Angkor Wat

Trees overgrowing Angkor

11 March 2009

Angkor Wat

Angkor is one important archaeological sites of South-East Asia. It was originally builded by the Khmer for the Khmer Empire in the 15th century. With 400 square kilometers it is one of the biggest temple complex of the world.

Nowadays the park is still inhabited with small villages. It is on the top ranking list of UNESCO.

To see the remains of the temples you have to pay an entrance fee. From there you can wander around the site yourself, just make sure you’ll keep your receipt. They entrance fee is to maintenance the buildings and keep it clean.

Visit Angkor wat by bike!

The best way to visit the temple complex is by bicycle. Every guesthouse or hotel can rent you one. Just make sure the brakes are working.

From Siem Reap you’ll have to bike for about 7 km to reach the temple complex entrance. Here you pay the fee and continue. The entrance fee for Angkor wat is 20 dollars for one day. Keep the ticket with you at all times!

The map which is included with the bike renting, will show you the way. There are a few major stops like Angkor Wat itself of course, the Bayon, Banteay Srei. I just biked around with a fellow traveler and just soak up the atmosphere around here. At some places it can be a bit busy with busloads of tourists. Just wait a bit and they might go away to feel alone again.

At the end of the day we biked to a famous sunset spot. Here you can watch the sun setting with the temples in the background. Although it was busy at this spot, I really enjoyed it.
We did leave the temple a bit early, since there was no lightning at our bike and we still had to bike for 7 kilometers.

Another way to visit is with a tuktuk. You have to make an agreement on the pricing. After you did this he can show you around. He will stop at the entrance to let you pay the fee, after he will show you around. He will be waiting outside if you want to go inside the temple.

Tuktuk for a day

For one day we hired a tuktuk to take us to a river bedding with ancient carvings. It was about 1 hour from the city and the ride was really cool. Unfortunate when we arrived it just had entered the Angkor Wat entrance fee. So we couldn’t pay separate for the site. That was a big bummer, since me and my fellow traveler wanted to only see this one for today. We try to negotiate it, but they didn’t want to haggle. Without seeing the carvings we left.
So if you find something you want to see, make sure it is not connected to Angkor Wat! (or book a multiple entrance ticket)

Even this was a bit of a bummer, I still enjoyed this day. We saw nice villages and we made a quick stop along the way for gasoline. Here we saw children playing with water and having fun.

Siem reap

The closest village is Siem Reap, a famous hub to visit Angkor wat. You can reach Siem reap easily from Phnom Phen or Bangkok. Numerous of buses will go to the city. Here you can find many accommodations in all price ranges.
I stayed at Smileys guesthouse. A real simple guesthouse with a small restaurant. The food here was good!

In Siem Reap I enjoyed the night market with a lot of souvenirs shopping. If you want you can take a fish spa or a massage at a saloon.

In the city center you can find loads of restaurants. The food is about 5 dollars per plate. At some restaurants they have dance performance with woman who are dressed beautifully. They dance a traditional dance.

Near the center there is also a food market. Here a plate will cost about 1 dollar.