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Angkor Wat is a archeological site where you can see the magnificent remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from 9th to 15th century. The site is located in the northern Siem Reap, Cambodia, it stretches out of 400km2. It is a Unesco protected site with various program engaged to maintain the archeological site. In December 2013, you had three different pass to visit the site, day-pass at 20$, 3days pass at 40$, and weekly-pass for 100$. I recommend the longer the better. We can’t all stay 3 days or more.. but It makes it so much smoother, can go further in the park, skip the main temples during peak times visit, etc..
The archeological part is few km away from Siem Reap town. Siem Reap is a very touristic town, it can be a bit redundant.. but escape during the day to visit the park, and enjoy the numerous food and drinks offers at night are a good option to have a good time there. The town price are a higher that most of Cambodia, but still delicious and cheap options can be found in the market, and a backpacker hostel named “The Village” have cheap huts options, in end 2013 they cost 1$ a night and were very decent.
Siem Reap has two main touristic streets for food and bar options, pricy.. good alternatives can be found when strolling a bit around this area, or in the market
Why you should go there ??
It is incredible !! book few nights accomodation in Siem Reap and buy a three-day pass (40$). Then rent a push-bike to your hostel and go play Indiana Jones for three days, getting lost in the 400km2 park. More seriously, that’s the things to do, the park is an easy 20min ride from S.R, the only thing is that you will meet different rental price in S.R, a basic and old pushbike will cost you one box a day to, more recent one and make for all type of grounds will cost about 5$ the day.. The experience is totally different on the cheap old bikes.. give your bottom a chance if you want to the park for few days, invest in a higher rental option. When i was there motorbikes or scooters where prohibited inside the park, and i can’t recall see options to rent those in S.R neither, and point being that you will look so much more sexy on a pushbike. Also I believe Day Tours to be overcrowded and very expensive.
One of the very seductive aspect of Angkor is the potential freedom you can have in the park and the various options to avoid the crowd. Basically the two main Temples, Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom (The Bayon Temple) are overcrowded from 9.30 to 4pm, they are the closest temples from the entrance, Angkor Wat about one km after the gates, and The Bayon Temple 2k further. Out of this schedule, you should have a quiet moment with the place for you, particularly in The Bayon Temple.
The Bayon Temple is a very photogenic one, with sculpted heads every where, very very impressive work. When you think of the number of people who most likely gave their life for its accomplishment, the perfection of the sculpted Buddha’s’ heads, the combining of the stones, you can feel the age of the temple when passing your hands on the stones. This particular lushy green pale brown color than the stones have taken over time gives character to the place. Don’t be affraid to take loads of time there, this place is mesmersing. If you’ve taken the 3 or 7 days pass, big chances are that you will pass right next to it each time you go in or out the park, stop there the most often possible.
Once past the Bayron Temple, you will enter in the wilder part of the park. It is very pleasant to ride, the roads are wide and paved or sandy.. The gigantic trees along the road create a welcomed shade, you have tropical forest surrounding you, and Temples and ruins spread over the park. It will not be long before you encounter ruins sites where no one is there, beside of some monkeys, birds and you in the middle of a lushy green vegetation. It really transport you outside of our world, magnificent place to clear you mind, and look at the world and its heritage with child eyes. The site park in most of its part, is very well maintained, path and ruins are clear, making very safe to be on your own or a small group.
You don’t have many options to eat on the park, just near by Angkor Wat. and it’s expensive.. Prepare a good pic-nic ahead, and loads of water.. it is super hot !!
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Have a good time !!