticket
  • Bring plenty of water

angkor waaaatangkorfaces angkortomb raider

As you can imagine, Angkor Wat is more breathtaking in real-life than in pictures. But hopefully these select few will give you a piece of how grand the site is.

Angkor Wat itself was born out of the Hindu faith and required around 300,000 workers and allegedly 6,000 elephants. The structure was never completed despite the intense manual labour that went into its creation.

During our one day visit we saw a total of four temple sites – including Angkor Wat, Bayon and the Tomb Raider temple. Each one so very different from the other. The Tomb Raider temple was incredible for the fact the trees became intrinsic architectural elements.

Angkor Wat was a bucket list activity for me and I am so grateful  I had the opportunity to see it in all its glory through the naked eye.

ang

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