If you are planning to visit Cambodia anytime soon, you have stopped by the right place! We will tell you all the Angkor Wat facts so you can make the most of visiting the most remarkable part of Cambodia – Angkor Archaeological Park. People fly all across the globe just to be here, and it is time, you know why.
Angkor is a listed under the World Heritage Sites, and dates between 9th and 15th century. Covering 400 square kilometers, it is full of spectacular art and architecture, exemplifying the ruins of Khmer Empire. Let us tell you the best ways to visit and things to do at Angkor so that you can experience a great time in your life.
Angkor Wat Facts
Things to do at Angkor Archaeological Park
Unfortunately, Angkor is too big to cover in a small span of time. However, we have listed the easiest ways to make the most of your trip. You could always consider Angkor Wat tours to make the most of your trip.
Get yourself a Guide:
Getting a guide can either mean buying a guidebook or hiring an assistant. For your initial hours of touring Angkor, it is good to get a guide, who would tell you about the entire place in short. He will give you the highlights you ought to visit and give you insights on them. Without knowing about Angkor, you will only have impressive piles of rocks to stroll by.
Choosing a Vehicle to Travel
You cannot see much of archaeological park on foot, which is why you need to rent a vehicle. Read through all the options below:
Angkor Wat Tours
Helicopter tours are not the ideal way to have an up-close and personal experience, but it lets you see most of it, within a jiffy. On the contrary, having a glimpse of the entire park from above gives a spectacular view. You have to book a helicopter tour in advance, and it would cost you $90-$100 for an 8-minute trip.
Renting a bicycle is the most economical way to tour through the Angkor. All the roads between the main temples are paved, and at the right distances for bicycle tours. Most hotels rent these out and charge you about $1 to $4 per day.
Travelling by motorcycle and tuk-tuk
For traveling the best way around Angkor, you should ride a motorcycle. It is faster than bicycles, and you have full freedom to go about the place. These charge you about $10 for a day.
Motorcycle Taxi Tours
You can hire motorcycle taxis on rent, where you ride as a pillion, while someone drives you around the temples. Presently, tuk-tuks, which carry two people at a time, are more common. This charges you about $8 to $12, around the main temples, and a little more for the distant ones.
Going to Bayon by Elephant
Every afternoon, elephants wait for customers at the South Gate of Angkor Thom and near Bayon. They offer 20 – 30-minute rides between these two points. In the evening, they move from Bayon to Phnom Bakheng. Here, they take passenger uphill for witnessing the sunset. The charges are between $10 and $15 per ride.
Another way to see the beautiful aerial view, apart from helicopters, is to ride on a helium balloon. Make sure to have binoculars and cameras as you rise 200 meters high and see the entire ruin. These rides charge $125-$170 for adults and $65 for children.
Angkor Gondola are boats which you can ride by the Angkor Thom. It offers an attractive backdrop by the laterite walls, and you grab picturesque memories to take back. This cruise tour lasts for 40 minutes and sways you between the South and West Gates. The boat rides will cost you about $15 per person.
Best Time To Visit Angkor Wat
Spending two days at the Angkor is ideal, as you can dedicate one day around the Petit Circuit, and other around the Grand Circuit.
This part includes the main temple of Angkor Wat. You go along the Angkor Thom, witnessing the Bayon complex, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei.
If you only have one day to visit, you have to stick to the Grand Circuit. It lets have parts of the Petit Circuit, along with sites of Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Pre Rup, East Mebon and Ta Som.
Adventurous Angkor Wat Tours
If you are keener on the adventurous activities at Angkor, rather than having temples all around, try out the following:
Zip line Tour
Locate the rainforest close to the majestic Angkor temples and gear up for the zip line tours. Taking inspiration from ‘Flight of the Gibbon’, Thailand, these let you embrace the beauty of the rainforests like never before. Let your inner Tarzan come out and make you feel the adrenaline rush!
Gibbon Spotting is the official adventure trekking in Cambodia. Wildlife enthusiasts experience the rare Northern Yellow- Cheeked Gibbon’s, within the natural surroundings. You have to opt for trekking tours, probably assisted by guides, so that you know about every newly discovered species. You can also opt for group treks, where people travel to Ban Lung and Ratanakiri.
Quad Adventure Cambodia
If you would like a ride on a motorcycle, try to opt for Quad Adventure Cambodia. Quad motorcycles are designed for off road tour and let you adjust in every terrain. Before taking one on rent, you will be given proper instructions and have gone through trials. Once you are good to go, you can go to the traditional villages.
Quad Adventure Cambodia lets you see a part of Angkor which remains in the past. You get to feel the traditional lifestyles, pass their rice fields, talk to the locals and eat with them. You drive back into an era which didn’t walk at par with modernity.
Locate places to eat
A lesser known fact is that there are over 100,000 dwellers at the Angkor Archeological Park. They are also the origin of several stalls selling Khmer-style cuisine along with western snacks! Eat at a village restaurant and mingle with the locals to know about their lifestyle.
Now that you have all the Angkor Wat facts, adjust your itinerary revolving around these activities. Even a week’s tour would seem less to have enough of the Angkor. However, you have to make the right choices and plan your itinerary accordingly.
Peter Hanson is a motorcycle enthusiast and expert on motorcycle travel. He loves to travel and has covered a lot of countries over the past eight years. In each country, he takes the time to record his impressions.
Be sure to visit his blog to read more articles and helpful tips about motorcycle travel.