Angkor Wat was one of those UNESCO sites in my travel bucket list. And just recently, I feel beyond blessed to have had the opportunity to scratch it off that list. Angkor Wat is located in the province of Siem Reap in Cambodia. The name literally translates to "The City of Temples". I'm sure you have read about Angkor Wat, like I have, but I was still left in awe by the grandeur and size of the temple complex. I have read several travel blogs sharing tips about visiting Angkor Wat and yet there are still a few other things that I've only known once I got there. Hence, I am sharing five of those for you to prepare should you plan on visiting the site yourself:
It is MASSIVE!
Contrary to popular belief, Angkor Wat is not a temple, but rather a temple complex. According to Wikipedia, it measures approximately 162 hectares in land area, making it the largest religious monument in the world! To make the most of the experience, I suggest you visit multiple temples because all of them are worth the visit. It took us almost half a day exploring just the main Angkor Wat Temple alone.
Wear Comfortable Clothes and Footwear
Due to the size of the temples, you will be walking around a lot, especially if you want to take photos of the temples. Hence, you should wear clothes and footwear that can cope with your activities. I made the mistake of wearing sandals with ankle straps (which I thought would be comfortable enough to wear and walk around with in the temples) and I got blisters on my feet by the end of the day. Lesson learned. Wear your trusty, comfy sneakers - don't even try breaking in your footwear to the temple!
Observe Proper Dress Code
When visiting temples or other religious sites, it is common sense to wear appropriate clothes. Avoid wearing sleeveless dresses and tops or those that reveal the knees. Make sure it is the appropriate length so that you are given access to the temples.
Know Your Ticket Options
When you want to spend more than one day in Angkor Wat, I suggest you buy the 3-day tour ticket that costs $40 as you stand to get more value out of that (one day ticket is $20). For our tour, we opted for the one-day ticket since we only had a few days in Siem Reap. But if you must go for the 3-day tour, you won't be disappointed. We tried to squeeze in as many temples to visit during our 1-day tour but we still missed a lot!
Hire a Guide
As we were planning the trip, hiring a tour guide to Angkor Wat wasn't part of our plan. But we realized it would be a good idea to hire one and it was one of the best decisions we've made. You don't need to pre-arrange this one as you can ask the officials at the gate to help you find a guide. All tour guides are in English. We were lucky with the guide assigned to us because he was highly animated and made sure we enjoyed the tour. Plus, knowing about the history of the temples would give you much better appreciation of the temples than when you were to explore it on your own.
Have you visited Angkor Wat? Don't forget to leave your post link in the comments so I can check them out!