Angkor Wat is the reason why many people decide to visit Cambodia. It is one of the essential places to visit sometime in your life for its majesty and complexity.
The Angkor compound is over 80 hectares in size and has several temple complexes. It is a tourist attraction, that is why it is important to take into account a set of advice and recommendations for the visit.
So let’s get to it, these are our tips for visiting Angkor Wat:
1. Purchase the ticket in advance
If you arrive in Siem Reap late in the afternoon, purchase tickets for the next day. Make sure you know where the office is located; it was relocated in 2016 and is now very far from the Angkor Complex. The Angkor Ticket Booth is open from 5 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., but queues start forming as early as 4:30 a.m. in the morning as last-minute visitors rush to see the sunrise.
When you buy them they take a photo of you to verify that the pass corresponds to the person who carries it. It is important to carry your passport. You can purchase one of the numerous varieties of Angkor Passes. The cost of a one-day pass is $37, a three-day pass is $62, and a seven-day pass is $72. The three-day and seven-day passes are good to go for it. You can pay in US dollars or by credit card.
2. Respect the Dress Code
Even if the weather is hot and humid, Angkor Wat is still a holy place, therefore dress respectfully!
Keep in mind that you are visiting a sacred site, and being mindful of this is crucial. Wear appropriate clothing that covers your knees and shoulders, and behave appropriately when you’re there, as this isn’t just a pretty tourist picture spot.
3. Don’t miss Angkor Wat sunrise
Sunrise is one of the most magnificent moments in Angkor, and many tourists are aware of this. As a result, if you want to see it from the front row with the Angkor Wat temple as a backdrop, you’ll have to get up early.
Set the alarm clock to arrive at Angkor Wat’s main temple at 5:00 a.m. or shortly afterward to see one of the world’s most beautiful sunrises. And if the sun doesn’t rise until 5:30 or 6:00 a.m., being there early would ensure you find the right location for the best photo of the day.
Related: Tips to Visit Angkor Wat Sunrise: The Ultimate Angkor Travel Guide
4. Beware of monkeys
Monkeys can be seen throughout the Angkor complex; however, you must be cautious of them because they can bite. If you have food or drinks in your hand, keep an eye on them as they possibly can steal them. They don’t frequently steal bags, cameras, or other valuables.
5. Most Temples Don’t Open Until 7:30 am
The majority of visitors to the Angkor Archaeological Park begin their temple tour at Angkor Wat with the sunrise. However, sunrise is not only stunning, but it’s also convenient because Angkor Wat opens earlier than most other temples, allowing you to go inside and start touring right away.
If you want to see the dawn from another location in the park, you’ll have to wait until 7:30 a.m. to begin exploring the adjacent temples. While you wait, get a cup of coffee or a bite to eat.
Therefore, there are only four Temples that are available to open early for sunrise: Angkor Wat, Srah Srang, Phnom Bakheng, and Pre Rup temple.
Related: Must-visit Temples in Angkor Archaeology Park
6. Eating at Angkor Complex
You will likely spend the entire day at the temples and will have to dine inside the enclosure. There aren’t as many options as in the city, but there are plenty of local restaurants near the temples.
Cambodian cuisine is known for its abundance of veggies. It’s comparable to the one found in surrounding nations, but it’s prepared differently.
Rice is the country’s main food source, but noodles are also popular. Amok is the most famous Khmer food, which consists of meat or fish cooked with coconut milk, veggies, and spices. Lok-Lak, a dish made with spicy beef, lime and pepper sauce, rice, and a fried egg, is another national food. In most local places surrounding the Angkor complex, the average plate is $5-$6 but there are endless options where you can eat very well for $8-$10.
Related: Cambodian Cuisine and Influences
When visiting Angkor Wat in a single day, one of the most important decisions you’ll have to make is how you’ll get around. Because Angkor is so large, traveling from one temple to the next is impossible. At each temple, you’ll be doing a lot of walking, not to mention climbing a lot of steps. Hiring a jeep, TuK-Tuks, and bicycles are the three options for getting around Angkor. Foreigners are not permitted to ride motorcycles or scooters within the Angkor complex.
If you want to visit Angkor Wat on a tour instead of doing it on your own, we can highly recommend this full-day sunrise jeep tour. It’s great value for money and without hassle. Our tour guides are super knowledgeable and friendly, and you get to see all of the best temples in Angkor Wat in the open-air jeep.
Related: Guided Angkor Wat Tour By Jeep
8. Reduce the impact of the visit as much as possible
An almost thousand-year-old monument like Angkor with a growing volume of visits and the ravages of the elements can be in serious danger if a horde of unconscious visitors does not respect the minimum standards of civility or care in the visit.
The best visit is to avoid touching, sitting on, or climbing on the temple structures, no matter how solid they appear. It goes without saying that taking stone shards or other relics of any type is prohibited.
9. Medical Emergency
We’ll assume you’ve purchased travel medical insurance with evacuation coverage, which is unquestionably necessary.
However, the Royal Angkor International Hospital is the primary medical facility. Before going to the doctor, make sure you have enough cash or credit cards. Even for minor difficulties, expect large costs in the thousands of dollars.