Is it possible to visit Angkor Wat in 1 day?
One of the places we really wanted to see in Asia was the UNESCO listed Angkor. From the moment we entered Cambodia, we were really excited to see the ruins. But we only could spent 1 day to see the amazing archeological site. The reason for this was the expensive entrance fee.
The 1 day entrance fee for 1 person is 37 USD, a 3 day pass is 62 USD and for 7 days it’ 72 USD!!! Think it’s more clear no why we could only spent 1 day 🙂 After talking to some people who live in Siem Reap, we were more sure about our decision to go for 1 day.
So, how was it possible to see this huge area full with temples in just 1 day? For this we received 2 tour options to do by tuk tuk from the hostel owner of the hostel we stayed at. Tour number 1 contained all the important temples and was perfect for us. The 2nd tour contained the most important temples as well and included some other temples located a little bit further from the others. As for the tour prices: the first tour was 15 USD and the second one 20 USD. If you want to wake up and see the sunrise it’s an additional 5 USD. And the same goes for sunset in the evening, that costs an additional 5 USD as well. Depending on the weather, the choice is yours. If you want to do sunset and sunrise in the same day, it might be to exhausting.
Tour details (full day short tour with tuk tuk)
We can almost hear you say, why spent 20 USD on the tuk tuk? Can’t I walk? The answer to this is: no you cannot walk. If you want you can take the bicycle but it might be too exhausting and there is a risk that you take too much time and miss important temples. The area is really large and you need minimum 1 hour per temple. But the choice is yours.
It will be very comfortable for you if you decide to do the tuk tuk tour. We don’t really prefer exploring with tours, but in this case you don’t really have a choice. If you decide to do it without, you would need longer than 1 day, otherwise we think you wouldn’t have enough time. The time will go by while you are trying to figure out where to go and how to go.
With the tuk tuk tour, the driver drops you off at the front entrance of the temples and you walk on your own. After you finish exploring the temple, the driver picks you up at the time you agreed and you go to the next temple. Just to be clear, this isn’t a tour where a tour guide walks along with you and talks about the temples. The driver just brings you to the temples to use your time efficiently.
The most important temples
Close to Siem Reap in Cambodia, Angkor is home to the largest temple complex of the world. The main temple is the Angkor Wat temple. Originally Angkor Wat was a Hindu temple build for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple complex gradually turned into a Buddhist temple. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation. The Khmer styled temple has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing in on its national flag.
1. Ankor Wat Temple
2. Bonteay Kdei
3. Ta Pro
4. Bayon Temple (Angkor Thom)
5. South Gate
6. Phnom Bakheng (sunset)
Can you take the bicycle or scooter?
Yes we saw people on bikes. During our tour there were a lot of people on bicycles and scooters. We think their tickets are for more than 1 day. The roads are actually very good (and flat) to cycle. Please do note that with visiting the temples, also the bicycles need to be parked outside and you need to walk like everybody else around the temples. As for the bicycle prices, they are round 3/5 USD. You can chose gear and without gear.
What is the km distance between Siem Reap and Angkor?
The distance between Siem Reap and the Angkor ruins is 7 km. However you do need to keep in mind that the area itself is huge. It takes 10 minutes on average to get from one temple to the other bu tuk tuk. So as you can see, the distance shouldn’t be underestimated.
There is a park in front of every temple. You can find a lot of stalls here where you can buy food in between the temple visits. If you want do it cheaper like us, we recommend that you buy some snacks and fruits before you go to the temples. You can easily leave a bag behind with the driver when visiting the temples. Don’t forget to bring some water as well. You will need it as the routes are long and the stairs are steep.
You can also find some small foods sold by the local people. There was a Cambodian lady selling boiled corn. This was honestly the best corn we have ever eaten. She must have brought it from her own garden. It was definitely organic 🙂
Sunrise and sunset
Visiting Angkor at sunrise and sunset is also one of the activities visitors like to do. It would be very hard to do both at the same day. We stayed for sunset and got very exhausted. We walked nearly 1km upwards to the temple where everybody meets to see the sunset, (the tuk tuk doesn’t go there). When we finally got there, we were surprised by a long line. We had no choice but the wait in the line to enter the temple. However at one point it was announced that the temple was too full and we didn’t get the chance to enter the temple. It was a cloudy day. There is another area next to the temple where you can see the sunset. We waited for about an hour and when it was finally time, the sun didn’t go under. It simply disappeared between the clouds.
Also, if you expect to see a nice temple silhouette like us, forget it. There is no beautiful picture to take. We honestly felt like we got tired for nothing and wasted 5 USD. Maybe sunrise could be a little more exciting but we think that it’s just a rip off to get more money from tourists.
Purchase of entry tickets
4 KM from Siem Reap to Angkor, the ticket counter for entering the temple complex can be found. You can purchase tickets between 05.00 – 17.30. The tickets can be purchased with US dollars, Euros, Baht and Riel. If you wish to pay with credit card, that’s an option too. You can only purchase your tickets here. If you plan to do the tuk tuk tour, you don’t need to worry about it. The driver will bring you here first after picking you up from your hotel.
1 Day pass 37 USD
3 Days 62 USD
7 Days 72 USD
A photo is taken during your purchase. The tickets can be used one time and only by the owner. There is no refund. Children under the age of 12 don’t need to buy a ticket.