View Full Version : Angkor Wat
07-22-2006, 09:14 AM
It looks like I'm going to get the chance to visit Angkor Wat in the next couple of months.
Any advice/handy tips on a three day trip here?
Thanks in advance!
07-22-2006, 09:56 AM
Well! Where to start? It's a vast site stretching over hundreds of square kilometers. Three days is not much, but you can see the best. You get a three day pass to any of the sites for US 20, if I remember right. Itís best to get around by taxi and hire one by the day. They are not expensive if you bargain. You driver should know all the sites. The essential sites are Angkor Wat, Anchor Tom and Bantay Serai, but there are many many more. Siem Reep, is the center of tourism there and it is quite expensive by Asian standards. There are lots of economy guest houses- easy to find- for about 10 US per day. There are also lots of luxury hotel (mostly Thai owned and run) too, for those who want them.
Photographing the sites can be difficult because of the dark stone ' sila lang' that was used for the building; it tends to underexpose the buildings and the detail. So one has to be careful, if using auto modes. The numbers of tourists is on the increase every year, which means that the most popular sites can be overrun with tourists, but this time of the year should be better.
You can get lot of rip-off guide books from the kids who sell them at the sites. They are good quality copies of history, guide and photographic books and are a fraction of the genuine price- if it's not against your morals. Donít give the kids what they ask, though, give much less. they expect to bargain. I bought three of four good books for 10 US recently.
Don't use the local currency except for small things. Thai baht or American dollars are best. Make sure you have low denominations, because, if you use a large note, they will sometimes give you lots of change in local Riel.
Also, a peculiarity of Cambodia is that, for some reason, the reject bank notes that are not new and clean. I am not sure why, but it can catch you out.
Lastly, this is the monsoon season; expect some rain, dark skies and flooding at some sites. Cambodian road have improved in recent years, but the roads to many of the sites or just dust, or mud, tracks, depending on the season.
Itís a wonderful place, and an experience that you will remember all your life.
I hope you enjoy it.
07-22-2006, 01:51 PM
That's a great reply - many thanks indeed, really appreciate the insight.
07-22-2006, 08:54 PM
Go as early as possible, rest part of the day and hit the road again for the late afternoon. This is the best way to get richer images with a balanced exposure thru-out the frame, and about 10 times less people around the old stones. There are many temple complexes outside the main tourist sites. Also, there you give yourself a chance to linger and establish a personal mood or feeling about what the place.
a good idea of evening entertainment are the buffet dinners, with classical and folk dances. One is at the Bayon restaurant, my favorite. Your hotel can make the reservations for the best possible table ahead of time.
Enjoy, and really do try to stray away from the normal schedules and heavy crowds.
09-10-2006, 03:54 AM
If you have time, read <b><a href="http://www.theangkorguide.com/images/download/angkor-guide.pdf">The Angkor Guide</a></b> and write down the notes.
I wish I could return to Siem Riep for 2 weeks or so.
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