Are you planning a trip to this UNESCO heritage site? Angkor wat temple is among the top places to visit in Cambodia. Continue reading our 3 day Angkor guide to know all about the must visit Cambodia temples as well as our flashpacker tips to beat the crowds and enjoy some moments of peace!

Most people usually think of Angkor Wat temple as the one monument there, but it’s so much more than that. Angkor archeological park is huge and comprises of numerous big and small temples and other structures spread over a huge area and is the bedrock of Cambodia tourism.

Read about our Siem Reap, Cambodia travel guide here⤵ [irp posts=”25″ name=”Ultimate Guide To Cambodia : All the Info You Need”]

Ultimate 3 Day Angkor Guide
The Stunning Angkor Wat Temple

HOW MANY DAYS SHOULD YOU SPEND IN ANGKOR ?

  • The entrance pass for Angkor wat complex is available for  1 DAY/3 DAYS/7 DAYS 
  • The  1 DAY PASS COSTS 37 $  and in my opinion one day is simply not enough to explore this huge site. This pass is used mostly by the busloads of day trippers who are in a rush and just explore a couple of the big temples.
  • The  3 DAY PASS COSTS 62 $  and this was the one we bought. I felt 3 days was sufficient time to explore the ruins and most of the important temples at a leisurely pace.
  • The  7 DAY PASS COSTS 72 $  and can be used if you are staying for a long time.

 

POINTS TO NOTE:

You can use the pass on non consecutive days within the week but make sure to request it beforehand.

The one day pass also gives you access for a sunset viewing on the previous day as well.

 

Read more about our smart flight booking tips here ⤵[irp posts=”531″ name=”7 FLIGHT BOOKING TIPS YOU SHOULD KNOW”]

 

CAMBODIA TRAVEL
Two Flashpackers at Angkor Wat Temple !

3 DAY ANGKOR GUIDE AND ITINERARY :

DAY 1:

  • Wake up very early and head over to Angkor Wat temple to catch the magnificent  SUNRISE  This is undoubtedly the number 1 experience to have in your Cambodia travels. (Continue reading to find out the best spot for sunrise viewing without the crowds ! )
  • Read about our Sunrise Experience here⤵ [irp posts=”667″ name=”Sunrise at Angkor Wat : One off the Bucket List!”]
  • Instead of lingering after the sunrise, head over to the ancient kingdom of  ANGKOR THOM  which encloses an area of around 10 sq km. Enter by the  SOUTH GATE  and observe the “Samudramanthan” scene (churning of the ocean scene from Hindu mythology) depicted as stone structures on the bridge.
  • Make sure to swing by the  VICTORY GATE  which we loved with its stone gate and the jungle surroundings.
  • It will be around 7 am by the time you reach  TA PHROM , famous as the “Angelina Jolie/Lara Croft “temple. Among all the Angkor temples that we visited over the course of 3 days, Ta Phrom was my absolute favourite! I fell in love with its iconic monstrous tree roots, supporting as well as destroying the temple ruins. At this hour, there were only a few people around and we got to explore the temple feeling like ‘Indiana Jones’!
  • After having breakfast,  BACK TO ANGKOR WAT  to explore the largest Hindu temple in the world. By this time, most of the crowds will have left, so take 2-3 hours to walk around the temple at your own pace.
  • By noon, you will be completely tired and ready to call it a day. Don’t over exert yourself and try to cover more sites. Instead go back to your hotel for lunch and a good long nap and make sure to get a foot massage in the evening to soothe your tired feet!
PLACES TO VISIT IN CAMBODIA
Ultimate 3 Day Angkor Guide
Ultimate 3 Day Angkor Guide
Ultimate 3 Day Angkor Guide
Ultimate 3 day Angkor Guide
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DAY 2

  • Rise early (not as early as the previous day though!) and start exploring the  BIG CIRCUIT  of the Angkor complex.
  • Check out the Buddhist-Hindu fusion temple of  PREAH KHAN , the small water temple of  PREAH NEAK POAN  (with its highly eerie lake),  BANTEAY KDEI  (which I loved because it gave me a very archeological feel), the royal pool  SRA SRANG  directly opposite it and  PRE RUP TEMPLE  which is famous for its sunset views.
  • After lunch and some rest, head over to Angkor Thom again for an afternoon of exploration.
  • There, visit  BAYON , one of the biggest and most famous temples in the park and admire its hundreds of enigmatic carved stone heads.
  • You can stay on at Bayon for sunset or head over to Angkor wat for that.

Read about our visit to the Stunning UNESCO site of Halong Bay in Vietnam here⤵ [irp posts=”203″ name=”Bay of Dreams: Halong Bay Cruising Guide”]

ULTIMATE 3 DAY ANGKO GUIDE
Filmy pose at Bayon!

 

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DAY 3

  • Start the day with a  MORNING TUK TUK RIDE  through the Cambodian countryside and explore the small temple of  BANTEAY SREI  (its name means ‘Citadel of women’) which is so called because of its delicate, beautiful carvings.
  • Combine this with a trip to the Hindu temple of  KBAL SPEAN  (with its thousand lingas), located around 65 kms from Angkor, near a waterfall and a jungle.

 

ULTIMATE 3 DAY ANGKOR GUIDE
The Beautiful Banteay Srey Temple
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FLASHPACKER TIPS TO AVOID CROWDS AT ANGKOR: ANGKOR GUIDE

 

ULTIMATE 3 DAY ANGKOR GUIDE
No tourists to mar our background view !

 

At such a famous site like Angkor Wat, there is not much concept of an “on/off-season. This is one of the most visited places in the world and as such it is very difficult to avoid crowds here. At any given day, there will easily be thousands of tourists and you cannot dodge everyone.

TIPS:

Even then, we managed to avoid tourists up to a large extent and could enjoy the sunrise alone (as you can see in our pictures!) and these were some of the tips/hacks that helped us.

  1. The best way is to wake up very early and head over to the temples before people start descending. We had to wake up at the ghastly hour of 3 am to view the sunrise over Angkor wat, but it was worth every moment. Also remember to carry a packed breakfast from your hotel so that you can quickly eat and then explore alone while everyone else goes out searching for breakfast places.
  2. For the sunrise view at Angkor, most people head to the popular West gate and the lotus pond which becomes filled with thousands of tourists jostling for space and cameras blocking views. Avoid this spot and instead go to the quieter Eastern Gate where we sat alone amidst ancient stone structures while watching the darkness give way to dawn and it was surreal!
  3. Time most of your temple visits for pre breakfast or post lunch.
  4. Hiring a local reputed guide cum photographer for a day, turned out to be a great decision for us. He took us to all the quieter viewing sites and also knew the best routes for avoiding crowds. Even though we usually resist guides, this time it really helped us dodge thousands and that’s why most of our shots have no background people!
ULTIMATE 3 DAY ANGKOR GUIDE
Our once-in-a-lifetime Experience !

 

QUICK TIPS TO BEAT THE CROWDS

RISE EARLY

HEAD TO THE QUIETER EAST GATE FOR SUNRISE

ARRIVE PRE BREAKFAST OR POST LUNCH AT THE BIGGER TEMPLES

HIRE A LOCAL GUIDE/PHOTOGRAPHER FOR INSIDER SECRET LOCATIONS

 

Now that you have all the necessary info about temples and tips from this 3 days Angkor guide, start planning your trip soon!

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This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Amazing Post. Would love to visit this place once. Nice write up indeed and photography too🙂..

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