Exploring Angkor Wat, Cambodia | Short Getaway
Let’s go explore Angkor Wat. It is one of our favorite places and the ideal spot for a getaway with friends or family. The town of Siem Reap offers fantastic hotels and the temples of Angkor will make you feel like Lara Croft and Indiana Jones all in one.
Exploring Angkor Wat
First and foremost, you are there for the temples, right? The temples of Angkor Wat are breathtaking and while some of them are swamped with tourists, many are not. Angkor Wat is a 400 km2 archaeological site with loads of temples. After visiting the main structure, explore some nice smaller ones in the back of the site. Allow yourself at least two (if not three, days) to explore this amazing place. Make sure you”re dressed for the occasion, hot pants don’t mix well with temples.
The best option to get around is to hire a driver who will take you wherever you want for a daily rate. We went for the tuk-tuk option (since we looove tuk-tuks) and were seen happily negotiating. We went exploring in the morning when it was not too hot, and came back after lunch for some well-deserved pool time.
More than temples: discover Siem Reap
But Siem Reap is more than a temple town. You can discover about the Khmer culture by booking a cooking class or going on a Vespa tour via Vespa Adventures. And for adventurous souls, there is The Angkor Zipline, a zip line attraction within the Angkor Archaeological Park you can even do with the family.
Although we are not big fans of Pub Street, the downtown area where most backpackers hang out, there are some nice restaurants nearby like Madame Butterfly (Khmer cuisine), Le Malraux and the FCC. We took the family to the lovely Marum restaurant, an initiative where street children receive training in hospitality. This way we could show our support while having a nice dinner (also open for lunch).
Where to stay in Siem Reap
Siem Reap offers a number of great hostels and hotels, suitable for any budget. As we have been beyond hostels for some time now, we stayed in the fantastic Victoria Angkor hotel. You can also stay at the FCC, which is located in the old manor of the French governor. A beautiful hotel but not the most suitable for children as it has little facilities for them. If you want to indulge yourself, there is the ever charming Raffles Hotel.
How to get to Angkor Wat from Vietnam
From Saigon, it’s only a short flight to Siem Reap. From there take a taxi or, even better, arrange a transfer via your hotel. Most passport holders can get a visa upon arrival. Don’t forget to take some USD to pay for it at the airport.
When to go to Angkor Wat
Weather-wise, the driest and coolest months to visit are November through to March. After that, it starts to heat up. April and May are the hottest months, in June and July it’s less hot but the showers start. The rainy season begins in June, with heavy rain in August to October.