07 Nov The Temples of Angkor
This is Angkor – home to hundreds (or thousands?) of temples including the famous Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm, and Bayon. Angkor and Angkor Wat are two different places, specifically that Angkor Wat is in Angkor, and Angkor Thom is part of Angkor. Get it? Proceed.
Angkor was home to the Khmer Empire during its time around the 9th until the 15th century. It was a “megacity,” situated by Tonle Sap and the now-called Siem Reap City in the Siem Reap Province. Today, it is home to thousands of temples, with the entire expanse collectively protected as a UNESCO World Heritage Site. Over two million tourists set foot here, especially at the Angkor Wat, every year.
With the many temples in Angkor, it is impossible to see each and every one of them with pure enjoyment and delight – you will get templed out and tell yourself, “They’re all the same …” Take it from me. And so being the wise man that I am, and following the suggestions of the locals, I’ve decided to see five – Pre Rup, Banteay Srei, Ta Prohm, Bayon, and Angkor Wat.
I have pre-arranged (with the same driver who brought me to my hotel from the airport) a tour around Angkor for one full day, which included sunrise at Angkor (paid extra for the AM tour), Banteay Srei (a bit far out, paid extra), Ta Prohm, and Bayon. Pre Rup had been arranged to be seen on the day I buy my Angkor ticket for sunset (which was done after Kampong Phluk). You may also do the same with tuktuk drivers. Don’t forget to haggle and agree on a price before anything else; don’t rob them out, but don’t get robbed either.
Useful tip: Buy your ticket a day before, at around 4:30 PM, so you can get to go inside Angkor for free on the same day before it closes (Entry counts the next day, get it?). I did this to save time and have one temple out of the way (Pre Rup, sunset). In this way, you also save yourself from the early morning queue for the sunrise.
Also, BRING WATER!!! And an umbrella!!! And put on sunscreen!!!
Note: Three- and seven-day tickets are available at $40 and $60 each, respectively. Tickets are dated and need to be bought personally as they now issue tickets with your photo (to avoid transferring and scalping, maybe?). Apologies for my awkward face in that ticket, lol.
My favourite? The Angkor Wat is *such* a default answer so biases aside, I liked Ta Prohm and Bayon the most.
Happy temple run-ing!
This is a secondary Cambodia entry. Main Siem Reap entry is here.
Find the good in getting lost,