As a tourist you make mistakes, somethings are not predictable and some things you don’t know. But sometimes it’s good to read an article like this before you visit something. I should have done the same, so I wouldn’t feel the need to write this article. Should you read this, you might plan to visit Angkor Wat aswell, and I certainly don’t want to bring you of this Idea. There are just afew things you need to know before visiting.
How to visit?
There are a few options to visit the temples. You can take a Bicycle a tuk-tuk or a minivan. The last option is costly and not worth it. There might be an air-condition in the van but the wind while driving with the tuk-tuk will do it too. I took the first option and rented a Mountain bike. There are two good reasons to take a bicycle – You do sport, and it’s cheap. While a tuk-tuk cost you about 18 USD, a bicycle only cost 3 USD. However, you have to be pretty sportive to take the bicycle because the tour is about 35 km long and it’s 35 degrees warm most of the days.
The ticket office is NOT at the entrance
Right – for every other attraction in the world the ticket office is located at the entrance or at least nearby. No for Angkor Wat the entrance is about 7 km away from the entrance. Nobody told me about that, not even the stuff in my Hostel also though I talked to them about my plans. I visited Angkor Wat to see the sunrise what meant I had to get up at 3.50 am. I left my Hostel at 4.20 am and drove the 9 km to the entrance with my Bicycle. Arriving there, they asked me if I would have a ticket I said, “no I still have to buy one where is the ticket office?”. He looked at me and said that it would be too far to go with the bicycle and I have to take a motorbike because otherwise, I would miss the sunrise – the reason I was there. I had to pay another 5 USD for the driver to drive me to the ticket office and back. Luckily, I still made it for the sunrise.
Wear appropriate clothes
Yeah, that one I could have known, but I wasn’t thinking about it, so I was wearing my shirt without shoulders like pretty much every day. When I was at the ticket office, a woman who sold clothes stopped me and said I would get problems if I go like this. I asked my driver, and he said that she is right. Knees and shoulders have to be covered if that’s not the case you can’t enter the temples. I had to spend another 4 USD to buy a new T-shirt.
Take a guide or go at least in a group
I didn’t meet anybody who wanted to do the sunset with me on that day, and that’s why I went by myself. Usually, that’s no problem at all; sometimes it’s even better. However, at Angkor Wat, there are no signs, no boards with something written on it and no explanations at all – Again different than every other tourist attraction in the world. So, it got a little bit boring for me; nobody to talk to and nothing to read, only some old temples and ruins. The reason I didn’t take a guide was that I spent already 37 USD entrance, 5 USD driver and 4 USD for the T-shirt, I didn’t want to break the bank entirely and as I said usually there are signs and explanations everywhere. I didn’t enjoy it much and found it to be pretty boring, that’s why I finished already after 4 hours and didn’t learn much about the history.
I think if I informed myself better before and avoided these mistakes and extra costs I would have enjoyed the experience a lot more. After reading this, I hope that you have a better preparation then I and enjoy the temples.
- Total countries I visited until now: 31
- Distance traveled: 19302
- Planes: 4
- Busses: 25
- Trains: 14
- Boats: 89
- Km running: 882