Photo: A quiet corner at Beng Mealea.

How to avoid the crowds at Angkor

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With more than two million visitors a year flocking to Angkor—a number increasing annually—savvy visitors looking to avoid the crowds quickly realise that what makes the difference between a packed-out temple versus a people-free one comes down to a combination of the right timings and the right sites.

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It is all too easy to get caught up focusing on Angkor Wat alone and forget the enormous scale of the Angkor Archaeological Park. While there are ways to avoid the worst of the crowds at the “big three” (Angkor Wat, Ta Prohm and Bayon), it’s surprisingly straightforward to find less crowded moss-swathed temples, if you’re prepared to make only a little extra effort.

Angkor Wat gets <b>way</b> more crowded than this. Photo taken in or around How to avoid the crowds at Angkor , Angkor, Cambodia by Caroline Major.

Angkor Wat gets way more crowded than this. Photo: Caroline Major

Angkor Wat is never going to be deserted at sunrise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t at least start with a serene impression of this archaeological wonder. Entering via the east (back) gate in the pre-dawn is an oasis of calm compared to the chatter at the front as crowds gather round the ponds. Once everyone has tired of pressing the click button and the sun has risen, the big tour groups go back to their hotel for a late breakfast. Now’s the time to make a dash for the temple—it is at its quietest in the early morning. Others may beeline for the apex. Wander the galleries a little first in peace before climbing to the summit.

Another iconic temple, Ta Prohm, similarly has scant moments of desertion. Around 06:30 till 07:00 is your best window of opportunity to get photos of the twisting tree roots taking over the temple, before everyone else has the same idea. Getting up early pays off at any of the temple sites when it comes to avoiding the crowds, with the added bonus of the temperature being a ... Travelfish members only (Around 800 more words) ... please log in to read the rest of this story.

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Popular attractions in Angkor

A selection of some of our favourite sights and activities around Angkor.

What next?

 Check out our listings of things to do in and around Angkor.
 Read up on how to get to Angkor, or book your transport online with Camboticket.
 Do you have travel insurance yet? If not, find out why you need it.
 Planning on riding a scooter in Angkor? Please read this.
 Browse the web securely while travelling with TunnelBear. Try with a 7–day free trial.

See below for more sights and activities in Angkor that are listed on

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Where to next?

Where are you planning on heading to after Angkor? Here are some spots commonly visited from here, or click here to see a full destination list for Cambodia.

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