Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat

Written and Published March 9, 2013


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



Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat







Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat



Angkor Thom & Bayon


Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat



Ta Prohm


Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat




Exploring the temples at Angkor Wat



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!