Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat temples are a tourist sensation drawing over 3.5 million people to a small city in Cambodia. That means 10,000 people who see the temples every day afresh.

There are over 300 temples in the Angkor Wat area but 3 sites stand out and get the bulk of visitors. Worse most tours and tuk-tuk drivers follow the same route which creates even bigger crowds. However it's not all tourists in buses – at least half the visitors are small groups and individuals who try to enjoy the sites quietly.

I joined a small tuk-tuk tour that costs me $10 for 8 hours of driving in-between sites. The park entrance fee is $20 per day. Many alos chose to use a bicycle which is a nice option just keep in mind the 100 degrees heat which can make a quick bike ride a sweaty struggle.

Angkor Wat

Angkor Thom & Bayon

Ta Prohm

While it's crowded and hot I did find the whole operation very well managed. ID cards are checked. No harassing tor guides, tuku-tuk drivers, eager sellers or beggars. Drinks and restrooms where you'd expect them.

Having been to Bagan I found Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom a bit underwhelming but I was awed by Ta Prohm. The site that inspired Tomb Raider is amazing and it seems the trees and stones form a new living hybrid organism. It's worth coming just to see this place!