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Siem Reap -- how much can i fit into a 2-day trip?

Siem Reap -- how much can i fit into a 2-day trip?

Old Sep 20th, 2018, 01:14 AM
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Siem Reap -- how much can i fit into a 2-day trip?

Siem Reap -- how much can i fit into a 2-day trip?I was making a list of what I wanted to see while in Siem Reap:

1) Angkor Wat
2) Bayon Temple
3) Angkor Thom
4) Ta Prohm
5) Banteau Srei Can be done with Kabal Spean?
6) Preah Khan
7) Pre Rup
8) Banteay Samre
9) Phnom Bakheng

Do you think I'll be able to fit all of this into 2 days in Siem Reap? I know most of it lies within the Angkor Archaelogical Park, but I hear it's quite massive...if not, what would you say are the MUST-SEE's vs. the "nice to see if you have time"

I've heard of people hiring drivers to get them to all these locations--is that something I should do to maximize my time, or is it doable without a driver?

Thanks so much!
sunshine25 is offline  
Old Sep 20th, 2018, 10:24 AM
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Yes, you will need a driver, it's too far to walk among the various temples.

What is your level of interest in Angkor? Pick up a copy of Dawn Rooney's book, Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples. It's an excellent guide - we used that rather than hiring a guide. We were very interested in the temples, so stayed a week and didn't see all of the accessible temples in that time. Your list is bit of a hodge-podge, you will want to look at a map and cluster together temples that are close to each other. Your driver can help you with this. Note that drivers are not guides.

No one can tell you which are your must-sees and which are nice if you have the time. You'll have to do your own research and decide which temples "speak" to you. The usual advice is that it takes three full days just to see the major temples.
Kathie is offline  
Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 07:27 AM
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You could do the first four in one day, with a break at some point. I would skip Banteay Srei on a two day trip unless you're set on it. It will take almost an hour each way. And you can't explore inside like you can at the other temples. You don't need a book. There's tons of info online.
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Old Sep 22nd, 2018, 11:14 AM
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Don’t even think about doing this without a driver! I have found guides to be of limited value and can actually detract from the experience of visiting with their constant and usually scripted commentary. It can sometimes be very difficult to stop the constant chatter.

Ideally I would seek out a good tuk tuk driver who, even with a smattering of English, will be able to take you anywhere you want to go. A taxi may be preferable for some who want the aircon but personally, I have found the tuk tuk to be my preferred option finding the breeze preferable to the ac.

The usual way to see the ruins is to start early, go back to the hotel for lunch to avoid the midday sun and back out again for more ruins late afternoon when a little cooler. The problem with that approach is that a) everyone does it and it is very, very crowded and b) you are limiting your time and therefore the number of temples you and visit. Stay out all day, take plenty of water a wide brimmed hat and you should get around all you want to see.

Tuk tuk and taxi drivers can be sourced from your hotel in advance and are usually hired by the day for a fixed fee. If you want to stay out all day, pay them extra. These guys need the cash to support their families.
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Old Sep 23rd, 2018, 11:59 AM
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I would do the first four temples the first day. On the second day, get an early start and head out to Banteay Srei. On the way, you'll pass various other small temples and Pre-rup, plus this drive is a nice look into rural Cambodia. Out before Knar village are all the road side palm sugar vendors. It's a tourist trap, but stopping at one of the less crowed boots will give you a chance to meet some locals and see how they make it. You can sometimes find some nice souvenirs here, or earlier in the village of Preah Dak - baskets and wooden kitchen utensils are my favorites..The landmine museum and the butterfly farm are on the same road, and a nice point to get a snack and use a bathroom if needed.
I prefer traveling by tuktuk. It's cooler while you're moving and you aren't cutoff from the sights by windows and AC. The second day might be worth having a car driver for efficiency instead. I teach in Khnar Village and doing the 45 minute commute by tuktuk is one of the best parts, but Banteay Srei is another 20 or 30 minutes farther.

If you plan to keep going during lunch, let your driver know beforehand. This is the main meal of their day, and they need to be prepared to either miss it, or bring money to buy one.
lcuy is offline  
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