5 Things I Wish I Knew Before Visiting Angkor Wat

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:


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!


  1. That place looks magical . Thank you for the tips
    The color palette

  2. My husband was there many years ago. He has fond memories of his travels in Cambodia when he was an adventurous youth. Would love to visit. I love the first photograph. You captured that image so well.

  3. We loved Angkor Wat! We just wish that we would have known that it would take more than a day to really explore all that Angkor Wat has to offer. Next time, we will make sure to purchase the 3 day pass and really take advantage of this magical place.

  4. Beautiful. Thank you for sharing your experience.

  5. This place looks amazing! I've never been before but will be adding this to my travel bucket list. Thank you for sharing the tips!

  6. Those are great photos! I'd definitely need to hire a guide!

  7. This place is on the top of our family bucket list. Your photos are amazing!

  8. Wow! I had no idea about some of these things, like different ticket options or how big it is. Great to know for whenever I start to plan my trip :)

  9. The dress code thing reminds me of when I visited the Vatican in Italy. Completely different religion, but they also will not let you in if you're wearing shorts. So it's best to make sure to dress appropriately.


  10. Great tips for visiting Angkor Wat! I visited back in 2013 and definitely could've used some of these reminders. I couldn't believe how massive the temple complexes were, so crazy! I'm heading back again this year, so I'll have to keep these in mind again. :)

  11. Angkor Wat really is amazing. I went in the beginning of summer 2015 and it was hot hot hot! You're definitely right about hiring a guide...we didn't do this and I wish we did for some areas where the reliefs are very intricate and tell a story. Looks like you had a great time!

  12. I have a batman shirt just like that! Great photos guys, what a great trip!

  13. Love this post! Going there this December so thank you for sharing this. Beautiful shots you got there :)

  14. This place looks like a perfect vacation spot where you get to know other cultures and history :D

  15. Angkor Wat is on my bucket list. These tips are fantastic and will save me a lot of planning. Thanks for the heads up about how large it is. I'll make sure to budget in extra time to visit.


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