Full-day small-group and private Angkor Wat tours run from Siem Reap and take visitors around the complex; epic helicopter tours allow you to see the ruins from above; and sunrise or sunset tours are especially popular for the photo opportunities. Many also combine a visit to Angkor Wat with the Angkor National Museum, to learn more about the site’s history and significance. If visiting independently, you can pick up 1-, 3-, and 7-day passes for the archaeological park at the entrance.
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Things to Know Before You Go
Angkor Wat is Cambodia’s most popular attraction, which makes for large crowds; book your tour in advance to guarantee entry.
Angkor Wat is a sacred site for Khmer people, and visitors should dress modestly—to visit the top tier, you must have your upper arms and thighs covered.
At any given time, a limited number of visitors are allowed to ascend to the top tier for views of the surrounding landscape.
A lawn in the outer ring has two free-standing roofless libraries that serve as peaceful places to escape the inevitable crowds.
All visitors enter through the west-facing main entrance; from here, the five inner and four outer towers serve as orientation points.
Angkor Watt is not wheelchair accessible.
How to Get There
Angkor Wat is located 4 miles (6 kilometers) north of Siem Reap in the Siem Reap Province. Travelers can arrive by tuk-tuk or choose a guided Angkor tour with round-trip transportation from the city.
When to Get There
Peak season at Angkor Wat is between November and February, when cool, dry weather makes for a pleasant visit. Huge crowds gather in the early morning to capture photos of the sun rising over the temple and its reflection in the site’s long pools. To beat the crowds, visit other temples first and save Angkor Wat for midday or try sunset instead.
Exploring the Angkor Temples
The ancient temples of the Angkor Archaeological Park can take days to explore, but highlights include the masterpiece Angkor Wat; Ta Prohm, where banyan tree roots encroach on crumbling structures; the South Gate of Angkor Thom; the Bayon Temple, where ancient smiling stone faces sit atop high towers; and the high wall at the Terrace of the Leper King. Visitors with more time can also see further-flung sites like the pink stone temple of Banteay Srei, dating to the 10th century, or take a boat ride on Tonle Sap lake.
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