Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site in Siem Reap; Cambodia definitely deserves a visit if you are traveling through southeast Asia. Unfortunately, I stayed in Siem Reap for 3 days, so I only had the chance to explore Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm Temple, and Angkor Wat, apart from a trip to Kampong Phluk floating village, Tonle Sap Lake and other exciting sightseeing trips. Angkor Wat, a Buddhist temple, is considered one of the most significant religious monuments and one of the world’s ancient wonders. However, looking at the architectural structures, you know that initially, it was built as a Hindu temple.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap

First Day in Seam Reap

The Angkor Archaeological Park has located about 7 km from Hotel Shmadevi, where I was staying in Siem Reap City. Like me, most visitors stay in Siem Reap, using it as a base to make daily visits to the temples. Therefore, in addition to available guidebooks which help you to understand the history of the surrounding temples, it is always a good option to arrange your official guide for Angkor Archaeological Park with a reputable tour agency. Especially if your time is limited and there is no room for trial and error.

It’s a long walk from the front entrance to the main tower inside the Angkor Wat

Visiting Angkor Wat

On my first day, I started with the incredible Angkor Wat, on my wish list since 9th grade, inspired by my geography teacher. Like many others, watching the sunrise over Angkor Wat was also on my bucket list. Still, sadly it was raining nonstop for a few days in Siem Reap, so I was not lucky to experience the highly recommended sunrise observation. Anyway, June is a bad month to visit Siem Reap should not expect anything better than rain.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
From the left Tokla, Srong and Tong, can’t remember the other name!

First Experience

Despite the rain, we rented a private car and headed towards Angkor Wat early in the morning, surprised to see the site was already flooded with visitors. No wonder why it is the most famous ancient temple in Cambodia. Visiting this magnificent Angkor temple is the main reason most visitors come to Cambodia. My excitement started when I left the hotel and continued building until our driver dropped us off at the parking lot. Then, finally, we crossed the moat over the Sandstone Cause Way and entered the complex. Then another long walk through the gateway between the north and south library to the massive Angkor Wat.

Angkor Wat
Heading towards the main entrance – the moat surrounding Angkor Wat

Inside The Famous Angkor Wat

Once inside, I first noticed the reflection on the pool’s water where some of the most beautiful Angkor Wat pictures were taken. The pools make Angkor Wat even more interesting to photograph. So I spent no time but to take a few shots of the temple with reflection on the pool water. The rainy season, so the pool was completely filled with water, so the pictures came out really good despite the cloudy sky and lack of light.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
The famous pond and the reflection of the temple on the water – everyone’s favorite shot

Inside the Gallery of 1,000 Buddhas (Preah Peon)

The temple’s Gallery of a Thousand Buddhas (Preah Peon) is on the second level of Angkor Wat, a sacred and significant place within the massive ancient temple. That area used to have hundreds of Buddha images. Now only remnants remain as some were removed and others were stolen.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Inside Angkor Wat Gallery of 1000 Buddhas – Siem Reap

Angkor Wat Central Towers

It is on the second level of the temple. The third and top level is located in the middle of these second-level towers. This is where you could rest after a long walk and watch the main tower in case it’s too hard for you to take steep stairs to the top level.

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
Angkor Wat, Siem Reap
The tower inside Angkor Wat

Prices and Regulations

While the price is subject to change, the three-day admission ticket to the Angkor complex entrance fees for three days is $62, and 1 day at $37. The temple passes must be used on consecutive days. You can get your pass at the official Angkor Wat ticket booth located about 2 km from Angkor Wat itself. The complex is open early to accommodate the sunrise-watching crowds. Therefore, it is open from 5 am until 6 pm.

Best Time To Visit

Based on my experience, I definitely don’t recommend visiting Angkor Wat during the rainy season. Also, summer is the hottest month, especially between April to June. So the best time to visit is between December and February if you don’t mind the peak tourist season crowds.

Where to stay in Siem Reap, Cambodia

Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa, Siem Reap

Hotel Somadevi Angkor Resort & Spa is just 10 minute drive from the world-famous Angkor Wat Temple and a 5-minute walk from the famous Pub Street. Siem Reap International Airport is only 15 minutes away. It takes 5 minutes on foot to the Night Market and various dining and shopping options. Rooms have hardwood floors and a private balcony, and the bathroom is fitted with a bathtub and a separate shower. A buffet breakfast is served daily. In addition, Somadevi Café offers Khmer, Asian and European dishes.

Mane Boutique Hotel & Spa, Siem Reap

Nestled within lush green gardens, Mane Boutique Hotel & Spa offers peaceful and elegant accommodations with free WiFi in its public areas. In addition, it features an outdoor saltwater swimming pool, fitness center, and spa facilities. The hotel is about 2,650 feet from Angkor Trade Center and 0.6 mi from the famous Pub Street. Siem Reap International Airport is within 5.6 mi away, while the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat is 4.4 mi away. The property offers complimentary airport transfers by property car.

My Opinion and Last Word

Have you been to Siem Reap, Cambodia? Any cool tips to share?

loved being in Siem Reap, Cambodia, and want to go back again. I hope my story has motivated you to visit Cambodia.

Please leave a comment below! I’d love to hear from you to improve my knowledge. 

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Hasan Mahmud

Traveler, Blogger, and Travel Photographer!

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