Let me blow you away with a real temple run adventure in one of the most amazing places on earth. I swear! This one is my favorite and one of my most unforgettable out of the country trip. I am telling you, every temples and architecture’s tells so much about the country’s history and tradition. I have no doubt that this was declared as one of the a must see places in the world because YES it is!!
A lot of travelers come and go everyday waiting as early as 5AM just to witness the most famous Angkor Wat’s sunrise and during this trip, we are one of those and we traveled as early as 4am so we won’t miss it. When we came, the place is already full of tourist from all over the world. They are scattered everywhere around the temple with their camera’s and tripods ready to take their most instagramable shot of the Angkor Wat’s silhouette. I also prepared mine and as the time passes by, I cannot help but feel amazed while watching it’s beauty.
As you can see, there were only few spaces left to sit and be able to watch the sunrise but when it started to unhide it’s silhouette, it feels like you are the only person watching it. Time will stop and the view will surely melt your heart. It really felt so different!
We stayed there until 9am and went back to our hotel to grab our free breakfast. We got a nice & cozy hotel with swimming pool. And so we stayed there until 10AM and then headed back to the country side to finish our temple run adventure.
Are you ready??? Hold my hand as your travel fairy starts to paint these awesome temples with love and fascination.
WHICH TEMPLES ARE BEST TO SEE & HOW MUCH?
All of the temples are amazingly created with different stories to tell. But among these set of temples are the most visited ones. Do not worry because all of them are Instagram worthy so be sure to wear your best whole body covered-OOTD’s! Just a friendly reminder though, bring so much patience as the place is always crowded and expect a long line in the most blogged areas. Remember that you are here to enjoy so try to savor every moment. Here is the map for a better reference.
Angkor Temples Rates:
Updated entrance pass rate as of January 2,2017. The planned increases for the Angkor-Pass are quite substantial, as shown in this table:
|Ticket||Old Price||New Price|
|1 Day||20 $||37 $|
|3 Days||40 $||62 $|
|7 Days||60 $||72 $|
The prices apply only to foreign visitors. There is no discount for students, but for children younger than 12 is free (with showing their passport). For Cambodians, a visit to the Angkor temples is still free, which is very good!
Practical: With a 3 or 7-day pass, the viewing days do not have to immediately follow on from each other.
- 1 Day: This ticket is valid only on the day of purchase.
- 3 Days: This ticket is valid for 10 days from the date of purchase. You can choose which three days you wish to visit the Angkor temples on.
- 7 Days: This ticket is valid for one calendar month from the date of purchase. You have a whole month in which to visit the Angkor temples on the seven days of your choice.
Temples to visit:
- Angkor Wat – begin your day here as early as 5AM to watch the sunrise. It is the largest temple with the most amazing architecture. Unfortunately, the gates to the stairs of this temple are locked during our visit because it’s under restoration. So it’s not possible to take a shot from above. But still it’s amazing.
2. Ta Phrom – take a chance to fulfill your Indiana Jones dream. There’s this famous spot here called the “Tomb Raider Tree” where Angelina Jolie’s Lara Croft picked a jasmine flower before falling through the earth into…Pinewood Studios. The tree is beautiful and big. I couldn’t imagine how heavy it is.
P.S. Don’t ever miss taking your one in a lifetime selfie or solo shot here. Just be patient as this is one of the most lined site.
3. Angkor Thom – This comprises a set of temples which are Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terraces of the Leper King, Baphuon and many more little temples.
There are other temples to visit. You can even watch sunset at Phnom Bakheng. But we were not able to visit it anymore since everyone are very exhausted already. If you are planning to see these places read back to the map.
According to the people I’ve meet during our stay in Siem Reap, until now it is still a continuous debate as to how long someone should stay in the city to be able to see all of the temples but as for my own experience, one day is enough and totally worth it!
These temples are somehow alike though they have different stories behind. So if you are planning to do a temple run, better know which temple would you want to sight see.
HOW TO GET TO THE TEMPLES & HOW MUCH?
Take a bargained taxi for a whole day tour either from Siem Reap International Airport or Bus Terminals. Siem Reap countryside on a dry season is very dusty so it is better to take a taxi than a tuktuk. I highly recommend our taxi driver Mr. Sophal Heng. He is the best driver, photographer, and tour guide ever! He really knows how to handle guests especially Filipinos since he once visited our country already. You can reach him thru his facebook if you want to arrange pick up with him. Sophal Heng FB: https://www.facebook.com/heng.heng.180
Taxi Rate – $40 for 4 pax/whole day tour from 4AM until 6PM
WHEN IS THE BEST TIME TO DO A TEMPLE RUN?
I know all of the travelers who come by to visit these awesome temples wanted to see the best and be able to take the best shot of all the temples. So aside from knowing which temple should you go especially if you have a very limited time, better know as well about the seasons in Siem Reap.
The most popular and the best time to go is during November-February since it’s the coolest and the driest time of the year. However, it is also the most crowded. So better be prepared and bring a lot of patience because the crowd might be unbearable and the prices may tend to spike as well.
March- May are the hottest months and tends to be very dusty. While June-October are the wet months which are not ideal for a visit since there are possibilities of flash floods which may be very hassle for a travelers like us.
WHERE TO STAY IN SIEM REAP?
Siem Reap International Airport is not a possible option for a traveler with a tight budget for an overnight stay since the airport is just small and there is not enough space for sleeping so better book for a place to stay prior arrival.
For us, we didn’t booked ahead of time since the main plan is just to wait in the airport until sunrise but it didn’t go as planned. So we took an airport taxi for $7 and went to downtown to look for a hotel. The taxi driver suggested the Sidewalk Cofe Hotel. We payed for $35 for 4 pax with free breakfast for 4, free use of pool and other amenities plus the rooms are big, cozy and safe.
WHERE TO EAT?
- We ate lunch in Cherpor, a noodle restaurant in downtown in front of Hardrock Café. We tried their “Koyterve” ( a type of noodles with choice of pork, beef and chicken) and partnered with bread. I highly suggest you try this. It’s super delicious and they serve only authentic noodles.
2. Pub Street – the busiest street in town which offers a variety of foods, products and services.
This country is a home to exotic foods like scorpions, snakes, spiders, frogs and many more. If you are up for an eating challenge, the Pub Street and creatures are waiting for you!! Goosebumps everywhere! Haha! One of my friend tried this and it made me cringe while watching him finish the whole scorpion.
There are a lot of restaurants to choose from the cheapest one to the most expensive fine dining restaurants. Food prices ranges from $2 up to $35 per meal.
One thing I love the most is their on the go bar along the streets where you can buy cocktails for $3 and up. ANGKOR WHAT? Oh yes! Haha.
Some fancy restaurants offers a live performances but they are priced high from $35 and up.
WHERE TO BUY SOUVENIRS?
Along the Pub Streets are some souvenirs that you can buy. Russian Market is also an option. You may also ask the driver to bring you to the cheapest selling souvenir stores. We were able to buy ref magnets for only 12 pesos each, much cheaper than in the Philippines.
- Pay Visa Fee at SRIA for PHP 1,750 (Cambodia tourist visa is not required for citizens of Philippines for a stay up to 21 days.) Make sure your passport has blank Visa pages since Cambodia needs one whole page for stamp and confirm if transit visa is required for any connections. Bring ID pictures as advised for crossing boarders.
- A strict dress code is applied when visiting Angkor Temples. Shoulders and knees must be covered with something. Don’t worry if you came unprepared because some of the temples have baskets of sarong in front of their doors so you can use them while some have vendors outside who are renting out sarong’s just for temple visit. Be in you proper footwear, wear closed shoes as much as possible since it’s very dusty around the temples.
- Temples are exposed so bring sunscreen and hat for protection.
- Tuktuk are a bit cheaper compare to a cab/taxi but it is only good for downtown use. If you decide to visit the countryside and the temples better use taxi because it’s very dusty especially during November to February.
- Do not exchange dollars in the airport because they have low exchange rates. 1 USD=3800 Reil only while in downtown 1 USD=4100. Or just use US dollars in all of your purchases because it’s way cheaper.
- Eat at the back part of pub street to avail 2 dollar food. At the main street food ranges from $5 and up. But there is no wifi in stores at the back since they are just a simple carinderias.
HOW MUCH DID WE SPEND PER HEAD HERE?
Transportation – PHP 612.50 Hotel – PHP 437.50 Angkot Ticket – PHP 1,000 Food – PHP 180 Total = PHP 2,230.00
Here’s my itinerary to guide you well.
I hope you find it colorful and helpful. If yes, please do not forget to like and share. And If you have any questions, just leave a comment and I will do my best to answer it.
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