Any visit to the Unesco world heritage site of Angkor Wat in Cambodia will be a magical and mind-blowing experience. The below essential travel guide for first time visitors will ensure you have a great adventure and hit the road running and avoiding any pitfalls along the way.
These tips should set you up for an amazing experience as you explore this vast temple complex.
So first up is the all important entry visa into the Kingdom. This a simple process that can be completed online up to 60 days before your visit. The current price is $36 dollars for a single entry visa for up to a maximum 30 day stay.
Please visit the official government website for full details online. Your application should be processed within 3 days of applying. You will receive email confirmation and a nice PDF document as per above.
Getting to Cambodia
Depending on your travel plans and arrival point, you have various options on how you get in to the Kingdom. Be it from Phnom Penh by Bus, or a flight from neighbouring Thailand. Flights are your safest bet and prices from Bangkok’s Don Mueang International Airport into Siem Reap are usually £20-£25 pounds with Air Asia and take 1 hour. Check out Skyscanner for the dates when you are planning your visit to plan your budget. There are buses from Bangkok for slightly less, but have heard horror stories of border scams and other unpleasant experiences. Better off flying for the sake of £10 pounds and hassle free.
When to Visit Cambodia
The best time to visit Cambodia and Angkor Wat are during the cooler months of November through to March. If you’re clever, then try to miss out December and January as this is when the coachloads and hoards of tourists arrive to visit and the complex will be extremely busy.
Early April and May is when the temperature begins to rise and hits the mid 30’s, and from June to September is rainy season. We visited early April and though the temperatures were mid 30’s, having the right clothing and visiting the temples early morning and late evenings were no problem. Ensure you have plenty of water for your visits, and have some snacks to keep your energy levels up as the heat will zap you as you traipse around the numerous sites like Indiana Jones.
Siem Reap Airport
Siem Reap’s International airport arrival was a breeze, and with your e-visa to hand should be through customs within 10 minutes. Being based 6 km from the town centre, the short journey can be made by Tuk Tuk’s and taxi’s that can be pre-booked for your ride into town. On the journey you pass money exchanges for those all important Dollars you will need for your trip. This should take 20 minutes and cost no more than $5-6 dollars for your ride.
Your base at Siem Reap Town
This is the tourist hub for the thousands of visitors whose sole purpose is to visit Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples. You will find plenty of options of accommodation based around Kings Road and Pub street. This can be your bog standard hostel to higher end boutique hotels that are priced from $10-30 dollars per night and won’t break the bank. There are numerous eateries around this area serving up delicious Asia foods through to your Western array of alternatives. Look out for restaurants around kings road.
Touring the Angkor Wat Temples
If you’re heading out to Cambodia to visit Angkor Wat, there’s a good chance you will be based in and around Siem Reap. If you are looking to arrange a Tuk Tuk driver and guide that will take you around all the sites, arrange airport pick ups and drop offs, or custom made itinerary’s, then look no further than paying a visit to a great informative website at Angkor Tuk Tuk.
Having used the services of Angkor Tuk Tuk personally, I can definitely give it a big “thumbs up”. Our schedule was pre-arranged before our visit, and it gave us plenty of time to take in the sights of our surroundings. You need plenty of time to enjoy the Angkor Wat complex. Our carriage was ridden by our driver Savuth who comes highly recommended, and has a wealth of knowledge of when to visit all the major sites, meeting points for the well populated sunrise tours, and an ample supply of cold refreshments to hand on board. He was also able to provide plenty of free air conditioning when he pulled back the throttle ?
Read all about our visit to Angkor Wat and experience HERE.
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Remember to have appropriate travel insurance to cover all eventualities on your travels. We use World Nomads insurance for all our adventures. Get a quote in the link below.