Most people spend between 1 to 3 days visiting the various sites spread out over a vast area. So a visit naturally requires some kind of transport. Sporty travelers bike the 7 kilometers out to the temples and then the not so short distances between the sites, others hop on the backseat of a motorbike. We chose to hire a Tuk Tuk that took us around for three days, for 12 US per day. One day, we even went top class, more about this under “Extravanza”. Talking about money, tickets are 20 / 40 / 60, for one day / three days / one week.
Usually, we did a few hours of sightseeing in the early morning and after a long rest at the pool, we went back for a late afternoon visit. We strongly recommend taking a guide for at least one or two days, otherwise after a while, these magnificent monuments only look like a pile of stones to you. No guide book can make up for the inside knowledge of these experts, who know what is the best time to visit certain places and exactly what to focus on. Apart from that, they are also an inexhaustible source on any question concerning Cambodia.
The guide book “Ancient Angkor” is a good investment. It is sold by the vendors in the temples for as little as 5 USD, with good quality color photos. It is easy to digest and very systematic in its approach. It gives you various options as how to go about your visit, in a chronological order starting with the oldest temples and working your way up, or only the most famous, or according to a theme, anything is possible, provided you have the time.
In the course of a week, we learned a lot about Khmer architecture & history, Hindu & Buddhist religion as well as mythology. And… we were not alone! Maybe a figure best describes the influx of visitors from all over the world. In 2007, the incredible number of 2 million (!!!) tourists, the majority Asians, visited the Angkor Wat World Heritage Site. This status was already granted in 1992, when hardly any tourist traveled to this country.