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Updated by Joanna James on Jun 23, 2019
Headline for Top 5 Things to Know before Visiting Angkor Wat - Get the Best out of your Visit
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Top 5 Things to Know before Visiting Angkor Wat - Get the Best out of your Visit

Prior to visiting Angkor Wat, do your research and plan your visit, consider staying a few extra days, hire a local tuk-tuk and prepare yourself for a lot of walking and exploring.


Read a bit about Angkor Wat

While Angkor Wat is undoubtedly one of the most iconic attractions in Southeast Asia, tourists will be surprised to learn that there is a lot more to this area that the temple alone. For instance, Angkor was actually the capital city of the Khmer Empire for well over five centuries and the city itself hosts over one thousand temples in addition to the temple complex known as Angkor Wat. There are also a number of other attractions in the immediate vicinity such as the Cambodian Cultural Village which is a theme park located next to the Anantara Angkor Resort, the Angkor National Museum, and the Royal Independence Gardens.


Be Prepared to Spend Some Time in Angkor

Therefore, it is important to plan to stay in Angkor for more than one or two days. Even though there is so much to see in Siem Reap, because Angkor Wat is so iconic, many tourists visit only this attraction and often leave very little time, or no time at all, for anything else. This is quite unfortunate because the area is crawling with numerous other attractions and sites that are well worth visiting. Therefore, either do your research in advance and plan your visit meticulously, or book a few extra days at a boutique hotel in Siem Reap to explore the many facets of the city.


Do Away with a Local Tour Operator

Many tourists opt for a coordinated tour of Angkor Wat for their convenience. While this might certainly be a convenient option, this is not the best way to explore the beauty of the area. Instead, consider hiring a local three-wheeler driver (known locally as tuk-tuks) who may even be amenable to you hiring them for more than a day! This means you have both ease of transport and local knowledge all at the same time for the tuk-tuk drivers will be able to provide you with great local recommendations for sites to visit as well as food.


Opt to See the Sunrise Elsewhere

Many tourists visit the city with the intention of seeing the sunrise at the Angkor Wat. However, because of this, sunrise at the Angkor Wat is often a very crowded, and therefore, rather unpleasant, experience. It is far better to opt to see the sunrise at a different temple – you have over one thousand temples to choose from. Therefore, ask for local recommendations as to the best places to see the sunrise in Siem Reap and go for it!


Bring Enough Water and Food

When exploring the city, it is always best to be equipped with everything you need for the day. Bring enough water with you, and it is best if you can also carry your meals as well. This is because, even though the Angkor Wat is located in Siem Reap, it is actually located outside the central city and therefore, food options maybe limited and the prices may be inflated. Also, be prepared to walk a lot around the city as well as the many attractions. Some of the temples require a lot of climbing and walking and the temples are spaced far apart which entails additional travelling on foot.