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Cambodia forum

Angkor Wat - temple of doom?

Posted by Harajuku on 17/5/2006 at 18:38

Am planning to go to Angkor Wat this summer, but just read this article which makes it sound like a bit of a tourist hell:

How crowded does it get?! Can anyone recommend a good time to visit, or a good place to stay in Siem Reap...?

#1 Harajuku has been a member since 17/5/2006. Posts: 2

Posted by somtam2000 on 17/5/2006 at 20:10 admin

Hi Harajuku,

Welcome to Travelfish!

The ruins do get pretty crowded -- we've got a story on overcorwding at Angkor.

The story you mention is a pretty superficial look at the state of affairs -- I mean any town in Cambodia has sleazy bars and nightclubs/karaoke bars, they just happen to cater to Khmers so seem less worthy of mention to the author of said piece.

That he uses the existance of some sleazy bars (which there are, but there's also no short supply of good bars), to characterise the headline "sleaze city" is very naive/uninformed.

To dodge the crowds, two methods are to go outside of peak season and visit the monuments out of the traditional order ...

#2 somtam2000 has been a member since 21/1/2004. Location: Indonesia. Posts: 7,943
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Posted by MrPete on 18/5/2006 at 10:25

Yep, I agree with somtam. You could write a similar article about travelling to New York city if you only looked at a few bad places.

It is true that Angkor is getting quite crowded- especially Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom. The areas around these temples are filled with tourist busses, Tuk Tuks and cab drivers. It was shocking for me to see since the last time I was there was in 1993- when there was no one.

So what to do? Well for starters go early- really early. At the gate I was talking to the guards and they told me the two big times are 6AM and 8AM. Beat the 6AM crowd to Angkor Wat on day one and Angkor Thom on day two and you will be fine. The further out you go the less crowds there are- and some of the best temples to see are the ones further out. Anyway things will only get more crowded in the future- so don't not go now because of of that. Angkor is a magical place- well worth the trip.

As to the town- Siem Reap is fine. There are some pretty classy places to eat and have a few drinks. There are good hotels and some great ones. I wish they would fix the road on Pub Street but don't be put off by the article. Siem Reap is nice- my mom would have a nice time there. Go to the FCC and have a drink on the balcony in the evening. It doesn't get much better than that. Or go to the Blue Pumpkin and check out the bar upstairs- you will think you are in a trendy New York bar.

A good place to stay can mean a lot of things- what is your budget and how long are you staying....

#3 MrPete has been a member since 18/5/2006. Posts: 2

Posted by Harajuku on 19/5/2006 at 21:28

Thanks guys, some really useful tips! I guess it's just typical journalistic hype - I'll get planning my trip...

#4 Harajuku has been a member since 17/5/2006. Posts: 2

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