Updated: Aug 18
The famous Angkor Wat: the largest religious complex in the world and known for its iconic temples and sunrises. Like the Taj Mahal, the Angkor Wat complex has been on my bucket list for the whole six years of my adult life, and this autumn I finally got to see it in person.
You can buy tickets from the official ticketing office of Angkor Wat and there are different ticket options from 1 to 7 day passes. A one day pass is the most common and will cost you around $37. The ticket lines can be long so go with plenty of time before you plan on being at the complex.
I saw a lot of signs in the ticketing office AND within the temple complex advising against buying tickets through third parties and so I'd advise going directly to the ticket office to avoid any scams.
HOW TO GET THERE
There's an absolute abundance of tours offered to Angkor Wat that you can book through your accommodation or at a tour stand, but if like myself you prefer to take your time wandering, and take a load of photos, you'd be better off hiring a tuk tuk for the day.
I hired a local driver for $10 for the whole day which I shared with a girl I met on the crossing from Laos, costing us just $5 each.
Not only do the locals know a lot about the temples, but they also know the best times to visit and I always like to try and give back by hiring locals rather than using large tour companies.
Angkor Wat is the most famous of all the temples, and whilst it's certainly beautiful against an orange sky during sunrise or sunset, I found it to be a bit underwhelming. There are tonnes of people all vying to get the best spot for photos and it kind of takes away a bit of the magic.
I found people had a blatant lack of respect for the temples; climbing up onto them, going within restricted areas and forcing their way through cordoned off areas. I'm not religious in the slightest, but I found it quite shocking how many people threw basic respect out of the window when wandering around the temples. Try not to be an arsehole - respect the history of where you're visiting.
The rest of the temples that I saw were by far my favourite, and because the temple complex is so large the crowds were way more manageable than at Angkor. The grounds are absolutely gorgeous and you could honestly spend days wandering around them all. My favourite temple was the Bayon Temple or the Temple of Faces.
I'd barely recovered from being in hospital and so I cut my day short, but I'd definitely recommend seeing as many temples as you can stomach! There are a lot of tour guides available to hire, but I prefer to wander and learn as I go.