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Temple Guides: How to Plan for a Trip to Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat is the world-renowned ancient city in Cambodia, home to the Khmer empire that once controlled most of Southeast Asia. Although that civilization is now extinct, they left a legacy that has left the world in awe, creating massive temples and buildings reclaimed by the jungle for centuries. Although this place is always jam-packed with tourists, it’s still a worthy and breath-taking site to visit.

Whether you already have your trip booked or are in the planning stages, here are tips when planning for a trip to Angkor Wat to help you make the most out of the journey.

The Best Time to Visit Angkor Wat

Choosing the best time to visit Angkor Wat is crucial if you want to make the most out of the trip. Generally, the best times to visit the ancient city are from November to February as Cambodia isn’t too hot nor rainy. When it comes to the time, it’s best if you go early and witness the sunrise while at the temples. Plus, going early means fewer tourists, so you get to really take in the place and enjoy your surroundings.

How Many Days Should You Spend in Angkor Wat

Whether a trip to Angkor Wat is your main destination or just a part of your Southeast Asia tour, it’s best to make an itinerary that fits your timeline and needs the best. Although it’s possible to explore the ancient city in just a day or two, the best period is around three days as it allows you to experience what Angkor Wat has to offer.

Getting around Angkor Wat

Although you can go around the core area of Angkor Wat using a bicycle, the temples spread over the larger sites are best explored via car or tuk-tuk. When choosing between riding a car or tuk-tuk, though a car ride offers more comfort, it’s best to go for tuk-tuks as they allow you to explore the area like a local—which is always a great idea.

person outdoors

Hiring a Guide

You can hire local guides in advance or hire one at the entrance of Angkor Wat, which is more prominent than you’d expect. You can learn more about the history of the ancient city with a guide. However, this is mainly optional and depends on your budget and how deep you’d like to learn about Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples.

Having a local to show you around means you’ll also get your fill of shopping tours and side trips. You’ll be able to buy small trinkets and souvenirs, even spices and desert salts for sweet or savory dishes.

What to Wear

Since Angkor Wat is a temple, keep in mind that there are dress codes that you need to follow. In essence, they require tourists to wear clothing that covers their shoulders and knees. However, since Cambodia is typically hot year-round, make sure you pack up light clothes. Additionally, bringing a hat and raincoat to be prepared for sudden rains, which often happens in the country, is ideal.

The ancient city of Angkor Wat is one of those unique places that you can’t find anywhere else, and if you’re lucky enough to have an upcoming trip there — follow the tips mentioned to create a plan that allows you to make the most out of the trip.

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