When it comes to sightseeing in #SiemReap, the first and foremost option has to be, visiting the Angkor Wat Temple, the worldwide famous and historically rich temple on earth. Initially built by Hindu emperor and dedicated to Lord Vishnu, the temple was later converted into a Buddhist Temple. Though invaded and attempted to destroy this one of it’s kind creation, this landmark has managed to survive and still strongly rooted to attract travellers across the world every single day.
Spread out on a land of 1.3 kilometers by 1.5 km kilometers, the construction of the temple is of-course extensive. Also built in three stages (tourists are allowed till stage 2), it takes days to see every nook and corner of the temple. so let’s talk about touring #AngkorWat temple:
First thing: Like any other monument the ticket counter of this temple is NOT right outside the temple ground. it’s at a distance of around 4 km from the temple ground and trust me when I say this, have 10-15 minutes time in hand to buy the ticket. Ticket of Angkor Wat cannot be purchased before head, it’s bought on the counter on the day of the tour and guests have to be present at the counter to buy the ticket.
*** 1/2/3/5/7/ days tickets are available at the counter. [1 day ticket price is USD 37.00 per adult] – this ticket also gives access to other 3 major temples in Siem Reap, hence don’t lose it…
Coming to the best time of the day to visit Angkor Wat temple; usually sunrise or sunset, one of them should be covered in the tour. Even full day tours covering both the moments are possible as well. In case you are not very familiar with history or just want to get a glimpse of the place, a half or full day tour is enough. Also, guided tours are very important for, a) to get information of the history, construction etc & b) not to get lost in that small empire.
For sunrise, you have to be ready by 4 am in the morning, and you can’t imagine how many people gather to capture the sunrise (and the area by the pond specifically, at the front to capture the reflexive picture of Angkor Wat). After which you can go for a detailed tour of the temple from inside. As mentioned earlier, tourists are allowed till 2nd level, the view from there overlooking the entire ground is magnificent.
A minimum 2-3 hours has to be given to the temple for a basic glance of the place.
Few important points to remember on Angkor Wat tour:
- Keep the tickets till you finish visiting the other 3 temples ( Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom, Banteay kdei Temple)
- Guide assistance is required inside the temple
- Apart from the guided tour, rental bike or tuk tuk can also be availed to go to the temple. Make sure the tuk tuk is hired for the entire tour.
- Dress properly while visiting the temple, especially the 2nd level of the temple (no sleeveless, or no dress/shorts above knees)
- The temple is still used by the locals to offer prayer, hence priests are actively present in side. One can seek blessings from them and if you see any rituals being carried on by the locals, kindly be respectful
- Photography allowed every where
- For day tour keep sun-glass/ umbrella and water with you- keep yourself hydrated & keep some dry food with you