Arriving in Siem Reap, I bet that one of your first tasks will be to purchase your tickets for its star attraction, Angkor Wat, and organize a tour program with a local expert guide. The temple is just one of the hundreds in the Angkor Archaeological Park, the World Heritage Park is of such great significance, not only as the world’s largest religious site but it as an awe-inspiring feat of ancient human engineering.
The majestic structures of the former Khmer Empire give reason to explore this vast area of temples and gateways, palaces, moats, and water channels dating back to the 1100s. The experience allows us to walk through the centuries and delve into the stories of life in worlds gone by.
Within the grounds of Angkor Park, the stunning, natural environment frames its wonder so poetically… Strewn by beautiful jungle forest, sky-spiraling trees alive with cheeky monkeys, and the high-pitched serenade of the cicadas, you can stroll at your own pace in this uniquely wondrous place!
(Folks please forgive my sentiment, but I truly am in awe each time I visit and still have so much yet to see and explore!)
I have been so fortunate to live in Siem Reap, known as, The Gateway to Angkor Wat since pre-pandemic. I have visited the historic temples in all seasons, in both the busiest and quietest of times. There were moments of no access during lockdowns, but with all of that well behind us, we can visit and enjoy its wonder again.
It’s on our doorstep and buying the Angkor Archaeological Park Pass has been made easier than ever. There are two options –
- You can buy IN PERSON at the ticket office as before…. and of recently…
- You can now purchase ONLINE!
BUYING ANGKOR WAT TICKETS IN PERSON
If buying your Angkor Wat Pass in person, you will find the Official Angkor Park ticketing office is located North of the city center, only 4.2km away (approx. 15mins by tuk-tuk), and the Angkor Park entrance, 5.6km away. They are in slightly different directions and are 5.5 km from each other (about 10-15 mins by tuk-tuk). Please take this into consideration if planning a one-day visit,(especially if you wish to make it for the Sunrise Tour) and only have a limited time in Siem Reap.
OFFICE OPENING HOURS are from 5 am to 5.30 pm (please allow for queues in high season and public holidays). You may also want to purchase the ticket the day before if you are planning a Sunrise Tour. This allows you ample time to go directly to the site in the morning to find your perfect spot for sunrise!
Angkor Park grounds are also free after 5.30 pm (although one may not enter the Temples). The place is so enchanting as the hues of sundown turn into dusky light, perfectly reflecting the scenery in the mirrored waters of the moat surrounding Angkor Wat. Many locals take advantage of this, walking or cycling the surrounding circuits. Some cruise casually around the circumference of the enormous moat on their mopeds or tuk-tuks, and some simply stop to picnic and admire the often-breathtaking skies and colors at this time of day. I suggest thinking of this if you intend to buy your tickets the day before your Angkor tour. Aim to get to the ticket office before the end of the day (remember that the ticket office will close at 5.30 pm). Once you have your ticket for the following day, drive onwards with your tuk-tuk or guide, to Angkor Park Entrance (10mins away). The road is beautifully tree-lined and the fresh air and forest scents are a welcome escape from the heat and traffic of town.
If you opt for a multiple entry pass (3 or 7 days), you only need to go to the ticketing office on the day of purchase, leaving you free to go directly to the Angkor Park entrance (with your Pass) on the other days, reducing travel time and saving money.
Multiple-day passes do NOT have to be used on consecutive days (see below). This gives you the opportunity to take rest days to laze at the pool, have a massage, or visit Siem Reap’s many other attractions.
|1-day pass||USD 37||Valid for 1 entry over a 5-day period from the day of purchase.|
|3-day pass||USD 62||Valid for 3 entries over a 10-day period from day of purchase.|
|7-day pass||USD 72||Valid for 7 entries over a 30-day period from the day of purchase.|
The EXCEPTIONS to these prices include-
– Children under 12yrs. Children may enter freely but must show passports.
– Expats with proof of having lived in Cambodia for two or more years. You are eligible for the Special Angkor Pass.
– Cambodian Nationals have free access at any time.
Once you are at the ticket office you will find friendly assistants who will take you to one of the many ticket desks.
Passports are NOT required to purchase tickets, EXCEPT for children under 12yrs who, as stated, gain free entry with proof of age.
At the desk, ask for which ticket/s you require. They will take a digital photo of you on a webcam for your pass along with your payment. The photo will be printed on your pass, which I personally love to keep as a souvenir!
(NB. Please remember to carry your Angkor Pass with you always, as they are checked at all gates and temple entrances within the park and cannot be replaced should you lose it).
PAYMENT FOR ANGKOR WAT PASS AT THE TICKET OFFICE
– Payment may be made in cash or with credit/debit cards. Cards including Visa, MasterCard, Diners Club, JCB, and Union Pay may be used.
– Cash is accepted in USD, Cambodian Riel, Thai Baht, and Euro – please note that any change will be given back in Cambodian Riels.
BUYING ANGKOR TICKETS ONLINE
I recommend buying your Angkor Wat Online Pass before arrival, should you only have limited time in the region and do not wish to travel to the ticket office. It does not take long but it could eat into a valuable part of your first day when there are so many other things to see and do around Siem Reap. This can be done easily online and purchased up to 30 days prior to using the ticket.
To do this simply go to the official website:
Once you are on the site you will be asked to register using an email address and they will forward the registration to you.
- That done, now go to your inbox, fill out the form online, and choose the ticket type you wish to buy.
- You will then be asked to upload a photo of yourself which will be printed on your Angkor Wat ticket. This is a relatively simple process that can be done on your smartphone. Be sure the photo is a clear image of your face and in color. Check the file size is not too big or it may take several attempts to process.
- Choose the number of tickets you require if booking for more than one person. There is an option for this to avoid making multiple, individual payments.
- Proceed with payment. You will receive confirmation of this.
- Print or save your pass – You can enter Angkor Wat entrances with a hard copy or a digital copy on your smartphone or other devices.
THINGS TO CONSIDER BEFORE VISITING ANGKOR ARCHAEOLOGICAL PARK
You will want to plan how many temples you can realistically see in a day. Remembering these facts may help prepare you…
It is VAST! – The sheer size of the area is daunting. There are 100’s temples within the 400sq km area. Be realistic as to how you plan to get around. Car, tuk-tuk, bicycle, or minivans are options to get between the temples, as distances can vary depending on the spots you wish to visit.
How many days do you have to explore? This will help you determine what kind of ticket you require. (i.e. The 1, 3 or 7-day pass).
It is HOT! – Many people leave early in the morning when it is cooler and stop for long lunches with the local food vendors in the shade, before continuing later in the afternoon. Some even return to their hotel in town for a swim and relax before going back for sundown.
- Always carry water and organize refreshment stops along the way. Fresh coconut is not only delicious but is full of electrolytes and prevents dehydration!
- Bring sunscreen and/or mosquito repellant.
- Wear a cap, hat, a scarf, or carry a parasol as some of the locals do. (These may also be purchased at the various vendors and small market stalls near the entrance should you require them).
- Dress respectfully entering Temples and religious sites. Shoulders and legs must be covered. I often carry a lightweight shawl, an oversized scarf, or a sarong to wrap around me.
Your own fitness will play a part! There is a lot of walking involved on different terrains, so shoes are important! Remember that being in the tropics brings rain, and even if it is just a shower it can make the stones and steps slippery and grass sodden very quickly. I suggest bringing a light rain mac, poncho, or umbrella (which can also protect you from the sun). Check which season you are visiting in and prepare accordingly. I love the rainy season as the forest and the whole park become such a lush green heaven to walk through!
HOW DO YOU PLAN TO TRAVEL BETWEEN THE TEMPLES?
Most people opt to get around by Tuk-Tuk, but cars and groups in minivans are also common. If you have the luxury of time, cycling is an option too, depending on your fitness and not forgetting the heat! There are cycle circuits around the Park and bikes can be hired easily and everywhere in town. Your hotel should be able to assist you with this.
I highly recommend using a certified Angkor Tour Guide, especially If it is your first and/or only visit to Angkor Park. Simply there are just so many carvings, bas reliefs, and features though out the temples, bridges, and palaces, that depicts not only the history from different eras in Khmer Empire but really of how life was actually lived. It is incredible we can still see this today and understand fully, a guide can be of tremendous assistance and make it a so much more fun and worthwhile experience.
Your Angkor Park Pass also allows you to visit other sites outside of the Park including The Rolous Group, Wat Athvea, Phnom Krom, Kbal Spean, and Beng Mealea. To cover all this and more I strongly suggest using a tour guide for 3 days of adventure, You may also use your guide to take a day off at the Floating Villages or Kulen Mountian and the waterfalls, to have a break from temple hopping!
Your hotel may help you organize this, but I can personally recommend the services of Mr. Rain Proun. It’s really worth having a look at this website private Angkor wat tour to help plan which of the many places you wish to visit. Check out the blogs on all the excursions available in the area and how you can plan your own 1, 2, or 3-day trip.
You can tailor your trips to suit you. This also allows you to go off the beaten path and stop at places when and where you want along your way. Mr. Rain speaks fluent English with a true passion for his Cambodian culture and history. As a fun and certified guide, he will also help you plan your excursions, book relevant transport and/or boat, and tickets to other attractions, ahead of your trip with no hidden fees!
However you spend your time in Siem Reap, I hope you find it as magical a place as I have. The place I now call home!
Have a great stay and happy trails to you all!