Planning a 3-day itinerary for your stay in Siem Reap can be daunting due to the sheer number of attractions in the area. If you are on a short stay, I recommend booking a tour guide to help you make the most of your time.
Angkor Wat is in the Angkor Archaeological Park, which is vast, and getting from one place to the next in the heat can be tiring and take up valuable time if you are unsure where places are in relation to each other. This is why planning is useful, and with the help of an itinerary tailored to suit your needs and interests, you will experience so much more in your time here.
Your Angkor Wat Pass also allows you to visit the Rolous Group, Wat Athvea, Phnom Krom, Kbal Spean, and Beng Mealea. These are dotted around the countryside outside Siem Reap. Organizing tickets and transport while knowing the locations’ whereabouts and distances is made easier with the knowledge of a local guide.
Sometimes, as awe-inspiring, as the temples may be, one often needs a day off to relax. Perhaps take a morning to enjoy the lotus fields or the silk farm, or drive through the countryside villages with time to stop and shop at local markets along the way. A day may be spent taking a boat through the incredible, floating forests and villages of stilted houses on the expansive Tonle Sap Lake, or heading to the cool waterfalls of Kulen Mountain and visiting the home of the reclining giant Buddha.
These excursions also give us a glimpse of Cambodian life today and an opportunity to meet the locals, who are some of the most welcoming people I have encountered on my travels! There are museums to see and so many activities available that it can be difficult to squeeze it all in without a little help. A certified guide not only shares their valuable historical knowledge but can provide insightful information on local but lesser-known spots off the beaten path. A guide will organize your transport, answer your queries, help with booking tickets, and, more importantly for me, offer a unique opportunity to engage with the locals, providing a beautiful and unforgettable cultural exchange. What better way to understand the value of the place we are visiting?
What You Need to Know Before Visiting
There is a plethora of books and online material to help you. Still, I suggest using the official site for up-to-date and accurate information regarding opening times and ticketing.
|1-day pass||USD 37||Valid for 1 entry over a 5-day period from the date of purchase.|
|3-day pass||USD 62||Valid for three entries within a 10-day period of purchase.|
|7-day pass||USD 72||Valid for 7 entries over a 30-day period from the date of purchase.|
With so much to see and limited time, most opt for visiting what is known locally as “The Big Three.”
- Angkor Wat, the world’s most recognizable temple, is the world’s largest religious monument and a “must-see” while you’re here.
- Bayon, known for its enormous, sculpted faces smiling out from every angle of the temple, remembers the expression, “If walls could talk”? Well, they certainly do here! The outer walls, with their exquisite bas-reliefs, depict the history and intriguing scenes of everyday life.
- Ta Prohm. Engulfed in the jungle, it is one of the most atmospheric temples. With towering trees growing up through the ruins, it is very photogenic. No surprise the location was used and made famous by Hollywood, and it is now nicknamed the “Tomb Raider” Temple! Bring your camera.
3-DAY TICKETS (recommended for a 3-day itinerary)
The 3-day ticket (over 10 days) allows you to take rest days or visit other sites outside the Angkor Archaeological Park that your Angkor Pass permits. These include the Rolous Group, Wat Athvea, Phnom Krom, Kbal Spean, and Beng Mealea, all dotted around the countryside outside of Siem Reap. I suggest visiting these sites route to other places of interest to make the most of your pass and your time. (For example, Beng Mealea may be seen route to Kulen Mountain and Wat Athvea may be seen route to the boats for the floating villages.)
To help you decide and plan your trip, please see the link below for the many suggestions of excursions on offer 3 days Angkor wat tour.
Do you need an Angkor Wat tour guide?
On my first visit to Angkor Wat, I was so impressed by the craftsmanship and sheer majesty of the place, but I didn’t understand the many carvings and the significance of what I was seeing. It took a tour guide to help me understand the history and the importance of the different temples. An experienced guide has extensive knowledge of the area, its unique architecture, and its historical importance. A guide can bring to life the remarkable story of an empire in a world nearly a thousand years ago in an informative but informal way.
A guide can make your experience so much more enriching when you are out and about in the villages and surrounding countryside. It’s so much more enjoyable and refreshing to walk and talk with someone who knows so much about the area.
This website is a great resource for detailed information on recommended Angkor Archaeological Park Tours and other tours in the area, and it can help you decide which places are of interest to you. Once you have decided, you can communicate that with your guide, and they will be able to make a bespoke travel plan with you.
Personally, I had a wonderfully fun guide called Mr. Rain. He is fluent in English and so eager to share his incredible passion for his culture and Cambodia’s rich history. Not only is his historical knowledge impressive, but he shares it so enthusiastically that he is what I consider to be a perfect private Angkor wat tour guide. Allow him to be your host in his beloved Siem Reap and its surroundings, and you will be richer for it! You can read his story and find his details here.
What to Know Before You Visit: Tips
Being in the tropics, take note of how hot and/or wet it can be depending on the season, so dress accordingly. Bring good walking shoes or sandals for all terrains, a rain jacket, an umbrella, a cap, and/or sunscreen as needed. Keep in mind that the weather can be unpredictable during the rainy season. It can be hot and sticky one minute, and then a sudden heavy downpour may fall the next, so be prepared for everything and make your daypack and clothing as lightweight as possible.
Being a religious site, it is obligatory that we follow the dress code respectfully when entering the temples. Dress modestly, covering your shoulders with a shawl or scarf, and although gentlemen may wear shorts of a respectable length, ladies must wear something below knee length. I tend to carry a sarong or a wrap that I can wear as a long skirt.
I also suggest carrying your own water bottle. The heat can be very intense, and although there are roadside vendors everywhere with cold drinks on offer, you won’t find one as you venture through the jungle paths between temples.
However long you plan to stay in Siem Reap, I hope you find the perfect tour and guide for your visit. I hope you feel a little bit of the magic that I do, here in “The Kingdom of Wonder for your visit. I hope you feel a little bit of the magic that I do, here in “The Kingdom of Wonder.” The place I now call home
Time to get booking!
Safe travels and happy trails to you all!