You would be hard-pressed to find someone who has never heard of Angkor Wat – Cambodia’s famous ruins. That’s because Angkor Wat or the “city of temples” is the biggest religious complex in the entire world.
It’s the eighth manmade wonder of the world and it was built ages ago in the 12 century. Before you try to do the math in your head, I’ll go ahead and tell you – Angkor Wat is about 900 years old and it has stood the test of time.
Today it is a popular tourist destination that attracts thousands of people each year. So what’s the best way to get there? Keep reading to find out!
First things first, buy a flight to Siem Reap’s International Airport. There are direct flights to Siem Reap from 13 different airports around the world spread across 12 different cities in six different countries.
Once you have arrived at Siem Reap International Airport it’s only 6 kilometers (3.7 miles) to the entrance of Angkor Wat, and there are a handful of ways to get there from your accommodation.
By Tuk Tuk
The most popular way to get to Angkor Wat is by tuk-tuk; a little carriage with two wheels that’s attached to the back of a motorcycle.
Tuk-tuks make the journey to the ruins an adventure and you get to take in the fresh air while enjoying the views.
Tuk-tuks are super easy to find because they are posted up everywhere waiting for passengers. If you are staying in a hotel or hostel, ask the concierge if they offer a free tuk-tuk service.
Even if they don’t offer free tours, they can still help you pre-arrange a tuk-tuk day tour of Angkor Wat.
The tuk- tuk drivers know Angkor Wat like the back of their hands so it is totally worth it to hire one for the day. Let them know what kind of experience you want and don’t be afraid to ask questions or ask them to make a pitstop.
Be aware that Angkor Wat is spread out and there are multiple ancient buildings to explore so with a tuk-tuk you will have more time to see it all. It costs around $30. This is the best way to get to Angkor Wat because it is cheap, convenient, and fun.
Cycling from Siem Reap is relatively easy. It’s the perfect way to get there if you want to see more of the Siem Reap and the route is flat so just make sure to bring plenty of water and wear sunscreen.
There are loads of tour agencies that offer bike tours, and it’s the perfect way to get there if you want to be active.
There is a designated bike path that makes it a safe ride, and once you arrive at the Temples there is plenty of bike parking and security guards that keep an eye on them.
Private taxis can be reserved online for a pretty reasonable price. It costs around $85 for a day tour.
A round-trip tour can take anywhere from 4 to 6 hours and the drivers are usually flexible. They will let you stop whenever you want and they don’t mind waiting while you roam around the ruins.
Taxis are by far the most comfortable mode of transportation. If you are traveling with children or older adults then this is the best option for you.
Another plus side is that you can book in advance and pay by credit card, oh, and did I mention they have air conditioning? It’s nice to be able to take a break from the hot weather while temple hopping.
If you know how to drive a moped, you could rent one for the day. It’s nice to be able to go where you want when you want without relying on anyone else.
While this is a good option, a tuk-tuk is still better because having a local around makes a big difference. They are cheap to rent and easy to drive, but you run the risk of getting turned around or missing a major sight.
Going by foot is possible… but it’s only for the experienced hikers among us. It’s a long walk to the entrance and you should make sure to wear your most comfortable walking shoes.
If you prefer to walk and get in your exercise, consider spending at least two days exploring as it can take a long time to walk from one ruin to another. You won’t be able to fit in as much as you would be able to by taking one of the previously mentioned forms of transportation.
See the Sunrise
The most unforgettable experience at Angkor Wat is watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat Temple. If you’re not a morning person, waking up so early might not sound like fun, but it is 100% worth it.
The sunrise is an incredible view to behold, and you should aim to arrive around 4:30 AM. It will be crowded, but make the best of it and go with the flow because it is truly a once-in-a-lifetime experience.
Pay Attention to the Details
One of the most magical aspects of Angkor Wat’s of temples is in the details. There are countless carvings and unique carvings that have been maintained for thousands of years. Take your time and admire the little things.
Visit the Less Popular Temples
The two most popular temples are the temple of Angkor Wat and the Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple) so you can be sure that these two spots will be packed with tourists.”While those principal sites are incredible, there are other, lesser-known temples that are just as beautiful and much less crowded.
To Sum Up
Angkor Wat lives up to its reputation. It’s a stunning sight to behold and it’s worth braving the crowds. You can go by tuk-tuk, bike, taxi, or scooter so there is no shortage of modes of transportation for your trip to Cambodia’s famous Angkor Wat.