Angkor Wat - Day Tour Help

Apr 12th, 2016, 07:34 AM
  #1  
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Angkor Wat - Day Tour Help

Hello,

I am hoping to get some advice on Angkor Wat. Let me know if I provided enough detail.

Questions/Comments:
1. Do I need a tour guide to view Angkor Wat, if so should I set this up through the hotel or an independent agent? I do not have a hotel booked yet.. If you have suggestions I would love to hear them, I would prefer 5 star only, do not care about the cost. Would really like if the tour was private (just my husband and I) not sure if this is an option.

2. My husband and I only have one full day to tour Angkor Wat and anything else we can fit in a day. I know that this is very short, but unfortunately this is all we have. Overall, we want to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat, if that is all we see that is fine. But will be really disappointed if we miss it as this this the main reason we are making a day trip. Do we need tickets to see the sunrise? Are there multiple places to get tickets? And are there tours that include the sunrise, I can only find tours that start at 8AM.
WVUTraveller is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 08:33 AM
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Quite a few 5 * places to choose from. Park Hyatt, Sofitel and Anantara are chain hotels but very good and can be relied on for excellent service. Shinta Mani is smaller but very nice (or at least is was a few years ago!). Or, if you really don't care about the cost and want to push boat out the Amansara is arguably the best in town. Although I suspect the rates are astronomical these days. www.booking.com is a good place to start looking.

Most tours are private and easily arranged - probably best done through your hotel, especially if you want to get there for dawn ( independent guides have been known to turn up late - if you book through your hotel, they can sort it out) The guide will arrange tickets en route to the temples at the main entrance. If you do book through your hotel explain that you want to be there for the sunrise so they can arrange pick up accordingly. A private car and driver usually costs approx $50-60 but a 5* hotel may load this significantly.

The sunrise is great but do expect it to be VERY crowded.
crellston is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 08:34 AM
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Thank you so much for your advice!
WVUTraveller is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 09:02 AM
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Have you done any advance reading on Angkor? I highly recommend Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples.

One day is a very short time. It takes three full days just to see the major temples. Many of us have spent much more time at Angkor - we spent a week and would have enjoyed even more time.

Most people opt for a private car and driver (and guide), so arranging this is no problem.

You choose whether you want a guide or not. If you have little background but Angkor and the people who built it, a guide would be a good investment. A driver is not a guide, so be aware that if you choose a driver only, you will not have a guide, and the driver may speak very little English.

Lots of hotels to choose from. In addition to the ones Crellston named above, consider the Victoria Angkor, Chateau d"Angkor La Residence, Raffles, Belmond La Residence. Take a look at all of these and many more 5 star places at booking.com
Kathie is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 09:53 AM
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Kathie,

Thank you again for helping my Husband and I plan our trip.
I do not think that we can make three days work, but with your advice in my Chiang Mai question I think we can shorten a day in Krabi to give us two days in Angkor.

If we did this the schedule would look like.

Bangkok - 3 days
Chiang Mai - 3 days
The Tree house (husband is so excited for this) - 1 night
Krabi - 4.5 days
Angkor - 2 days
Bangkok - 1 day (flight home is a midnight so would like to be back from Angkor to make sure we are in the right place for flight home)

Does this look too crazy? The tree house is only an 1.5 hours away from Chiang Mai. So not too big of a move. We are pretty use to moving around a bunch on vacation. Is this enough time in Krabi if we cut it to be in Angkor longer?

Krabi I would like to stay in one place and do day tours. I would hope to do Phi Phi Island (Maya Bay, Monkey Beach), James Bond Island and Cave Canoing, Snorkeling, Scuba Diving, maybe a cooking class since I am having trouble fitting this in in Chiang Mai), and any other suggestion you may have.

I know this may seem like a crazy busy vacation. But my husband and I aren't looking to relax we want to do as much and see as much as possible.

I have not read up on Angkor yet but will definitely look into your book recommendation. Up until this point we have focused on Thailand and some friends recommended to fly over to Cambodia. Sort of a spur of the moment decision. But I am looking forward to the read.

Thank you so much for your help and advice it is needed!
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Apr 12th, 2016, 10:37 AM
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It's a busy itinerary, but not totally crazy if you can refrain from adding things. The day trip to PhiPhi is something I don't recommend, nor James Bond Island. John Gray Sea Canoes is excellent, but I can't recommend any other such tours. You can probably get a cooking class somewhere on Krabi - but is that how you want to spend your time?

It will be clearer how much time you have in each place if you count nights rather than days. To get three days, you need 4 nights in a place. Travel can be slow in SE Asia.

Is this your first time in SE Asia? SE Asia rewards slow travel, pausing and soaking in a place. You don't have much time for that, but perhaps you'll get bitten by the SE Asia bug and return.
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Apr 12th, 2016, 10:50 AM
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Kathie,

I really appreciate your help.

The number of nights in each place would be.

Bangkok - 3 nights (first night will not arrive until 12AM)
Chiang Mai - 4 nights
Tree House - 1 night
Krabi (took off a night and added it to Angkor) - 5 nights
Angkor - 2 nights (flight out at 10:45pm on 2nd day)
Bangkok - 1 night

This will be our first time to SE Asia. We would like to come back in a couple years to do 2 weeks in Vietnam. It has been so hard to narrow everything down.

Do you think we should hold off on Angkor Wat since we have such a short amount of time there?

Thank you for your help it is so helpful.
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Apr 12th, 2016, 11:33 AM
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Two nights for Angkor is just one full day. Add another night if you can (pulling that night from Krabi makes sense). You will get a small taste of Angkor. Waiting until you come back to spend two weeks in VN won't help. Two weeks in VN is a short time and you'll feel your time is too short on that trip as well.

I suggest you enjoy the time you have.
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Apr 12th, 2016, 11:35 AM
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What time of the year are you travelling WVU? The reason I ask is that the time of year can have a big influence on where you spend your beach time. Krabi and the Andaman ( west coast) has great weather from Nov-March\ April after which it deteriorates and the gulf cost may be a better proposition. Likewise, Chiang Mai can suffer a lot from pollution due to the burning of the fields and forests, usually from late Feb to the end of April. Doesn't happen every year but best to be aware of these things.

We did the John grey sea canoes trip Kathie mentions above last year and I would highly recommend it. A great day out and a very professional organisation.
crellston is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 11:36 AM
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Ignore me! Just read your other post
crellston is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 12:23 PM
  #11  
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Thank you crellston and Kathie. You both have helped my planning so much!
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Apr 12th, 2016, 08:37 PM
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If you are only going for the sunrise at Angkor Wat, you may be very disappointed, as it can often be hazy or cloudy. I've gone several times and never seen the sun come up!

You should go get your temple pass the day before, because if the lines happen to be long that morning, you will be out of luck.
Your hotel can arrange everything such as private car & driver, guide, and pick up times for you on very short notice.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 08:41 PM
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I also meant to add that you can't really do a "day trip" to Siem Reap to see sunrise. Sunrise is around 6 in the morning, and the earliest flights from Bangkok arrive later.
lcuy is offline  
Apr 12th, 2016, 11:26 PM
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<<>>

The longer the better!
LancasterLad is offline  
Apr 13th, 2016, 04:55 AM
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Thank you for all of your help.

So we decided to shorten our time in Krabi and spend two full days in Angkor! I know this is still not enough time... but at least it is better than 1 day
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