Petra (Jordan) or Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

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Jun 27th, 2005, 03:55 PM
  #1
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Petra (Jordan) or Angkor Wat (Cambodia)

I would like to travel to either of these places in September or October, 2005. I am not sure which I should visit first. I would like to hear from fodorites who have been to both places. Which has more strenuous physical activity? Which would they recommend? Any help would be great. I will also post this on the Asia forum.
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Jun 27th, 2005, 04:45 PM
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I've only been to Angkor, not Petra (dying to go there too though). In terms of physical activity, Angkor has as much or as little as you want. You can certainly exert yourself if you like -- there are so many temples to climb -- but it's so hot that you may not want to exert yourself any more than you have to. In addition to 3 days seeing the temples, we went on a daytrip to a nearby hilly/mountainous area with waterfalls and did some hiking there which was lovely. We were there in November and it was very hot and humid. Can't imagine October would be terribly different...not sure about Petra at that time but would think it might at least be less humid than Angkor if that makes any difference.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 03:09 AM
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Now that is a very difficult question. Crazy too - which maybe you already know given "justshootme".

First - I guess you are going to cover a lot of distance just to get to either of them. Right so far? And so you need maybe to consider what else you want to do while you are in either of those countries.

What else interests you in Jordan or surrounds? ditto Cambodia?

Strenous activity is up to you. I spent my one day in Petra walking down the ravine that leads to that amazing view of the Treasury that you see in all the tourist brochures. And then walking and walking, and clambering - and I didn't even try to visit the more remote "sites" or should that be "sights"? For all I
know there are ways of doing this that mean you don't have to take yourself from A to B.

At Angkor it's different. It is too far to walk from one major site to another, and there are roads. Your chosen transport will take you from this to that.

You need to consider which culture you are more interested in - Arabic/Muslim/part of the Middle East (and its history) Jordan - or Buddhist/part of SE Asia and its history.

One location is also mainly desert and another is mainly green.

How can I recommend? Except to say that there is more to visiting another country than the famous sights it contains.

Either way - read up; learn a bit more about the places you have chosen, and then have the most amazing time - cos you will.
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Jun 28th, 2005, 03:12 AM
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Been to both. Different in every way.

Angkor is loaded with lots of temples for miles around. The often visited ones and some at outlying areas. It's hot hot hot and humid humid humid all year 'round when it's not monsoon season. Because of the heat and humidity you have to tour early and late afternoon. Mid-day deposit yourself in a/c or the hotel pool and stay there. Clothing was wet thru and thru; you definitely change of t-shirts and shorts at least twice during day and then your evening clothing. If it wasn't for the heat I'm sure I would have enjoyed the place more. Because of this, it is suggested you give yourself at minimum 3-days, but 5-days is better. You can pace yourself.

Seam Reap has a new big hotel everyday and is flooded with tourists. The sooner you visit the better as eventually it will be one big tourist city... if it's not already (we were there in 2002).

Petra - in comparison is easy. Of course during the summer - June-Sept it will be hot, but dry. We visited in mid-October (also in Egypt on same trip) and the weather was ideal. Daytime temps might have gotten as high as 80s, but I believe no more then mid-70s. Because we only had 1-day we didn't get to investigate the entire Petra complex. It's best to allow 3-days here where you can see the sunrise and sunset without other tourists around. You can also do day-trips to Wadi Rum.

Also in Jordan, it's good to get to see the various decopolis cities - Jerash for one which is north of Amman. There are many sights in Jordan and you should visit these besides only Petra. And, I believe, the infrastructure for visitors is better then in Cambodia.

Prices might be more adventagous for Cambodia, but the travel time will kick your butt. Not that getting to Jordan is a breeze, but there are non-stop flights right into Amman, whereas to Seam Reap you have to transit thru Bangkok.

Toss a coin. It's your choice.
 
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Jun 28th, 2005, 01:32 PM
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I know you want to hear from people who have been to both but I thought I'd chime in anyway, having been only to Petra.

Much of Petra is easily accessible by foot without too much strenuous climbing (I have an arthritic hip so am not up to that either) but there are a few sights that would be missed without being able to climb.

That said, it's a VAST site, much bigger than I had realised and, even with two days you'd have so much to see that you couldn't see it all anyway.

The main entrance is prior to the siq - the extremely narrow gorge/ crack between two cliffs.

Many walk this kilometer but I took a horse and carriage instead to save my walking energy for the day to come. Not expensive.

On arriving at the end of the siq you are faced with the treasure - probably the best known part of Petra.

From here it's a slow, flat and easy walk to access many other areas including the amphitheatre and many more of the grandiose carved frontages.

We went only shortly before the US invaded Iraq which meant incredibly low visitor numbers. It was, selfishly speaking, wonderful. The gentle, friendly and welcoming Jordanians were, of course, suffering the lack of tourism greatly.

Given it's geographical position I'd imagine tourism is still down quite a lot and yet we felt it to be a stable and very safe country. Perhaps it's still a very good time to visit?

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Jun 28th, 2005, 07:18 PM
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We were in Petra in late March -- cool and cloudless weather. Did not feel overwhelmed with crowds. Thought Jordan was a wonderland of surprises -- Jerash, the Dead Sea shores, Mt. Nebo, Petra, Wadi Rum, Amman. People were very hospitable, helpful, courteous, and kind. Never had a bad moment.

Went to Angkor Wat about three years ago. What a steambath! In November the weather was clear but ever so hot. Went to the ruins early in the morning, returned to cool off at midday, and returned late in the afternoon. Were there three days. Included a visit to the floating villages on the nearby Tonle Sap.

Of the two, we enjoyed Petra more because the weather made us feel like doing more. That suffocating, muggy heat was more than we could take. However, that said, the temples are enormous, very interesting, and much larger than we had ever imagined.
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