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rahulm Sep 15th, 2007 03:36 PM

Angkor Wat Itinerary (3 days)
Hi Everyone,

I've been trying to come up with a decent three day itinerary for our upcoming visit to Angkor Wat and am having a bit of trouble picking temples for the three days we will be there, without cramming everything in there.

I got Dawn Rooney's book and have been reading it a bit as well. While its very helpful once I figure out which ones I want to go to, I wish I could figure out which ones to goto!

So far here is what I've come up with:

Angkor Itinerary

Day 0:
(Arrive from Luang Prabang at 2:15 pm)
Evening: Get 3 day pass & Angkor wat sunset.

(Note: Groups are the groups from Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor)

Day 1:
Morning: Ta Prohm (and temples in Group 7)

Evening: Preah Kahn ( and Group 3)

Day 2:

Morning: Angkor Thom ( and Group 2)

Evening: Angkor Wat (and group 1)

Day 3:
Morning: Bantey Srei , Beng Mealea. We definitely want to see Beng Mealea and Bantey Srei, so I figure this will take a whole day? Or not?

I'm not fixed on going to any temple just in the morning or evening. I just picked a few randomly and some based on good photo ops (eg: Ta Prohm in the morning).

I'd appreciate advice on temples to visit and when to go to which temple for the three days we're there.

Lastly, we were thinking of getting Dara as a guide for 2 of 3 days. Which days/temples would you recommend getting him for? We generally like history a lot (but not information overload - we want to remember stuff we see, as well) and I enjoy photography.

Thanks and sorry for the long post.

Craig Sep 15th, 2007 03:55 PM

Dara's forte is architecture from what I've heard - that and being able to avoid the crowds. Although I have read Dawn Rooney's book - for three days you don't really need it. I would just go with the major temples that you have chosen and perhaps some smaller ones which seem interesting. Your guide can also be a great help with the timing and give you suggestions on smaller temples if that is what you want to do.

rahulm Sep 15th, 2007 04:10 PM

Thanks Craig,

Can you suggest which temples we can do on our own, and which ones it's better to have a guide?


rhkkmk Sep 15th, 2007 06:29 PM

the first day you really do not need a guide as you have outlined it.....the other days i would get one....

these are not just places you can walk to....they are a ways to go and you need a car or transportation....

if you visit is very soon you may have trouble getting the guide you want....ask now for sure.... these people are generally very busy....

Kathie Sep 15th, 2007 07:11 PM

You'll always need a car and driver. Whether or not to use a guide is up to you. Because I'd been reading about Angkor for at least a decade, we opted not to use a guide. I'm clearly in a minority here, but wanted you to know it's your option as whether to use a guide.

thursdaysd Sep 15th, 2007 07:52 PM

Well, you certainly need transport, but it doesn't have to be a car and driver. I hired a guy with a motor bike - I rode pillion to get to Banteay Srei, and he towed a little carriage with bench seats and an awning the other days. If you're feeling energetic I suppose you could rent a bicycle (but not a motorbike). My first visit I had a guide (I was traveling on an Intrepid tour), but the second time I used Dawn Rooney's guidebook.

rhkkmk Sep 15th, 2007 08:23 PM

imo, you do need a/c and that means a car....

Kathie Sep 15th, 2007 09:07 PM

I guess it depends on how acclimated you are to the heat. I met a woman who was bicycling through Cambodia and Laos. She thought Cambodia was REALLY hot. So did I. I enjoyed the breaks from the heat in the air-conditioned car (but I'm from Seattle). Certainly people do hire bikes for the "Grand Circuit" but it is the rare person who would ride all the way out to Banteay Srei (an hour by car) on a bike. As Thursdays says, some people do hire motodops to get them around (wind-cooled riding). But for two people, a car makes sense. Legally, you cannot rent a motorbike yourself, but you can hire a guy with a motorbike to take you places (called a motodop).

LeighTravelClub Sep 16th, 2007 12:55 AM

The heat really does have an impact when visiting Angkor. I think a car is sensible. Another consideration is to start early in the morning, return to your hotel for light lunch and a swim, then make your way back again mid afternoon. That worked very well for us.

On the guide issue, well, different strokes for different folks. We did loads of research before we went but still booked a guide just for the first day as we often do at a new destination, just to get our bearings and to glean as much 'insider info' as possible. After that, it was just car and driver.

rahulm Sep 16th, 2007 01:17 AM

Hi Everyone,

Thank you very much for your suggestions and comments. Our trip is in November so we have approximately eight weeks before we get there.

From Bob's suggestions, Ta Prohm and Preah Kahn are temples we can do on our own - right?

For the rest that I outlined in the first post, we probably should get a guide to give us details on the architecture and history of the place.

Is my assumption correct?
Thanks a lot!


rahulm Sep 16th, 2007 01:26 AM

I also wanted to ask, who/where do I contact Dara/Ponehary ? Also, do they arrange for cars (on the day I want Dara to be our guide and on the day we want to tour alone).


Gpanda Sep 16th, 2007 02:07 AM

They can both be reached at [email protected].

thursdaysd Sep 16th, 2007 05:10 AM

Well, I'm one of the biggest fans of AC around - I grew up in England, but have lived in NC for 30+ years - but at Angkor I just expect to be hot (and wear cotton accordingly). I do make sure my hotel has AC, but I found the breeze from the motorbike (whether pillion or carriage) cooling enough for sightseeing. After all, you're going to be spending most of your time outside at the temples anyway, and I think the constant change from hot to cold would make the heat feel worse. (Sometimes the AC in NC is so fierce I'm glad to warm up outside!) But I also travel alone, which makes the extra cost for the car harder to justify.

rhkkmk Sep 16th, 2007 05:27 AM

sorry i ment to say day zero, not day 1...

chiefie Sep 16th, 2007 09:21 AM

did miss it???
you MUST be at Angkor Wat for sunrise! most memorable time of of our visit there.
your driver will pick you up around 5 a.m., then bring you back to your hotel for breakfast (pls treat him).
take an a/c car, and take a siesta back at your hotel for lunch.
take a guide every day. ours was not only knowledgeable, and pleasant, but knew the best photo ops. you spent mega bucks to get there, spend the extra few for the guide - well worth it.
that said, we were there for only 2 days, which i found enough.

Gpanda Sep 16th, 2007 10:27 AM

This is a good point. given how much the flight and hotel costs, the price for a knowledgeable guide is small. It can make your trip.

rhkkmk Sep 16th, 2007 10:56 AM

it will make your trip....

rahulm Sep 16th, 2007 11:06 AM

Thanks a lot!

I'm going to take your advice and get a guide for all the three days of touring, w/AC car.

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