Experience Cambodian Temples; Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm

If you are heading to South East Asia, the temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia should be at the top of your go- see list. Siem Reap is known for it’s ancient temples and three of the most popular also known as the “big three” include Angkor Wat, the Bayon Temple (the faces temple) and Ta Prohm temple (otherwise known as Cambodia’s Tomb Raider temple) which, if planned well can be visited all in one day.

How to purchase tickets

In order to enter the temples you must first purchase a ticket or Angkor pass, this can be done online or at their official ticket center which opens daily between 4:30 am and 5:30 pm located 4 km from Siem Reap town. In Cambodia, the US dollar is widely used along with their own currency called the Cambodian Riel. This can also be used to purchase your pass along with Thai Baht or euro. Cambodians do not need to purchase a pass.

Entrance fees

You may choose between 3 different passes: (you may purchase passes with US dollars, euro, Thai Baht or Cambodian Riel).

  • A one day pass is $37 which allows you any of the temples within the Archeological park on the date of purchase.
  • A 3 day pass is $62 can be used within a 10 day period from the day of purchase.
  • A 7 day pass is $72 is valid for 1 month from issue date.

Dress code for visiting

As with all asian countries, visiting a temple in Cambodia means you must dress appropriately. Men and women must wear clothing that covers shoulders and women especially must wear attire that is below the knee. You will be denied access to many temples around Asia if you are not wearing the correct clothing, the dress code is taken very seriously.

What to bring

Make sure you bring water, sun cream as you will out walking in the sun for most of the day, ensure you have a valid pass to the temples, a camera for all the photo opportunities, trust me there are many!

Angkor Wat

The Angkor Wat Temple is the most famous and popular of all temples within the area and may well be the number one reason for many travelers to visit Cambodia. It is seeped with Khmer history, along with being the largest religious monument in the world, it has also become a Unesco World Heritage site. You could walk for hours and hours and still not really hit the surface of this stunning site so do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to get around.

There is an area in front of the main temple within Angkor Wat where people gather to watch the sun rise behind the stunning architecture. You should arrive around 5 am when the complex opens in order to get a good place to watch the sun rise as it can get extremely busy.

Opening Hours: 5 am – 5:30 pm

Time to arrive: Before sun rise

Time to explore: approximately 4 hours

Bayon Temple

Located at the very centre of the Archeological park, the Bayon temple, otherwise known as the “faces” temple is a favourite amongst many and included in the “big three” along with Angkor Wat and Ta Phrom. It is renowned for the faces carved into stone offering photo opportunities at every corner, one of the most intriguing being the ‘touching noses’ of two faces.

Opening Hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Time to visit: Quietest in the afternoon

Time to explore: approximately 2 hours

Ta Prohm

Located a few minutes tuk tuk drive from Angkor Wat temple, Ta Phrom (also known as the tree temple) is the third and finally temple of the ‘big three’, it has gained popularity due to the 2001 filming of Tomb Raider featuring Angelina Jolie on the site. It is an unusual temple as many trees have grown through the stone work making it one of the most photographed sites.

Opening hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Time to visit: Afternoon – evening

Time to explore: approximately 2 hours

Published by Lorna Rumley

Hello, I'm Lorna! I enjoy backpacking around the world and writing about it. I hope to share my experiences and inspire you with travel recommendations and tips.

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