Tuesday, 17th May 2016
Top mistakes to avoid at Angkor Wat
The temple complex at Angkor is likely to be among the highlights of any trip to Cambodia. While there are so many reasons this former capital of the Khmer Empire will last long in your memories, there are a few mistakes you should avoid making. That way you’ll have the best possible experience in this incredible place.
Only visiting Angkor on one day
Schedules are often tight on holidays to incredible places, but Angkor is likely to be the highlight of your trip, so don’t scrimp on time here. Entrance tickets can be bought for one, three or seven days and those who purchase the single day ticket are bound to regret it. Angkor is so awe-inspiring it’s good to have the initial ‘wow’ day and then come back again to try and take it all in.
Not hiring a guide
Angkor is absolutely packed full of history and while you can obtain some information about all those centuries from the very walls of the complex, you won’t get it all. A guide will help to really bring the culture of the Khmer people alive in the place where much of it stems from.
Failing to devise a plan
There’s so much to see at Angkor Wat it’s important you decide what your priorities are and make a plan to go to each place. This will ensure you see everything you want to and allow you to avoid crowds of fellow tourists. Places to include on your plan: Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants, Terrace of the Leper King, Victory Gate and Ta Phrom.
Missing the sunset from Phnom Bakheng
Phnom Bakheng is a great place in Angkor to watch the sun go down, but only 300 people are allowed into the temple at any one time. This means arriving and getting in position by 4pm otherwise you’re unlikely to make it through the door by sunset.
Not seeing the sun come up at Angkor
There are so many reasons why seeing the sunrise at Angkor is a fantastic experience. From watching the colours like up the skies behind the temple complex to enjoying the site before the crowds arrive, it would be silly not to set your alarm that little bit earlier on an Angkor day. Especially as it is much cooler at this time in the morning.
Nobody can be blamed for wandering around Angkor with their mouths open in astonishment. Do take a break from the heat at some point though, especially during the day and drink plenty of water. It sounds obvious, but there are plenty of distractions around, so be sure to look after yourself too.
Wearing the wrong clothes
When it’s hot it’s tempting to wear shorts and T-shirts, but this is a sacred site, so be sure to dress appropriately. That means covering up with long sleeves and trousers, so bring light clothes that will keep you cool, respectful and safe from the sun.
Related news stories:
The Cambodian flag - its history and significance (16th October 2015)
Unseen Angkor - finding your own corner of the famous site (1st October 2014)
5 things you didn't know about Cambodia (12th July 2016)
What makes a place the ultimate travel site? (3rd September 2015)