The ancient City of Angkor is just shy of its 900 year old birthday. It’s old. It has many temples and your possible itinerary’s are endless. We’re not the authority on the place and we feel barely worthy of a “Do’s and Don’t’s” but we made a few mistakes as ever and we also did some pretty handy things as well. So we’re sharing them with you through the medium of the Internet. Take heed.
Do buy a guidebook, they cost $2 and almost everyone is selling them, we got ours from friends who had a head start but a quick look at the book before and during can help you understand the route your about to take and to really help you appreciate the history of the place.
Do book a Tuk Tuk (no mopeds allowed in Angkor) for the far Northern and Eastern Wat’s (Temples) it should cost no more than $18 for the morning.
Do wear sensible shoes, it’s a lot of stairs and a lot of climbing.
Do hire a bicycle for Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples.
Do shave in exploreresque facial hair with matching goatee to immerse yourself into the exploration and to really annoy your girlfriend.
Do get the three-day pass, it lasts for seven days which means you can use it any three days in between the seven days from purchase.
Do take a day off, after a while all the temples can start to look the same and what should blow you out of the water; with guidebook in hand of course, can actually look like a pile of rocks and rubble.
Do mind your head, the door ways are a little small for your modern human being.
Do make sure you see the following temples if time is short – Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider) and our favorite Bayon and Angkor Wat of course. See your new purchased guidebook for more details.
Do sit down and read the guidebook from time to time, find shade, it gets hot and drink plenty of water! – take a hat!
Don’t pay the ridiculous prices for bottles of water! We always paid what they asked but included a special discount of “buy one get one free”, they didn’t seem to mind.
Don’t book a Tuk Tuk tour with a driver that doesn’t speak much English, that you don’t really trust or just don’t get too good a vibe from… like we did. If you find a good Tuk Tuk driver let him know when you want the tour and at what time and he will be there.
Don’t assume the Tuk Tuk is yours all day for $18, our friends had a Tuk Tuk for a whole day for that price and we were a little surprised to be heading back for lunch… make sure you know the times and route before getting in.
Don’t get angry with the hoards and hoards of Chinese and Korean tourists that will stand in front of your picture for their own snap… make that 100 snaps of the same thing, practice makes perfect with these guys, they will barge you out the way and talk and shout right next to you… enjoy/embrace it, it is now unfortunately a part of the experience.
Don’t call Ta Prohm the Tomb Raider temple… it’s been sitting there for near on 800 years and deserves a little more respect than an association with the Lara Croft movie.
Don’t rush it. The place is an ancient city, it is not just one temple. It is a big place and if you want to do it well, do it slow.
Don’t bother with the $10 tour of Angkor Wat, if you have your $2 dollar guidebook you won’t learn anything new.
Don’t get to Angkor Wat for 5am… We did and ended up waiting a couple of hours for the sun to rise, we skipped the queue at the gate but it wasn’t worth it. Do check for the dates of an equinox though!
Don’t forget provisions for the sunrise at Angkor Wat, otherwise it’s $3 dollar orange juices and pot noodles that cost an arm and a leg!
Any thing we missed? Please let us know below and we will add them! Enjoy!