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About Ancient Temples

The Angkor Archaeological Park is home to the magnificent Khmer temple ruins of Angkor, including the legendaryAngkor Wat, Bayon and dozens of other ancient ruins of the Angkorian-era (9th-13th century) Khmer Empire. The Park encompasses more than 400 square kilometers just outside Siem Reap City in northwestern Cambodia and is a World Heritage Site.

 

 

The temple ruins of Angkor contained within the Angkor Archaeological Park represent the remnants of the millennium-old Angkorian-era capitals of the ancient Khmer Empire. The Khmer people were and are the dominant ethnic group in Cambodia. The name ‘Angkor’ refers to the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire that stretched across much of mainland Southeast Asia between the 9th and 15th centuries A.D., and also refers to the capital city of the Empire that was centered north of Siem Reap Cambodia. The Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses the main temple ruins of the Angkorian capitals located in the Siem Reap area. Most of these temples were constructed between the 9th and 12th century A.D. and represent the pinnacle of ancient Khmer architecture, art and civilization. At its height, the Age of Angkor was a time wealth and power for the Khmer Empire. The capital city at Angkor was populated by more than a million people, Khmer kings constructed vast waterworks and grand temples and the Empire's military, economic and cultural dominance held sway over the area of modern Cambodia, as well as much of Thailand, southern Vietnam and Laos. 
 Siem Reap City is the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park. There are no hotels within the Park grounds and most visitors stay in Siem Reap where almost all of the area's hotels and restaurants are located. Siem Reap City  is just south of the Angkor Archaeological Park with the Park entrance located only 10-37km north of town. With the exception of the Roluos Group of temples 15km east of Siem Reap, the most important temple ruin are within 10- 37km north of town, the closest major temple being Angkor Wat. To arrange your visit to the Angkor Archaeological Park you will need to decide how long to stay, purchase an admission pass, arrange transportation to the temples, obtain a guidebook or tour guide and plan out your temple itinerary.
Admission / How Long to Stay

You must possess an admission pass (an 'Angkor Pass') to visit the temples and sites in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Passes may be purchased at the main entrance on the road to Angkor Wat. One-day tickets only can be purchased at the secondary tollgate on road to Angkor Wat, entrance near Angkor Wat

Passes are sold in one-day ($20), three-day ($40) and seven-day ($60) blocks. The three day pass is valid for one week, i.e. 3 days to be used within the week, not necessarily consecutively. The seven day pass is valid for one month, i.e. 7 days to be used within the month, not necessarily consecutively.
 
A one-day visit allows you to see the highlights of the most famous temples but very little more. Three days is sufficient to visit all of the major temples once, a few of the minor ones and have a little extra time at your favorites. Seven days is enough time to really explore some of your favorite ruins and visit many of the minor structures as well. One passport-sized photo is require at time of purchase of three and seven day passes. If you do not have a photo, free photos are provided at the main entrance, though this can be a time consuming process at peak entrance hours.
 
Visiting hours are 5:00AM - 6:00PM. Angkor Wat closes at 6:00PM, Banteay Srey closes at 5:00PM and Kbal Spean at 3:00PM. Always carry your ticket. It will be checked upon each park entry and at major temples. There is a significant fine for not possessing a valid ticket inside the park. A regular admission ticket is not required to visit Phnom Kulen, Koh Ker or Beng Melea, but there is a separate entrance fee of $20, $10 and $5, respectively.
 

There are dozens of temple ruins in the Angkor Archaeological Park spread across more than 400 square km. all in different states of ruin and displaying a  range of artistic and architectural styles. To get the most from your limited time at the Park you will need to plan a temple itinerary. Your personal temple itinerary depends largely on how much time you have and your level of interest, though some temples are ‘must sees.’ See the suggested itineraries page below for much more. 

What to Bring

Wear light, airy, covering clothing to protect yourself from the sun and mosquitoes. The sun can be intense so bring a hat, sunglasses and perhaps sunscreen. Consider buying a traditional Khmer scarf (krama) to keep the sun off your neck. Carry a raincoat during the wet season, though you will probably only need it in the afternoon. You should have mosquito repellent for sunrise and sunset hours. Wear practical shoes for climbing narrow steps and walking on uneven surfaces. For serious temple explorers, a flashlight, notebook and compass can come in handy. Books, refreshments, trinkets, postcards and film are available from small vendors throughout the temple complex.
 Suggested Itineraries
here are dozens of temple ruins in the Siem Reap area. Your temple itinerary depends largely on how much time you have and your level of interest, though some temples are ‘must sees.’ Any itinerary should include the legendary ruins of Angkor Wat and the giant faces of Bayon. These two temple ruins offer the most spectacular and unique examples of Angkorian art and architecture. On the road trip to Bayon, you will also see the South Gate of Angkor Thom and some other minor ruins. As it is within walking distance of Bayon, most itineraries can easily include central Angkor Thom, with its artistically interesting terraces and massive ‘temple-mountains,’ Baphuon and Phimeanakas. Due to lighting conditions, it is best to visit Angkor Wat in the afternoon, so most itineraries begin in the morning with the South Gate of Angkor Thom and Bayon

As your schedule allows, build the rest of your itinerary around visiting each type of major ruin – temple mountains such as Pre Rup, Ta Keo, Bakong and West Mebon; flat, sprawling monastic complexes such as Ta Prohm, Preah Khan andBanteay Kdei; and unique monuments such as Neak Pean and Srah Srang. TheRoluos Group, which comprises the monuments of an early Khmer capital, lies 15 km east of Siem Reap, outside the main temple complex. It is a bit out of the way, but offers some fine examples of early Angkorian art and should be included in two or three day itineraries. Of special note is the artistically exquisite but more distant temple, Banteay Srey. If there is any way of squeezing it into your itinerary, it is well worth it.
 
Long days of touring temples can lead to ‘temple burnout.’ To help prevent this syndrome, consider taking a boat trip on the Tonle Sap,( floating village, flooded forest)  lunch at the Local restuarant , tour a silk farm and a craft workshop, visit the 'Landmine Museum,' or take a countryside drive to a distant temple and OX card tour, village tour. 
Suggested Itineraries:
Half-Day Visit

1) South Gate of Angkor Thom
2) Central Angkor Thom (Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King)
3) Ta Prohm
4) Angkor Wat
One or Two Day Visit

Day 1
Morning: 
1) South Gate of Angkor Thom
2) Central Angkor Thom (BayonPhimeanakasTerrace of the Elephants,Terrace of the Leper King). 

(Single day visitors: Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch.) 

Afternoon: 
4) Ta Prohm
5) Pre Rup (optional)
6) Angkor Wat
7) Phnom Bakheng for sunset

Traditional dance show in the evening

Day 2 Options

Option A: Banteay Srey
Morning:
1) Angkor Wat for sunrise
2) Pre Rup
3) Banteay Srey
4) Banteay Samre (optional)
5) Thommanon

Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch

Afternoon: 
6) Roluos Group (BakongPreah KoLolei)

Option B: Variety of temples
Morning:
1) Angkor Wat for sunrise 
2) Preah Kahn
3) Victory Gate
4) Thommanon
5) Pre Rup (optional)
6) Prasat Kravan

Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch

Afternoon: 
7) Roluos Group (BakongPreah KoLolei)

Option C: Grand circuit
Morning:
1) Angkor Wat for sunrise
2) Preah Kahn
3) Neak Pean
4) Ta Som
5) Pre Rup (optional)
6) Prasat Kravan (optional)

Old Market area/souvenir shops in Siem Reap at lunch

Afternoon: 
Roluos Group (BakongPreah KoLolei)
Three Day Visit

Day 1
Morning: 
1) South Gate of Angkor Thom
2) Central Angkor Thom (BayonBaphuonPhimeanakasTerrace of the ElephantsTerrace of the Leper King). 

Lunch at restaurant near Angkor Wat

Afternoon
3) Victory Gate
4) Thommanon
5) Ta Keo (short visit)
6) Ta Prohm
7) Sunset at Angkor Wat

Traditional dance show in evening

Day 2
Morning: 
1) Sunrise at Angkor Wat
2) Baksei ChamkrongPrasat Bei, Thma Bay Kaek
3) Preah Kahn
4) Neak Pean
5) Ta Som
6) Pre Rup

Visit to Old Market area in Siem Reap at lunch.

Afternoon:
7) Roluos Group (BakongPreah KoLolei)
8) Sunset at Phnom Bakheng

Day 3
Morning: 
1) Banteay Srey
2) Banteay Samre
3) East Mebon

Visit to craft/silk workshop after lunch

Afternoon: 
4) Prasat Kravan
5) Banteay Kdei
6) Srah Srang (optional)
7) Sunset at Angkor Wat
Of Special Interest

Sunrise: Angkor Wat, (alternative: Srah Srang)

Sunset: Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Wat

Trees growing from temple ruins: Ta ProhmBanteay KdeiTa Som

Giant carvings of faces: Bayon, the gates of Angkor ThomBanteay KdeiTa Prohm and Preah Kahn

Notable artistry/carvings: Angkor WatBanteay SreyBayonBakongTerrace of the Leper King
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Testimonial
Ms.Carla Bozon-Philippines
Reviewed2013-02-05 02:31:45
This was our second visit to Angkor and our second time driving around with Phat. Travelling with a tuk-tuk is the best way to see Angkor - every morning Phat was there to meet us at our guesthouse, his tuk-tuk with it's little green cool box - full with ice cold water and even colder disposable wet wipes - at the ready. Phat could always suggest an itinerary for us, and was just a fountain of knowledge in general - after being driving his tuk-tuk around Angkor for 11 years, he knows the best times to visit each temple, the best photo spot, the quietest place. More than this, Phat is just a lovely person, considerate, paying great attention to detail and always trying to make things as easy as possible for us. The temples are stupendous, but the best times with Phat were when he was showing us 'real' life - taking us to visit his village, or to the local market. Angkor is great - driving around with Phat made it even more enjoyable. Visited November 2012
Email:carlabozon@hotmail.com
Ms.Carla Bozon-Philippines
Reviewed2013-02-05 02:31:45
This was our second visit to Angkor and our second time driving around with Phat. Travelling with a tuk-tuk is the best way to see Angkor - every morning Phat was there to meet us at our guesthouse, his tuk-tuk with it's little green cool box - full with ice cold water and even colder disposable wet wipes - at the ready. Phat could always suggest an itinerary for us, and was just a fountain of knowledge in general - after being driving his tuk-tuk around Angkor for 11 years, he knows the best times to visit each temple, the best photo spot, the quietest place. More than this, Phat is just a lovely person, considerate, paying great attention to detail and always trying to make things as easy as possible for us. The temples are stupendous, but the best times with Phat were when he was showing us 'real' life - taking us to visit his village, or to the local market. Angkor is great - driving around with Phat made it even more enjoyable. Visited November 2012
Email:carlabozon@hotmail.com
Ms.Carla Bozon-Philippines
Reviewed2013-02-05 02:31:45
This was our second visit to Angkor and our second time driving around with Phat. Travelling with a tuk-tuk is the best way to see Angkor - every morning Phat was there to meet us at our guesthouse, his tuk-tuk with it's little green cool box - full with ice cold water and even colder disposable wet wipes - at the ready. Phat could always suggest an itinerary for us, and was just a fountain of knowledge in general - after being driving his tuk-tuk around Angkor for 11 years, he knows the best times to visit each temple, the best photo spot, the quietest place. More than this, Phat is just a lovely person, considerate, paying great attention to detail and always trying to make things as easy as possible for us. The temples are stupendous, but the best times with Phat were when he was showing us 'real' life - taking us to visit his village, or to the local market. Angkor is great - driving around with Phat made it even more enjoyable. Visited November 2012
Email:carlabozon@hotmail.com
Cambodia Loca Tours & TransfersMr. Dave van Dalen & Sandra Visser-Netherlands
Reviewed2023-02-09 05:00:11
After reading a lot of positive stories on the internet and tripadvisor about mr. Sok Phat\'s \'\'cambodian taxidriver\'\' organisation, my girlfriend and I decided to book a view trips and transfers and we weren\'t dissapointed! In Siem Reap we went to the Temples (1 day with sunrise) and were accompanied by driver mr. Houn and tourguide mr. Vanna. All we can say about mr. Vanna is that he\'s one of the sweetest man we have ever met! He had loads of stories to tell, not only about the temples, but also about his past and the war, witch was fascinating to hear. Mr. Vanna knows so much about the temples that he's like a walking history book :-) and we've could have spent days listening to his stories if we would have had the time for it. Since the people of Cambodia don't make great amounts of money it's always nice to give people a tip and in this case driver Mr. Houn and tour guide Mr. Vanna They and specially Mr. Vanna definitely deserved it!! In Phnom Penh we did a tour to the killing fields, shooting range, Tuol Sleng prison and the Royal Palace with Mr. Sarath, and again we had a great day. Mr. Sarath has his own company (http://www.cambodiataxitour.com/), but works together with Mr. Path if tours are needed in Phnom Penh. Mr. Sarath will drive you all day around in Phnom Penh, wat ever you want. He is also a very nice guy and even invited us to come for dinner, but sadly we didnít have time. He is also very honest, he brings you to restaurants with no commission, so you donít pay to much, he just wants you to have a nice holiday! So this man deserved a big tip as well. We also arranged our transportation from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville with the help of Mr Phat, as well as other transfers to airports etc. Due to some miscommunication we missed our transfer, arranged by Mr. Phat, from Sihanouville to Phnom Penh Airport, but luckily there was another driver who could bring us. So everything went alright and there were no further problems. These things could happen and everything turned out all right. We hope that our recommendation will help to book even more clients, cause they did a great job and if we ever return to Cambodia we will surely give Mr Path a call! Mr. Phat can arrange all tours and transfers in whole Cambodia, he has his connections, so you donít have to look in each town for another company. They have excellent english speaking guides and drivers and the prices are very good and they wonít rip you off. (P.s., MR Phat: please give our best regards and a big hug to m.r Vanna and Mr. Sarath!). Best wishes Dave van Dalen & Sandra Visser form Holland Visited Frebruary - March
Email:d.van.dalen@hvl.nl
tour with Phat at Angkor WatSam Loew-Malaysia
Reviewed0000-00-00 00:00:00
Hi Phat, How are you? We are fine here. Just arrive back at Malaysia this morning. Thanks for your service for the 3 days at Siem Reap! Very good service! =) We will come back again in future ;) We also had a nice trip at Phnom Penh, but the mini bus to Phnom Penh is scarry because it is too fast! Where can I leave the good feedback for you? Thanks, Sam Visited May -2013
Email:sam.mcleow@gmail.com
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