Apart from time set aside for visiting Angkor Wat (we're thinking two days for that) how much time to people generally spend in Siem Reap? Aside from visiting temples what do you recommend we do while in Siem Reap?
#1 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
Count on spending at least four nights and three full days in Siem Reap to do it properly. That gives you enough time to spend two to three days at Angkor Wat, and a few evenings for great meals in town.
Siem Reap doesn't have the variety of activities of a Chiang Mai or even a Luang Prabang, but it is a good place to hang out with friends and the food, both Cambodian and Western options, are first rate.
You'll probably be buying a 3-day ticket for Angkor Wat. For many folks, taking the extra day to head out to Bantei Srei is worth it. One thing I would avoid is the boat ride out to Tonlee Sap, since it was pricey, not particularly good, and felt like being in a people zoo.
Other than that, there is some good shopping at the ruins and in town, and seriously, the restaurant options are second to none. Have fun. Cheers.
If I were you I would need at least three to four days. There are so many temples and monuments in Siem Reap and surrounding areas: you need at least one whole day to go to Phnom Kulen/Kbal Spean, it's a must for any tourists and also Bakheng/Roulos. Do not forget Prasat Preah Vihear, only several hours away from Siem Reap, it is a breathtaking site on the top of Dangrek Mountains.
#3 exkhmer has been a member since 13/7/2006. Posts: 28
Thanks for both your replies; sounds like we should plan for at least 3 full days in Siem Reap. Now, I know some people spend a full week exploring the temples including some of the more distant ones, but we're not really history or temple buffs. So from reading about the different sites and reading tons of people's travel stories I've come to believe that 1 to 1 1/2 days of temple viewing will be enough for us.
Please offer advice on whether the following can be seen in one day.
-Banteay Kdei and Sras Srang
What about the following two?
Can the two above be done also on day one? If not, which from day one would be best to visit on a second day with the two above?
We'd love to visit the following as well but since they are farther out we may need to give them up. Or can they be combined with either day one or two?
-Banteay Srei (heard that many parts of it have been sectioned off and cannot be accessed)
I apologize for my ignorance if the above questions seem absurd with respect to time and scale. I'd love to hear your suggestions on possible routes if we were to visit 1 day only or 2 days.
Thanks a million!
#4 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111
Angkor Wat alone would take you almost the whole day, and Phnom Bakheng is further from Angkor group, and you will need to spend hours to get there. Preah and Pre Rup should not taken the whole day, please use your extra time to visit Banteay Srei, you can combine these three site in a day. Beng Mealea is hard to get to, you must hire a local tour guide to get through the temple, it is a tourist paradise, and I hope it remains that way. Let me recommend other temples: Banteay Chmar and Preah Vihear, Chao Say Tevoda, Ta Som, Prasat Kravan, and Sambor Prei Kuk in Kompong Thom.
#5 exkhmer has been a member since 13/7/2006. Posts: 28
Hey exKhmer, you're not confusing Bakheng and Bakong are you? Bakheng is walking distance from Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom...
Visiting Angkor is a bit like a slow roast -- the longer you spend doing it, the better it tastes. ;-)
Many people do all you're planning to do in a day, but i my opinion you're better off to spread it over at least one and a half days. Here's some pointers:
1) If you purchase your pass after 4pm, you're permitted to enter the park that afternoon for free, thus giving you an extra sunset, during which I'd suggest you consider Angkor Wat and (if you don't mind the crowds) Bakheng.
2) Get moving early -- out of bed and out of your guesthouse early enough that you get to Angkor Wat well before sunrise.
3) Plan to view monuments until around 10:30 then head back to Siem Reap to catch up on sleep and hang out -- this will let you avoid the hottest, brightest part of the day. Aim to be back in Angkor by about 15:00
So, with one and half days, you could do:
First afternoon: Angkor Wat, Bakheng
Day One (morning): Angkor Wat dawn, Bayon and other monuments inside Angkor Thom and Preah Khan
Day One (afternoon): Ta Phrom, Banteay Kdei, Sra Srang, then sunset at Ta Keo/Pre Rup or one of the other outlying sites
Now to do all that you'll be moving along at a rapid rate. If you were to slow down a bit and add an extra day, I'd move Preah Khan, Ta Keo and Pre Rup to day two and fit in another visit at a different time of the day to Angkor and Bayon (at differnt times of the day they look very different).
For outlying sites, Beng Mealea is absolutely 100% worth the effort (and the extra money as it isn't covered by the main fee) to visit -- it is a spectacular site.
Lastly, some ask about a guide, if you really want to get the most out of a visit, a guide can really add to the experience -- particularly for the bas-reliefs at Angkor and the Bayon.
Hope that helps!
somtam2000, thanks for the correction.
#7 exkhmer has been a member since 13/7/2006. Posts: 28
Personal experience... checkout www.mandalayinn.com
We found it best to be counter intuative by visiting the major temples at noonish... sounds crazy I know, but the HORDS all leave at noonish back to their hotels for a cool down and lunch before coming back later in the afternoon... this way we found we had the place to ourselves.
#8 cbandbj has been a member since 10/10/2006. Posts: 6
it is nice to spend one day to visit also the floating village,
it is very hot now so lazy in a free swimming pool, can also be nice, you can see silk or crocodile farm it can be funny to see.
mostly with the temple i recommend to see the countryside, it s nice to see it by tuk tuk or motorbike, or bycicle can also be nice.
#9 marigeri has been a member since 25/6/2006. Posts: 23
ps i recommend more komnpong pluck floating village with the flooded forest it s a amazing trip and enjoy the scenery of countriside on the road
#10 marigeri has been a member since 25/6/2006. Posts: 23
Thanks everybody for your suggestions!
#11 amz155 has been a member since 30/8/2006. Posts: 111