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Angkor Wat is one of the most ancient temples in South east Asia and is over 200 feet high with multiple layers. It depicts several mythical stories including the famous Battle of Kurukshetra, the Army of Suryavarman II, Heaven and Hell, Churning of the Ocean of Milk, Elephant Gate, Vishnu Conquers the Demons, the battle between Ram and Ravana and many more. While there is a lot to see, the question is how to cover 1000 temples across 400 sq/km area?
To help you figure this out here is a list of top 5 things you should do and what you should not do while visiting Angkor Wat.
1. Do some research
The majestic complex of the temple can be overwhelming and if you plan to spend a few days here it will be difficult to understand what you are exploring without a background. Before visiting you could do some research on the internet or make a trip to the Angkor National Museum. Read about the Khmer empire, watch a few videos. The museum is quite modern in nature and with its audio visual display does a great job in explaining the blend of Hindu and Buddhist beliefs that you will come across in the temple premises.
2. Start your day early
The heat in Siem Reap can get unbearable plus the temple premises shut quite early in the evening. The temple is open from 5:30 am to 5:30 PM, it would be a good idea to head to the temple first thing in the morning and take a break in the afternoon and then spend time in the premises again till they shut.
3. Spend several days at the park
If you are thinking that you will explore 400 square kilometres in just one day, it is going to be impossible. You must take the 3 days pass or the 7 days pass and keep a track of it, if you lose it you will have to purchase a new one. You need it to get into the main park entrances but there will also be people checking at some of the larger temples while already in the park complex. If you lose the pass you need to purchase a new one. Getting a guide may seem like an expensive affair but it is completely worth the time and money to get one at least for the first day.
4. Plan your day
Don’t just follow the crowds, plan your day visit the main temples be it Bayon, Ta Prohm, etc and at them same time visit smaller temples as well. Keep sipping on water through the day and keep yourself hydrated always. Most importantly, prepare yourself for the weather changes, even though it is almost always hot here, there might be days where you witness sudden downpour.
5. Click a lot of pictures and chronicle your visit
Enjoy you visit as much as you can and do not rush through it. The place might seem crowded during peak season but don’t get overwhelmed by them. Click images not just at the main sites but also at the smaller ones. Chronicle your journey from start to end. You may even want to upload the images as a photo blog, who knows it might serve as an inspiration to someone who is planning their visit.
1. Don’t shuttle between the hotel and temple in the morning
There are a lot of people who arrive at the temple in the morning and head back for breakfast. Don’t do this as once you are here visit as many places as you can when the weather conditions are good.
2. Don’t think that all the temples in the premises look alike
The temple premises have a story to tell, they are all distinctly different from one another, each relic has a different story to tell. A pro tip would be to take a multiple day pass and not use it on consecutive days. Take a break in between to explore the rest of Siem Reap.
3. Don’t Forget to cover your shoulders and knees
You’re visiting temples and sacred sites so should have your shoulders and knees covered, especially for women.
4. Don’t litter, climb on ruins and write on them
Angkor wat is a sacred site and one must be respectful. Writing on walls, littering and spoiling the sanctity of the place is not cool
5. Don’t forget to carry Forex for backup
You might have budgeted your trip keeping in mind a certain itinerary. But we often underestimate the spends and end up exhausting all our resources. To avoid this situation, you can speak to our Forex expert who will help you split your cost and also ensure that you sail through smoothly even during May day!
The magnanimity of Angkor Wat is such that you need to see it to believe it. To comprehend the uniqueness of each structure even partially you need to spend enough time understanding them. It is an incredible experience hope you have packed your diary and camera to chronicle this epic journey.