Cambodia will always remain close to my heart. Because in the truest sense, it was my first ever solo International Trip. Sure, after that, I went on more solo International trips to places like Sri Lanka, Seychelles, etc. but Cambodia will always be my first love.
Why? Because more than the beaches, culture, and the history, I was in love with the majestic Angkor Wat here. I have always been an old soul, this is why I have always been attracted to historical places and ancient era. And well, Angkor Wat is a paradise for history buffs like me.
From stories to architecture, everything will completely surprise you here. And honestly, your entire 3 days will go in a blink and you won't even realize that you haven't covered half of the temples here.
This is why I have listed down the top 8 temples that you definitely have to visit when you make a trip to Siem Reap.
About Angkor Archaeological Park
Sprawling over an area of 400 km square, Angkor Archaeological Park is one of the most important archaeological sites in South East Asia. A popular UNESCO World Heritage Site, Angkor was also the capital city of the Khmer Empire from 9th to 15th centuries.
It is the home to over 1000 temples, out of which Angkor Wat temple happens to largest single religious monument. Most of the temples were in ruins previously but have been restored now and is the one place where you can get a true sense of Khmer Architecture.
One of the most incredible things about this Archeaological Park is that it receives more than 2 million visitors every year! Although that's definitely not good for the site itself, this just shows that how popular this place has become now.
And well, with numerous Buddhist, Hindu, etc. temples filled with intricate carvings, corridors, and secret passageways, it is no surprise that Angkor is the place to be in South East Asia.
Best Time to Visit Angkor
Well, this is a subjective question really because it depends a lot on what kind of weather you can endure. Ideally, the best time to visit Angkor would be in winter as the climate is pleasant and cool at this time.
But this is also the peak season to visit so you will find it impossible to enjoy Angkor with such a huge crowd of visitors. This doesn't mean that you won't find a crowd here during the rest of the year. Angkor is so popular that you will find a huge crowd here at 4 a.m. in the morning too.
But yes, if you don't want to bother with too many tourists then opt to visit Angkor during the off-season, i.e., summer or monsoon season. Personally, I visited Angkor in the month of June and it was perfectly fine for me.
Sure, the weather was slightly warm during the day but intermittent rainfall made it fun to cycle and explore this place. So, if you don't mind a slightly hot weather and little rainfall then summer months could be considered too.
How to Reach Angkor
Angkor lies near the Siem Reap city of Cambodia and can be reached by multiple available transportation options.
If you want totak flexibility over your Angkor Park schedule and itinerary then I would suggest you to rent a cycle or motorbike for the same. You will get a cycle here for 2-4 USD per day and a motorbike for 10 USD a day which you can use to explore the temples.
This is the best way to discover the temples as you get to spend as much time as you want, without having to follow any tour schedule.
Rickshaw Tour (Tuk Tuk)
If you are a little short on time and don't wish to cycle or bike to Angkor. Then, another option would be to take a Auto-Rickshaw Tour for the day. This will include a tour of the major temples in the Angkor Park and will cost around 15-20 USD per rickshaw.
You can also hire the rickshaw for 2 - 3 days to cover other remaining temples in the Angkor Park as well.
Finally, there are bus tours to this place as well but these will usually be expensive. You are taken around the park in an Air-Conditioned bus so it is perfect for people who want to enjoy and not slave off in the heat as well.
Angkor Ticket Details
In order to enter Angkor Wat, you need to get the tickets from the main Angkor Archaological Park office which is around 4 km away from Siem Reap.
This ticketing center is open every day from 4:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and allows the visitors to buy the desired Angkor Pass. If you wish to explore the same day, then make sure that you arrive early here and get the 1-day pass.
If you buy the 1-day pass after 5:00 p.m., then you can only use it the next day.
There are three types of passes available for the Angkor Archaeological Park:
1. One-day Pass: 37 USD
2. 3-Day Pass: 62 USD
3. 7-Day Pass: 72 USD