Introducing the city

£1.00 | 5,121.89KHR

GBP | KHR

3 * Hotel p/n £15.86 | 81,243.52KHR

One-way ticket £0.79 | 4,063.25KHR

Beer £0.40 | 2,031.62KHR

Main Course £1.95 | 10,010.25KHR

About Siem Reap and Angkor Wat

The astrological precision to the design of the largest man-made spiritual structure on earth is unfathomable from within; the intricacy of the innumerable sandstone bas-reliefs, depicting Apsaras and Devatas of Hindu narratives, is not.

Angkor Wat, City of Temples, doubled as a state of the art irrigation system when it was built in the 12th century. Dried, pale green moss speckles the ornate designs of uncountable pediments and courtyards. Towering statues glare far over the stone perimeter to the borders of the defunct Khmer Empire. In the wet season, reservoirs and aqueducts cleverly reflect the crumbling ruins, recalling the glory of the 12th century Angkor Empire.

To the South of Angkor Wat lies Siem Reap, a town of old-Chinese and French colonial architecture, great for down time between exploring the temples and jungle ruins just over four miles North.

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Weather

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When Should You Visit?

Visit towards the end of monsoon season in November, when the moats brim with rain water and reflect the Angkor structures, as intended by the designer.

The area has two seasons - one hot and wet, the other hot and dry. Dry season runs from November to April, when the temperature stays around 30 degrees Celsius. Wet season runs from May to October. Heavy but short-lived rain falls in the late afternoon and evening after the swell of heat from the day. Whenever you go, there is a balance to be struck between crowd and weather.

Don't dismiss the wet season. Conceived as an earthly representation of the physical, metaphysical and spiritual centre of the universe (Hinduism's Mount Meru) the quincunx tower formation resounds of heavenly power during a heliotrope lightening storm.

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Travioor top tips

Equinox
Best time
Rent a bike

Insider Info

  • To make things extra special, time your visit with the Spring or Autumn equinox, when the sun rises to crown the central tower.
  • Angkor is most spectacular at sunrise and sunset.
  • Cycling is a cheap and convenient way of navigating the entire Angkor complex.

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Food and drink

Main Course £1.95 | 10,010.25KHR

3-Course Meal £11.90 | 60,948.74KHR

Cappuccino £1.87 | 9,560.92KHR

Beer £0.40 | 2,031.62KHR

The Scene

Siem Reap endures as a bread and board supplier to temple hoppers. Dining outlets in such a self contained local economy are limited and cater mainly for a Western palette, with token Khmer flair.

That said, simple indigenous dishes can be found away from the Southern Old Market/Pub Street area on Wat Bo Road. The fish never disappoints no matter where you are, thanks to Siem Reap's proximity to a freshwater lake.

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History

Siem Reap and Angkor Wat’s Story

The purpose of the super-structures square design covering roughly 500 acres still eludes experts today. Its original name is unbelievably a mystery, since no written reference to Angkor Wat has been discovered. The friezes throughout the corridors and chambers are derived of both Hinduism and Buddhism texts as the latter imbued the region towards the end of the 12th century.

During its glory days, the Khmer Empire ranged from Southern China, encompassing the core of modern day Southeastern Asia as far South as Thailand. It was built by Suryavarman II in the spirit of 'one-up-manship' and easily surpasses earlier Khmer constructions in functionality and artistic worth. The astute geographical positioning of Angkor Wat enabled the Khmer peoples to cope with foreign invaders and bi-annual weather extremities - the extensive water pools absorbing excess rain during floods and providing a reliable water source during drought.

Some scholars debate whether a realisation of an earth-star harmonisation is truer to the chosen location of Angkor Wat. Sitting North of the freshwater Tonlé Lake, it corresponds to the first star of the Draco constellation.

Language

Chomreabsuor | Hello
Arkoun | Thank you

Khmer

As a tourist attraction, English is widely spoken but make use of your phrase book. Road signs are in English surrounding the temples and within Siem Reap itself. Some guides speak other European languages such as Spanish and Italian.

  • Bye: Leahaey
  • Please: Saum
  • Excuse me: Attos
  • Do you speak English: Tae anak niyeay pheasaeaangkles

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Need to know

+855 Dialling Code
117 119 Emergency Services

Get The Low-Down

  • The Angor Wat entrance fee is paid in US dollars on Charles de Gaulle Road between Siem Reap and Angkor Wat. Do not purchase tickets from hotels, shops etc.
  • Tickets cost $20 for one day, $40 for three days and $60 for seven days. Arrive early for sunrise, rest during the hot midday and stick around for sunset.
  • Natives are touchingly proud of their Angkor heritage and the vastness of Angkor Wat renders supervising guests impractical. Be respectful of the ancient temples.

 

VISA INFORMATION

Find out about the visa requirements here.

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Travioor Recommends

1. Angkor Thom

Don't limit yourself to Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom is much wilder - the ruins overgrown with silk cotton trees. The charismatic guides are knowledgeable.

2. Traditional Dance

The dance of the Apsara, female spirits of cloud and water, is personified by this twisting, lulling shimmy. Temple acts are rarer than restaurant equivalents.

3. Bayon

216 titanic heads smirk in every direction in the nucleus of Angkor Thom. The effect can be disconcerting, something like a sacred hall of mirrors.

4. Rafter Bee Keeping

Learn about traditional rafter beekeeping and support the efforts of Bees Unlimited, an organisation devoted to sustainable Cambodian apiary. Find out more here.

5. Phnom Bakheng

Photographers; arrive here before sunrise, its crowded at sunset. Built on a hill and once encompassed by 108 towers, it offers some of the best views of the region.


See What's On In Siem Reap and Angkor Wat