BASIC INFORMATION: All you need to know before visiting Angkor Wat
Some people said that to visit Angkor Wat in a day was truly a blunder. I can’t agree with them more. But, as ordinary people with a bit of stubbornness, we kept to the previous plan of touring the Angkor Wat complex in a day. I have made a list about the pluses and minuses of our one day journey:
- The ticket, undoubtedly, is cheap — it only cost $37 USD.
- If you are a light explorer or a cheapskate, and you don’t want to tour the entire complex, a one day ticket is a good option for you. You can choose the most important areas for you to visit.
- A one day journey is good if you are planning to pay the Angkor Wat a visit in the future.
- We needed to rush from place to place on Tuk-tuk and ultimately forgot which place was which.
- It was extremely exhausting. We went in November, and lucky for us, the weather was really nice. Yet, if you come in the middle of the summer, you will discover how it feels to climb up the old stairs of some the temples in the scorching heat! You need to be in a rush, as well, so you won’t waste your one day ticket.
- For the serious explorer, you’d better forget the one day ticket option, since you won’t enjoy it much.
TICKET TO ANGKOR WAT AND HOW LONG THE LINE IS
The myth about long queues at the ticket booth to get into the Angkor Wat isn’t really a myth after all. After having a pleasant ride with our Tuk-tuk driver to the location, we had to face the truth: hundreds, or maybe even thousands, of people were queueing up to get their tickets. We tried to find an empty booth, or at least one with less people queued in front of it, but unfortunately, it was just too good to be true. We couldn’t find a miracle that day.
As we’ve mentioned above, we bought a one day ticket that cost $37 USD. The ticket was too cool to be thrown away even after the journey ended. Instead of thin paper with a big $37 USD printed on it, we got something that looked more like an ID card along with our pictures, which were taken directly at the booth. So, for girls, if you want to have a clear, unforgettable, and awesome picture, make sure that you put your make up on. Treat it as if this picture is your pre-wedding picture if it is possible. I wasn’t ready for it. Therefore, I will blur it for all of our sakes.
Note: Don’t lose your ticket, or you will need to pay again! Don’t ever think that they won’t check your ticket. Every temple has its own guardian, and they will ask you to show your ticket at the entrance.
MAP OF ANGKOR WAT COMPLEX
To make the most of your time in Angkor Wat, don’t forget to purchase a map of the Angkor Wat complex. This map can usually be obtained from your hotel. If you are serious about exploring this stunning complex, you can also study its history a bit. For example, like this:
BOOK A TOUR FROM YOUR HOTEL
Booking a tour from your hotel is a must, because everybody does it! There are a great variety of tours offered by hotels, depending on your budget, time, and the number of people you’re going with. They usually have minibuses, minivans, buses, and tuk-tuks like we used, but, of course, when you arrive there they will only let you use a tuk-tuk for going around the complex as some of the old gates weren’t designed for buses.
If you need a guide, I think you can order one from the hotel as well. My suggestion: use a local guide who speaks your language. Don’t rely on your friend who has been living in Cambodia too long (unless they are a local, a historian, or an expert in Cambodian history and archeology). In the next post, I will briefly explain some temples that are worth seeing (I hope).
FOOD, DRINK, AND CLOTHES!
Please mind how you dress. Since the Angkor Wat Complex consist of holy temples that are still being used today, please be careful with what you wear. My suggestions are:
- Wear really comfortable clothes, preferably cotton, because Cambodia, as you know, is blessed with high humidity. So, make sure that your skin can breathe well. I saw some of the tourists were wearing skirts, and even high heels that were almost stilettos (oh, my goodness).
- Don’t wear shorts, tank tops, or anything shorter than your knees or that shows your beautiful armpits. I felt sad seeing two girls wearing shorts going around these sacred places, while the others were respecting the rules.
Angkor Wat is a really huge complex. Moreover, you need to climb up the one-thousand-year-old stairs under the scorching sun and move from one temple to another. Also, don’t forget to bring mineral water in case you can’t find any stalls where they sell it (although you usually will be able to).
Food is the same – if you are a cheapskate, think you won’t find good food there, are picky, have a weak tummy, or suddenly find yourself without cash like me, bring your picnic set with you! You can eat between the temples along the journey, but please keep in mind: DON’T LITTER!