MISTAKES WHEN VISITING ANGKOR WAT, SIEM REAP

Ah, Angkor Wat! The mere mention of its name evokes images of ancient temples, mysterious carvings, and a rich tapestry of history. As travelers who have wandered through the awe-inspiring complex, we’ve gathered valuable insights to help you avoid common mistakes when visiting Angkor Wat. Exploring this UNESCO World Heritage site is a truly remarkable experience, but it’s essential to approach it with proper planning and awareness. By learning from our missteps, we’ve compiled a list of pitfalls to avoid.

Check out our Angkor Wat in Siem Reap: A Comprehensive Guide

 

1. Underestimating the Size and Scale

One of the biggest mistakes when visiting Angkor Wat is underestimating its vastness. With over 400 acres of land and countless temples to explore, trying to rush through it all in a day will only leave you feeling overwhelmed and exhausted. Angkor Wat is no ordinary sightseeing spot; a sprawling maze of temples and expansive grounds can leave even the most energetic explorers breathless. Take the time to plan your visit over multiple days. Trust us, it’s worth it! We suggest getting a 3-day pass because it gives you enough time to explore most temples.

 

2. Not Researching and Planning Ahead

Don’t be caught off guard! Another biggest mistakes when visiting Angkor Wat is not researching and planning. This magnificent temple complex has a rich history that can significantly enhance your experience. Take the time to delve into its fascinating background, and understand the stories behind its intricate carvings.

We suggest that you buy the Angkor temple pass online in advance. This saves you time and eliminates wasting money on transportation to buy it at the counter. With your pass ready, you can start exploring the temples immediately and make the most of your visit.

Another important aspect of planning is to design your itinerary strategically. Consider allocating the first day to visit enchanting out-of-city temples like Koh Ker Temple and Beng Mealea. These lesser-known sites offer a sense of adventure and tranquility away from the bustling crowds. On the second day, focus on exploring the main temples within the city, such as Bayon, and Terrace of the Leper King. Lastly, reserve the third day for the grand and majestic prominent temples like Preah Khan, Ta Som, and Banteay Srey.

When it comes to transportation, consider booking a driver for the entire temple tour. This offers convenience and often comes with discounted prices compared to booking separate transportation for each visit. You can easily book a tuk-tuk or private car driver online even before reaching Cambodia, securing your preferred mode of transportation.

Deciding on your preferred mode of transportation is crucial. While tuk-tuks are cheaper for temple tours, keep in mind that they are open-air vehicles, exposing you to the scorching heat, especially during the dry season when temperatures can reach 40 degrees Celsius. To avoid melting and losing energy before exploring all the temples, we highly recommend a private car, which provides shelter from the intense heat and allows for a more comfortable journey.

Read Things We Wish We Knew Before Traveling to Siem Reap

 

3. Neglecting Proper Attire and Respectful Behavior

One of the common mistakes when visiting Angkor Wat is not dressing appropriately. To demonstrate respect, ensure your clothing covers your shoulders and knees. This simple act goes a long way in honoring the religious and cultural traditions associated with the site. From our experience, we have witnessed tourists being denied entry to specific areas within Angkor Wat because their attire did not meet the modesty requirements.

In addition to appropriate attire, it’s also important to be respectful throughout your visit. Refrain from climbing on fragile structures, touching ancient carvings, or behaving disruptively. Angkor Wat is a place of tranquility and spiritual significance, and maintaining a calm and composed demeanor allows everyone to immerse themselves in the awe-inspiring atmosphere fully.

 

4. Skipping Sunrise or Sunset Experiences

Another enchanting mistake when visiting Angkor Wat is skipping the sunrise or sunset experiences. It’s understandable that waking up early or staying out late might not be the most appealing idea, but let us assure you, the magical moments that unfold during these times are worth every second of lost sleep.

Imagine the ancient structures of Angkor Wat bathed in soft, golden light as the sun rises on the horizon. The tranquil atmosphere, the gentle glow, and the sense of serenity make it a truly ethereal experience. Similarly, witnessing the sunset at Angkor Wat is equally captivating. The sky transforms into a canvas of vibrant colors, casting a breathtaking backdrop against the magnificent temples. It’s a visual spectacle that will leave you in awe.

From our experience, we have realized that these sunrise and sunset experiences offer a unique perspective and a chance to capture some truly remarkable photographs. The play of light and shadow, the mystical ambiance, and the sheer beauty of the surroundings create an atmosphere that is simply unforgettable.

Of course, weather conditions can affect the quality of the sunrise or sunset view. If it has rained the day before, the sky may be clouded, diminishing the impact of the hues. However, on a clear day, you can expect a breathtaking display of colors that will leave you mesmerized.

Check here for a list and the latest prices of where to stay in SIEM REAP, Cambodia.

 

5. Not Carrying Sufficient Water and Snacks

Next, another common mistake when visiting Angkor Wat is neglecting to carry sufficient water and snacks. Cambodia’s tropical climate can be relentless, particularly when immersed in temple exploration under the scorching sun. Staying hydrated is crucial for maintaining energy levels and ensuring a comfortable experience.

Always have a trusty water bottle filled with great, refreshing water. It’s essential to keep sipping on water throughout your visit to prevent dehydration and the associated fatigue and discomfort. Buying water within the temple complex can be expensive, so bringing your own and refilling it whenever possible is advisable.

In addition to staying hydrated, remember to pack some energizing snacks. The temple complex only offers a few food options, and you don’t want to be hungry and low on energy during your explorations. Pack light, non-perishable snacks like granola bars, trail mix, or dried fruits to keep you fueled throughout the day.

Also, read Essential Tips For Exploring Angkor Wat.

 

6. Neglecting Comfortable Footwear

Another critical mistake when visiting Angkor Wat is neglecting to prioritize comfortable footwear. The temple complex is vast, with uneven paths, steep steps, and much ground to cover. Wearing flimsy flip-flops or unsupportive shoes can quickly turn your temple exploration into a painful experience.

To conquer Angkor Wat like a pro, opt for sturdy, closed-toe shoes that provide ample support and grip. Choose footwear that is comfortable for long walks and can withstand uneven terrain. This will ensure your feet stay happy and blister-free throughout your temple adventures.

With an average of 20,000 steps a day, according to our experience, comfortable footwear becomes even more crucial. Imagine the strain on your feet if they are not adequately supported. Don’t let foot pain and discomfort hinder your exploration of this magnificent site.

 

Happy travels!

Sue & Renesh

 

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