Experience Cambodian Temples; Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm

If you are planning a trip to South East Asia, the temples of Siem Reap, Cambodia should be at the top of your “go-to” list. Siem Reap is located in Northwestern Cambodia and is the gateway to the ruins of Angkor. It is steeped in the history of the Kmer kingdom from the 9th to the 15th centuries. Siem Reap is known for its ancient temples, with the most popular being “big three”; 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

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.

Entrance fees

You can choose between 3 different passes: (you may purchase passes with US dollars, euro, Thai Baht or Cambodian Riel, Cambodia’s official currency). Cambodian citizens do not need to purchase a pass to enter the temples.

  • A one day pass is $37 which allows you to enter any of the temples within the Archeological park on the date of purchase.
  • A 3-day pass is $62 can be used within 10 days from the day of purchase.
  • A 7-day pass is $72 is valid for 1 month from the 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 clothing 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, and 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 it is often the number one reason for many travelers to visit Cambodia. Along with being the largest religious monument in the world, it has also become a Unesco World Heritage site. You can walk for hours and hours and still not hit the surface of this stunning site so do not underestimate the amount of time it takes to get around.

Sunrise at Angkor Wat
One of the busiest times to enter this temple is before sunrise. There is an area in front of the main temple within the Angkor Wat complex where many tourists gather to watch the sunrise behind the stunning architecture. If you are looking to get a glimpse, you should arrive around 5 am when the complex opens 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 for many. 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 by tuk-tuk from the Angkor Wat temple is Ta Phrom (also known as the “tree” or “Tomb Raider” temple), the third and final 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 stonework making it one of the most photographed sites in the park.

Opening hours: 7:30 am – 5:30 pm

Time to visit: Afternoon – evening

Time to explore: approximately 2 hours

Published by What Lorna Saw Next - Travel

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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