Deep in the forests of Siem Reap, Cambodia lies Angkor Archaeological Park, an ancient stone city, soars skyward above its sprawling complex temples that offer tourists a window into the Khmer Empire's precious past. Angkor is beyond amazing. Trust me, you'll be impressed. It wouldn't be considered a UNESCO world heritage if it isn't.
If, like me, you're only to spend a day in Siem Reap, I hope you're willing to wake up early in the morning to capture the quintessence photo of the sunrise in Angkor. In able to do so, you'll need to pass on staying up all night from grabbing drinks in Pub Street to get a good spot. Come a little late, here's what to expect:
Angkor temples close between 5-5:30PM. If you arrive in Siem Reap at least just before the sunset, you can buy your Angkor pass for the next day and you'll earn a "free" pass for the sunset on the day you bought the ticket (I arrived in Siem Reap at around 11PM that's why I didn't get to enjoy this simple hack.). Though I heard that you buy the ticket a little after 5PM.
The hostel I stayed in Siem Reap offers a cheap 8-hour small circuit Angkor tour that includes visit in Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Ta Prohm for only $15. Talking about luck, I shared my Angkor tuktuk tour expenses with a friend I met on the airport who happened to stay in the same hostel.
(If you haven't seen my breakdown of expenses, you may take a peek here)
Be advised that there was a recent hike in the Angkor Pass price. From its 1-day pass for only $20, it is now $37; 3-day pass from $40 to $62; and a week-long visit pass from $60, now costs $72!! Yeah I know, the nearly doubling of ticket price is not a good idea and it hurts a little bit. According to some locals, their government said that it's for the improvement of the site and the current tourism service.
Here are some photos and what to see in a small circuit Angkor tour:
Photo taken by Trisha Gato
All photos are taken by me unless otherwise stated
The tuktuk tour will probably end by 12 noon and you're most likely be templed out by then. My original plan was to visit Wat Bo and Wat Preah Prom Rath that are just walking distance from our hostel. But I just cannot go on and ended up going back in our hostel to rest before I fly to Bangkok.
We got back in our hostel at around 12:30PM and the receptionist informed me that I should be checking out already. Wait, what? I haven't gotten any decent sleep yet, so I tried asking the receptionist guy if I could extend my stay, he suggested I better talk to the manager. We went out on the other side of the river to grab something to eat and when we got back, I asked the hostel manager if I can stay until 5PM since my flight to Bangkok is at 9PM and I *badly* need a rest. He told me he have to check the dorm first. After a minute or so... Voila! He agreed to extend my stay until 7PM. ☺
THE SIEM REAP HOSTEL
Phone: +855 63 964 660
I'm sorry for the long-overdue blog post, hehe.