So when you do your research on how to do the Angkor Temples, most people will suggest that you should buy the 3 day ticket to get the most out of your trip rather seeing the Angkor Temples in 1 day. Now that was fine before the ticket prices increased. Now the prices are:
1 day – $37 (£29)
3 days – $62 (£48)
7 days – $72 (£56)
As budget travellers, $62 each is pretty steep even for these infamous temples. We went back and forth deciding which ticket to buy but finally settled on getting a ticket for just the one day and created a long list of all the temples we wanted to see.
Typically people do the small circuit in one day and the grand circuit another day. To maximise our one day, we had to combine temples from both circuits. Our ‘Angkor Temples in 1 day’ list ended up like this: –
Angkor Wat (Sunrise)
Terrace of Elephants
Terrace of the Leper King
Yes, it was a long list and yes, it was a huge struggle. To start at sunrise with zero breaks was tough but worth it to see the majority of the temples without the huge crowds that begin to gather later in the day.
As we were going to Angkor Wat for sunrise, we made sure we organised a tuk tuk through the hotel to make life nice and simple.
Typical tuk tuk prices:
$15 small circuit
Additional $10 for the big circuit
Angkor Wat at sunrise
We visited in low season so it was crowded but not as excessive as we’ve seen in photos so that was a major plus. However, the sky was cloudy and dull and there wasn’t really much of a sunrise to see so we took a few snaps and headed into Angkor Wat before everyone else.
This was only a short stop as there isn’t a huge amount to see. However, it’s a great photo opportunity as most people go straight on to Bayon. It’s pretty fun (and a little dangerous) trying to make it up the dangerously steep stairs.
Definitely our favourite! When we reached Bayon at about 7am, we couldn’t believe how empty it was. We only saw 2 other people for the first 45 minutes. Of course, we know this wouldn’t be the case in peak season so we were grateful for going when we did. The huge, carved faces have been incredibly preserved and are pretty striking. When the big tour buses arrived, we knew we needed to make a swift escape so we could beat them to the next temple.
Ta Phrom is incredibly photogenic as you can see the battle between nature and temple but it can be quite the struggle to get that perfect shot. This was the most crowded temple for us which is completely understandable considering how fascinating it is. Ta Phrom’s definitely not as open as most of the other temples and feels quite maze-like. It’s fun for a short while but we got tired of the hordes pretty quickly.
Srah Srang was simply a highlight because it was the perfect place for a quiet break in between temple hopping.
The highlight for us at Ta Som was the roots of a ficus tree draped around the rear entrance of the temple – unbelievable again to see how nature has invaded the temple.
There’s no need to splurge on the 3-day ticket if your budget won’t allow it. Our ‘Angkor Temples in 1 day’ list should help you get the most out of your day at this beautiful World Heritage Site.