The Angkor Wat one day tour is one of the most incredible things I have done on my travels so far. This UNESCO World Heritage site is a place every person should see once in a lifetime. The whole area is absolutely fascinating. All the different temples are just awesome. They have been built with such a passion for details. You will find many different ornaments and see temples of unbelievable historical value. So cool!
Guys, I want to tell you straight from the start. The Angkor Wat one day tour is a MUST DO in Cambodia. If you miss out on that, you might be missing out on the most incredible attraction in this whole country. It might even be one of the greatest attractions in whole Southeast Asia. I went on my Angkor Wat one day tour after I came from Thailand. I stayed in Siem Reap for 3 days and went down south afterwards. From all the beautiful and remarkable other trips that I have done in Cambodia, the Angkor Wat on day tour is probably the most unique one.
I don’t only want to tell you about Angkor Wat, but also about a couple other temples that I have seen on the Angkor Wat one day tour. Angkor Wat itself is the most famous one.
But there are a lot of others, which you will be brought to on the Angkor Wat one day tour and they are all almost equally beautiful in my opinion.
The whole area is actually called Angkor City or only Angkor. But, because most tourists only have heard of Angkor Wat, so many Cambodian people and travellers equal Angkor Wat with the Angkor City/ Angkor.
Angkor Wat one day tour – General information
There are different options you can choose from. You can either do an Angkor Wat one day tour, a multiple day tour or even tours that go on for a week. It really depends on how much you want to know about this unique site. I chose an Angkor Wat one day tour, because I thought it will be enough to get a good glimpse of what this place is all about. And I can tell you upfront:
The Angkor Wat ONE day tour is enough
In my opinion it was perfect, because after a couple hours of visiting various temples you will get the feeling, that everything is quite similar. Don’t get me wrong. It is absolutely fantastic, but it can get quite dull pretty fast, if you are not that much into historical stuff. The Angkor Wat one day tour takes about a whole day. Some tours are shorter. But that is up to you and what you tell your driver to do.
In this case I only want to give you a quick overlook of what is waiting for you, because, if I would tell you everything about the history of Angkor Wat/ Angkor City, I would still sit here in a few days 😉
Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage site that has been found again by a french explorer named Henri Mouhot in 1860. A couple years later the first pictures have been taken. This temple area was built in 1150 A.D. and it was the symbol of power for any king back in the days. Angkor Wat is actually pictured on the Cambodian money and the national flag. It is one of the greatest symbols for this country. Most temples are made out of calcareous sandstone. All of them have ornaments and graphic characters on them.
The whole area is leased by a private company. You can find some Buddhist monchs here and there, who come to Angkor Wat to follow their religious believes. But other than that, the whole area is mainly used for tourism purposes nowerdays.
The Cambodian weather is pretty similar to the weather in Thailand, Vietnam or Indonesia. It will be pretty warm and humid during your Angkor Wat one day tour. Temperature rises up to 30+ °C. If you visit it while it’s rain season, make sure to get yourself some water resistent clothes, because it will rain a lot. Other than that, just enjoy the pleasent climate while running through the jungle full of excitement.
How to get there
You will get to Ankor City by Tuk Tuk. That’s what most people do. A couple friends and I rented a Tuk Tuk driver one day before for the whole next day. We payed about 5$ each for the four of us, which is very decent. Usually a Tuk Tuk cost about 30$ for a whole day, but we negotiated a bit, which I always recommend anyway.
Short tip: Try to go early in the morning (3-4 am) to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat and to avoid the big crowds.
How to get around
During the Angkor Wat one day tour you will get around by Tuk Tuk and you have to walk a lot. The whole temple area is quite big. You will see so many different temples, that you probably walk about 4-5 hours in total.
Short tip: Make sure to wear comfortable shoes. Read here to check out my Ultimate Packing List
Before you go on the Angkor Wat one day tour, you will obviously need a place to stay. You have many different options to choose from:
I would always recommend to stay in a hostel, because you won’t stay in the area of Siem Reap for long anyway. To stay in a backpacker hostel is a good way to save some money for the upcoming trips. But of course it depends on your plans and what you want. The other options are very good as well. I have stayed at the Garden Village Guest House. A bed in a dorm room for 32 people (biggest I have ever slept in) costs about 4$ per night.
Food & beverages
You don’t have to worry about food and beverages on your Angkor Wat one day tour. You will find various vendors on the way there, on the spot and on your way back. They even have some kind of restaurants at the temple area. If you don’t want to buy something on site, because you think it’s to expensive (still really cheap though), then get yourself some premade snacks before.
A tour guide for an Angkor Wat one day tour costs about 30$ per day (see here). I recommend you to have a look at it on your own and to just trust the Tuk Tuk driver. They know every place anyway, so a tour guide does only make sense, if you really want to get a lot of information about alle the different temples. If that’s not your priority, then explore it on your own.
You also have to get an entrance ticket. When I was there it cost 20$. But they changed it to 37$ per person in 2017.
1. – 1 Day Ticket – 37 $
2. – 3 Day Ticket – 62 $
3. – 7 Day Ticket – 72 $
Angkor Wat one day tour – Highlights
Let’s get to my favourite part now. The Angkor Wat on day tour is full of highlights. Each and every one of them is very special in my opinion. Of course there is much more to see, than what I will show you and every highlight could have its own article.
But I want to give you my personal view and what I found to be the most fascinating locations. You can see all highlights of the Angkor Wat one day tour on the following map:
Sunrise at Angkor Wat
It all starts with a magical sunrise. As said before, I recommend you to go very early in the morning. After you have passed the entry, your Tuk Tuk driver will most likely bring you to Angkor Wat first. If you have good weather conditions, you will experience one of the most magical sunsets ever. I absolutely loved it. When the sun rises over the temple’s entry, you won’t believe your eyes. We also passed a small lake along the way, where the first sunbeams started to reflect on the lake’s water. It looked so surreal…
Angkor Wat is the Nr 1 highlights on the Angkor Wat one day tour. This temple is huge!
The Angkor Wat temple should reflect the idea of the Khmer people (folk, which lived in Angkor City back in the days). This place suppose to be the home of the gods in Hinduism. The whole arrangement is dedicated to this idea and it should symbolise the affinity to their god in the best possible way.
In terms of architecture, Angkor Wat is the best out of all the temples. This is the opinion of many people. It’s like the Muhammet Ali or Michael Jordan of temples in Angkor City.
And you can see why this is the most important temple. Just the size (200 hectares), the details and the constitution of it is remarkable. A MUST SEE!
The Bayon temple was build in the 12th century. It is a temple full of Buddhistic faces combined with the face of the old king (Jayavarman VII). This wonderful architectonic masterpiece can be found right in the middle of Angkor City. The Bayon temple is devided into 3 levels and rises up to 43 meters. The 2nd MUST SEE on your Angkor Wat one day tour.
Ta Prohm is the most scenic place on the Angkor Wat one day tour and my favourite one. There is a reason, why this was chosen to be a movie set for Tomb Raider. This temple was built in 1186 A.D. and according to history more than 80.000 Khmers have maintained the temple, because it supposed to contain gold, pearls and many other valuables.
It was home of about 12.500 people and 18 high priests. A temple in the middle of a raw jungle. It almost seems like it has been swallowed up by nature. The 3rd MUST SEE!
Angkor Thom was built by King Jayavarman VII and it is the last real Khmer empire. It has 6-7 m high walls, which have been designed to defend the Khmer folk from invaders. If you come from the southern gate you will drive along 54 gods and 54 demons until you reach the entry. Very spectecular!
Phnom Bakheng is formed as a temple mountain and it is dedicated to Shiva, similar to most other temples. It was already constructed in the 9th century, which was 200 years before the famous Angkor Wat temple. Phnom Bakheng is the most popular sunset spot, because it is located on a hill. Unfortunately a lot of different piers of the pemple don’t exist anymore, but it is still one of the main spots to visit.
Pre Rup is another highlight on the Angkor Wat one day tour. This temple looks very similar to Angkor Wat. But Pre Rup has been built about 200 years prior. This wonderful piece of art, made out of grey sandstone, was also dedicated to Shiva. Because the grey sandstone is less durable than other sandstone, most pretty ornaments are consumed by mother nature, but it is still a very impressive part of the Angkor City.
Ta Keo was also one of my favourite spots on the Angkor Wat one day tour. This beauty was made out of green sandstone, which was very unlikely, compared to all the other temples. It was built by a 17 year old king called Jayavarman V. It has never been completely finished, because according to legend it has been hit by ligthnings during its construction. The view from the top is absolutely incredible. Don’t miss out on that!
Meeting a monch
This is something that I also really liked about the Angkor Wat one day tour – meeting a monch. For monchs visiting the Angkor City is still free of charge, which is a good thing, because they come there to celebrate their believe in god. I have been lucky and got the chance to meet a monch (young boy). He wasn’t allowed to speak, but he shook my hand and I got a nice picture with him. I don’t know, if this is a “No-Go”, but, if you have the chance, try to get in contact with them. It is quite a cool experience, because they have a very unique aura.
Angkor Wat one day tour – What I have learned
Going on an Angkor Wat one day tour showed me something essential again. I have talked about the importance of saving our nature a couple times in other posts already. This time I want to focus a little more on the fact, that we should not only save our nature, but also our historical monuments. Most of them are absolutely brilliant and they have a huge historical value.
We live in times where money is more important than ever. It seems like all that matters is money. Therefore not many people neither care about the enviroment nor the incredible buildings that our ancestors have built. It’s all only getting used to make the most money that can be made. But the problem is, that exactly this behaviour boosts the destruction of pretty much everything of value on our planet. In my opinion it is very, very important to:
value our surroundings more
Where this takes you/ us
It starts with the simple things like our homes and the local nature at home. The next level are bigger parks and historic buildings. It ends with big national parks and ancient cities like Angkor Wat. We all need to appreciate these surroundings way more!
Because, if we appreciate them, we give them more value. And it is always the same procedure in life. The more you give something value to, the more important it is to you. The more important anything is to you, the more positive vibrations these things get. Ultimately positivity attracts positivity. It is similar to the law of attraction.
Whether you implement this rule into your own personal life or we all as a human race implement this into our social rules, it will only make our lifes better/ have a positive effect on us and our surroundings, so that we and next generations can still see the fruits of it in the future…
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