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Three days in Angkor Wat - What Are Recommended 'Must Sees'?

Three days in Angkor Wat - What Are Recommended 'Must Sees'?

Old Dec 29th, 2011, 03:14 PM
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Three days in Angkor Wat - What Are Recommended 'Must Sees'?

My wife and I will be in Siem Reap for three days the week after next. We're a bit overwhelmed by the sheer enormity of the Angkor Wat site & nearby ruins as well the recommendations to see individual ruins at varying times of the day (e.g., morning, evening). What do you recommend for a two and half/three day itinerary there? Also, do you have any recommended tour drivers/companies? Thanks! GT
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Old Dec 29th, 2011, 03:43 PM
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Your hotel can get you a driver - and a guide if you'd like one.

I highly recommend Dawn Rooney's book: Angkor: A Guide to Cambodia's Wondrous Temples. Buy it, read it, take it with you. She lays out a number of itineraries. Choose one, or modify one after you've learned a bit about the temples.
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Old Dec 29th, 2011, 05:39 PM
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I was also there for three days. Well, two full days after travel.

I did a fair bit of pre-reading on Angkor and it's history on the web and in guidebooks. I spent the first day simply relaxing and wandering around the town in a few tuk-tuk trips. I enjoyed the old French market district, a great place for lunch or dinner, and did a little shopping in the markets and small shops. Do NOT go to the special over-priced Western stores for tourists.

On the second day I rented a tuk-tuk and driver for the full day for US$12. I spent the morning at Angkor Wat; had lunch at a restaurant near the entrance and then did a leisurely wander by tuk-tuk through the Bayon, Angkor Thom and some of the spots between, using my driver for advice.

Be sure to choose a tuk-tuk driver who can understand some English and also act as a translator when you are shopping.

My trip reports from 2008 are here:

Cambodia: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008/03/cambodia.html

Angkor Wat: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008/03/angkor-wat.html

Bayon and Angkor Thom: http://loraltravel.blogspot.com/2008...gkor-thom.html

Cheers, Alan, Australia.
Born Under a Wandering Star
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 09:59 AM
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We spent our 3-1/2 days in Siem Reap similarly - first day we arrived around noon, and poked around town. Day two, Angkor Wat, then lunch, then the Bayon and Angkor Thom, ending at sunset at Phnom Bakheng. Day 3, the same tuk-tuk driver took us to Kbaal Spean, Bantaey Srei (we apparently didn't go at the optimum time of day for photography, but that wasn't an issue for us) and Beng Melea. Day 4 we spent all day at the pool. Our driver spoke very little English but he was great!!
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 12:49 PM
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There is so much to see in Siem Reap that I understand how complicated it might seem to tour all the sites. However, don't stress about it. As Kathie says, get a good guide book and read a bit about it first.

Both of my trips were completely not planned ahead of time, I simply had my hotel arrange all of it and within 15 minutes of arrival was at the booth buying my weekly ticket,and touring with a car and guide. The major sites are very easy to get to and are very well organized.

When you arrive in Siem Reap and check into your accomodation, they can arrange whatever you want..tuk tuk and driver only, tuk tuk with driver and guide, car with driver and guide, whatever you need. I personally always go with a guide because he can explain things in a way that I don't "get" from a book, and in the huge and many-corridored temples I don't want to wonder...did I miss anything? Do I turn right or left here? etc. Guides are only 25 USD a full day (perhaps 30...I was last there 3 months ago in October 2011 during the floods) and they can suggest based on how many days you have and your personal "templed out" limits, what you can see each day and what looks interesting to you.

Have a wonderful time!
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 01:08 PM
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How brave are you? Check out SkyVenture and do a microlight flight early in the morning. This is a very different way to see the temples and/or Lake Tonle Sap. I did it last July and was very impressed. Admittedly it was a lot wetter then than it will be now. At the very least have a look at the photos on the site.

I'd suggest a trip to Beng Melea if you feel you've got time after seeing the major temples.

Also start early in the morning although its cooler now than at some other times of the year. My daughter is complaining about having to sleep under a light duvet at the moment.
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 01:28 PM
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Thank you all for you recommendations! Microflight in particular sounds interesting. GT
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 05:57 PM
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IN October, the ultralight company shut down while they worked some things out with certain gov't types. Don't know if it has been resolved yet. I went up last year though, and it was wonderful.
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Old Dec 30th, 2011, 08:51 PM
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Just went back and looked at my old trip report and found this schedule, which worked for good photo light as well as for avoiding other tourists, other than the sunset climb. We spent just 2.5 days looking at temples, and it worked out fine. Trick was starting very early, at 7am every day.

Day 1 – Arrived from BKK at 5pm; saw bats in park; tuk tuk to Khmer Kitchen

Day 2 – School Visit in countryside near Bantay Srei, (delivered supplies and breakfast, arranged by Ponheary); Bantay Srei; rural home visit for palm sugar; Lunch at Boray Sourvann - excellent green papaya salad; Back to hotel for siesta and swim; Ta Phrom; Bayon; Monkeys; Sunset climb to Behking; dinner at Dead Fish Tower

Day 3- Angkor Wat; Wat Thmey; Tonle Sap Floating Village; Lunch; Swim; Massage; Chess; Shop; Dinner at hotel

Day 4 – Back to Angkor Wat for sunrise, silk farm visit, flight to BKK-Chiang Rai
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Old Dec 31st, 2011, 07:57 PM
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I found mornings (as early as possible, starting at sunrise) to be the best time to visit the temples--both for the softer light and for less crowds. We spent 7 days in Siem Reap but only 4 of them at the temples. Highlights for me were (1) Angkor Thom, especially the remarkable Bayon; (2) Angkor Wat--we went for the sunrise and stayed at the temple after almost everybody else went home to have breakfast. Also visited a separate time about 1 p.m.--very hot, harsh light, but not too crowded because most visitors take a lunch break about that time; (3) Banteay Srei--wonderful long, early morning ride by tuk-tuk to the site allowed us to see villagers starting their day as we passed, and the light was fantastic at the temple (arrived just after sunrise); (4) Ta Promh, where the trees compete with the temple for dominance.

We also went to Phnom Bahkeng temple for the sunset but found it underwhelming--the most interesting part was people-watching as the crowds gathered on to p of the temple. We visited a bunch of other temples but the three I listed above were definitely the stars. Far fewer people at the "minor" temples, though, which was nice.

The late November/early December entries in my blog, http://aprilaroundtheworld.blogspot.com , give more details in case you're interested.
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Old Dec 31st, 2011, 10:30 PM
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Thank u very much for the suggestions. (I'm GT's wife). Hanging out at the Rome airport waiting for our flt to BKK.
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Old Jan 1st, 2012, 08:49 AM
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Yes (and got) have a great trip - I know how long you've been anticipating!

April, we also found Phnom Bakheng underwhelming, except for the number of people, which was overwhelming! But our driver, whom we really liked, just didn't want us to go without seeing it, so we did.
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