The silhouette of Angkor Wat is the symbol of Cambodia, whether you’re looking at the national flag or the country’s most popular beer. But what’s it like to actually visit?
The park is a short ride north of Siem Reap, which has a range of accommodation and restaurants to suit the cheapest backpacker to the most opulent guest. Air-conditioned buses with licensed tour guides ply the route, but if you want to avoid having to wander the temples in a large crowd, hire a tuktuk or motorbike and driver for the day. Costs for a driver will be upwards of USD$25 per day plus a one-, three-, or seven-day park pass that ranges from USD$20-60.
The Angkor Wat Archaeological Park stretches over 400 square kilometres, and contains several large, restored ruins amongst over 1,000 temples (or wats). Angkor aside, popular wats include Angkor Thom, Bayon, and Ta Prohm — the Tomb Raider temple. The ancient capital of the Khmer Empire was built up between the 9th and 15th century, when it was razed by neighbouring Ayutthaya. Abandoned until French reconstruction began in the early 1900s, Angkor Wat allows visitors to explore, to imagine, and to live out their inner Indiana Jones.
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