None are any further away from the Angkor Wat ruins.
Angkor Wat is big business now, but seeing it again was as indescribable as ever.
Instead of isolation as before there remain only pockets of areas away from the crowds. So, you can still see some of the glorious wonder that remains in this place.
Being there at the right time of day and in the right place is the key.
We took the off-beat pathway around the main entrance and walked along the inside of the outer walls of Angkor Wat. We were pretty much alone.
If you see Angkor Wat in the very early hours of the morning or an hour before the site closes, you’ll practically be alone.
And if you want the most incredible experience of them all then you should get in the balloon near dusk and see the entire site from 200 Meters up.
It’s insanely romantic and absolutely beautiful with views of the entire Angkor site (Bring a significant other and a camera).
The big, yellow balloon rises 200 Meters above the temple site. I can’t think of any words that can describe the experience. But I felt that I flew over the top of one of the 7 wonders of the ancient world on that day.
To get to the where the balloon takes off, just head down the road that connects the airport to the Angkor Temples.
Just 1KM before you reach the gates of Angkor is where you'll find the balloon.
The balloon cost me $12USD in 2001 for a 20 minute ride and worth every penny. Inflation anyone? Give them a call @012-520810 before heading down to see them.
Here’s some of that dry stuff before we get started.
Angkor Wat is situated in Northwestern Cambodia and was the heart of the Khmer Empire for more than 500 years.
From Angkor the Khmer civilization controlled all of Mainland Southeast Asia from the 9th to the 13th century.
Thailand and Vietnam repeatedly invaded the kingdom at Angkor Wat until 1863 when France made Cambodia a protectorate and sent the Thais and Vietnamese packing.
Independence followed in 1953.
Angkor Wat or Chiang Mai?
I made my first trip to Angkor Wat in 2001 with a friend. I was living in Bangkok at the time when we decided to make the trek to see the Temples at Angkor.
The other option was to make the trip North to the city of Chiang Mai in the North of Thailand. I’m glad we made the right choice looking back now.
If you’re coming from Bangkok (A hub now with the best prices on airfares in the region) then you’ll probably be staying at a Bangkok Guest House somewhere near Khoa San Road.
You should decide if you want to see all of the most important temples or not. There are 2 options for tickets;
The $20USD/ Single Day Pass
The $40USD/ 3 Day Pass
And the $60USD/ Seven-Day Pass
Unfortunately, the multi-day tickets must be used on consecutive days so there is no taking a day off on a 3 or 7 day pass.
When you go to purchase your entry ticket to the Temples take along 2 additional passport sized photos. They are required for the Angkor Temple Pass.
Keep the ticket close to you because you will be asked to show that ticket at the entrance to each and every Temple you enter. If you lose it you’ll be asked to purchase a new one.
Another thing you need to remember about tickets is that they are Non-Transferable. Only you can purchase your ticket in person at the Entrance Gates to Angkor.
If somebody offers to get you a ticket at a discount, politely refuse the offer.
It’s a scam.
If you want, you can purchase your ticket at 5pm.
If you do, you'll be permitted to immediately enter the Angkor site, roam around for an hour and then catch the sunset up at Phnom Bakheng.
You can then use that same ticket to gain entrance to the temples the following day. So it’s like getting a day and half for the price of a single day. It’s enough time to see the major attractions at Angkor but it’s a little rushed.
3 days was enough for me the first time I went but again that’s something you need to decide depending on how much time you have and how interested you are in the first place.
The Temples You Just Shouldn't Miss at Angkor City:
What looks like the largest tree on the planet has made Ta Prohm Temple its Home.
It sprouted through the floors and now completely engulfs the huge Temple with 3M thick roots that wind throughout the temple's foundation and blasted the roof right off it.
What a beautiful sight.
Preah Khan Temple
This Temple has been under restoration for nearly 10 years but they finally completed enough of the work to allow tourists to see and envision what this mighty Temple must have looked like over 1000 years ago.
What Best Secondary Temples Near Angkor? Not rated yet I absolutely love your site. I recently read your article about Bangkok to Cambodia.
I am wondering if you have any other articles in regards to Cambodia. …