Angkor Wat for 2 days from the cruise

Oct 9th, 2019, 01:01 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 147
Angkor Wat for 2 days from the cruise

We are planning to visit Angkor Wat (and other nearby sights) from the cruise. Need your feedback.

When the cruise is ready to leave Bangkok we wont be boarding it. Instead we will take a flight from Bangkok to Siam Reap, spend two full days there (the second day is a day at sea) and then fly to the next destination, Saigon (HCMC) at the end of the second day.
I looked up the flights and it seems it should work.

Any thoughts or additions to this plan?
Also, we are looking for a reputable guide there if anyone can make a recommendation.
kiramoli is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 08:33 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,531
Seems like a great plan to get a quick view of the temples while not missing much on the cruise. I don't have any specific recommendations for AW guides; if no one else does, you can ask your hotel for one. There are LOTS of guides in Siem Reap, and hotels try to have good ones for their guests. Just stress that you need someone with good English skills.
lcuy is offline  
Oct 9th, 2019, 11:48 PM
Join Date: May 2004
Posts: 7,607
Like lcuy say, there are lots of guides in Siem Reap and the best way is probably to secure the services of one via your hotel who have a vested interest in engaging only decent ones.

There are two ways of approaching the temples with guides:

1. A car and driver. The advantage is that you can escape to the comfort of the AC car between sights ( a mixed blessing IMO). The guides here tend to have been formally trained and certified. Great if you want all the detail but, if like me, you have a low attention span where guides are concerned, they can get a bit wearing as they tend to go through their spiel in great detail, regardless of whether you want it or not! IME women make better guides than men and are more likely to accede to any requests you may have.
2. Hire a tuk Tuk for the day. No guide but the driver with know the temples inside out but will not have been trained and probably won’t speak English anyway. No aircon but a nice, if dusty breeze as you drive around.

Of the two, I prefer the tuk tuk. Costs are usually around $60 for a car and driver and $20 for a tuk tuk. In both cases you have them for the entire day but many tourists will return to their hotel pool in the heat of midday.

Having spent some time with various tuk tuk drivers in Cambodia over the years, despite being "anti tipping" they are one of the few where I do feel a decent tip is warranted. The economics of renting their vehicle and the market rate for their services mean that at $20pd, they will just break even and barely make enough to feed their families.

There are some standard routes used by most guides and the usual MO is to tour the temples in the earLy morning and late afternoon to avoid the heat. Unfortunately, everyone has the same idea so in high season it will get VERY crowded. Unless travelling in the rainy season it is v. Difficult to avoid those crowds.

You don’t say how long you have in Saigon but a full day should be enough to see the main sights in District 1 and 3 most of which are all within walking distance. Others, like the War Remnants Museum, the Jade Emperor are easy enough to DIY by taxi which readily available. NB Use only Mai Linh or Vinasun taxis which are easily identified and reliable.
crellston is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 05:33 PM
Original Poster
Join Date: Jul 2003
Posts: 147
Thank you lcuy and crellston for your replies and validation. Will start more detailed planning soon
kiramoli is offline  
Oct 10th, 2019, 07:47 PM
Join Date: Jan 2003
Posts: 12,531
Just to clarify one point; your transportation is priced separately from the guide. You can have a guide in a tuk tuk or in a car, or you can go totally without a guide. I happen to like the tuktuk method, as once you start moving, they are very cool. In an AC car, I die of heat every time I exit the car!
Either way, drivers are not allowed to take you through the temples, unless they're a licensed guide as well. For a first trip, I think a guide is a good choice. They charge per day, so not that expensive even if they turn out to not match your style!
lcuy is offline  

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