Angkor Wat – The Ultimate Itinerary

Angkor Wat in Siem Reap will be the highlight of your Cambodia trip and maybe even the entire reason you are visiting Cambodia! And let us tell you, your trip to this impressive historical site will be exceptional! Even if you’re not a history or spiritual enthusiast, seeing this religious monument with all its details will leave your mind blown.

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Angkor vs Angkor Wat

Before heading into the itinerary, we want to prevent misunderstandings. The name Angkor Wat is mostly used to refer to the entire temple complex, but this is actually called Angkor. At this Angkor site, Angkor Wat is the biggest and most well-known temple and above that, it’s the largest religious monument in the world. So from now on, we will write Angkor when talking about the whole complex and Angkor Wat when talking about the one famous temple.


If you’re planning to visit Angkor, you should decide whether to visit for one, three or seven days. This all depends on your interests and the time you have. If you buy a ticket for three days, you can use the ticket in a time frame of ten days. And for seven days, it is valid for a month. The prices of the tickets are:

1 Day $37
3 Days $62
7 Days $72

Check out Angkor’s official site for current information.

In one day you can definitely see the most famous and biggest temples of the complex, including Angkor Wat. This might also be the right option if you’re not really into temples and feel like they are all quite the same. But if you do have more time, we would advise you to at least spend two to three days in the complex.

Plan your visit

Watching the sun rise above Angkor Wat is one of the most famous attractions at Angkor. This temple is also the only one opening at 5 am. What brings tons of people together this early for sunrise? It’s the beautiful reflection of the temple you get when you are standing in front of this majestic structure and its ponds. Together with the crowd, you are waiting to make this picture-perfect of Angkor Wat. To make sure you have a good spot, you have to be early!!

There are three options to visit the temples. For sporty travellers, you can bike to all the temples. There is a biking path connecting all the big and famous temples. You can do this yourself (good for your budget) or go on a tour. Another (budget) option is to rent a scooter and temple hop yourself.

Bear in mind that Cambodia can be really hot, and temple hopping in these weather conditions is already quite intense. Normally we would always opt for a budget option and do it ourselves, as we like that the most, but we wanted to explore so much that it would have been too energy-draining. The third option (the one we did and would also recommend) is to take a tuk-tuk (rickshaw). In this option, you have a driver who will take you for a whole day (or whatever you prefer) to the temples you want for a fixed price.

When you take a driver for a whole day, they will likely suggest a small tour, a big tour and a third-day tour. The small tour includes the most famous temples such as Angkor, Bayon and Ta Prohm. The big tour will include some other big temples that are lesser known. On the third day tour, they will bring you to Banteay Srei Temple which is located outside the main temples of Angkor and to a floating village at the freshwater lake. If you want to go to the temples for sunrise or sunset they will charge an extra fee. Same if you want to include Banteay Srei in one of the other tours.

If you want to have a driver, approach one on the streets (there are plenty!) the day before or book one via your hotel. If you want to adjust the fixed tour to your wishes, or to the ultimate itinerary we made underneath, you can already talk about it to the driver. Make sure to agree on a fixed price. This way there are no confusions on the day itself and everything can go smoothly.


Underneath you find the ultimate itinerary if you’re planning to visit the temples for one, two or three days. Hotels and tuk-tuk drivers will offer you tours including the same temples, but we like to explore the temples without the crowds. That’s why we mixed up the tours to make a perfect temple itinerary, without leaving out the largest and most peculiar temples. This way you can explore the temples in peace and even take some photos without any people in it!

Day One

The day one itinerary includes the most famous and biggest temples of the whole Angkor site. If you have only one day to explore Angkor, this is your day! If you have two or more days to explore, take this as your second day of exploring and take the day two itinerary as day one to introduce yourself.

Today you’re exploring the biggest and most famous temples of Angkor, including Angkor Wat. Get ready for a packed day full of temples!

Angkor Wat

Today starts with an early wake-up call to see the sunrise above Angkor Wat and make a photo of its reflection. Your guide or hotel will tell you what time to be ready to be in time at the temple (this depends on what time of the year). From the parking lot/entrance, it’s a fifteen-minute walk to the actual temple. This might be a bit confusing when you’re walking in the dark at Angkor for the first time. You first have to enter the complex by crossing two lakes first and then continue walking until you reach the inner ponds. That’s the point where you can see the most beautiful reflections.

If the sun has risen, everyone goes inside Angkor. That’s what you’re NOT going to do! Walk back to the parking lot and continue to the next temple. You will come back to Angkor Wat later.

Ta Prohm

The next temple opens at 7h30, and you’re at the entrance to enter the temple first. (Or can even enter the temple before opening time as we did.) Ta Prohm is mostly unrestored and the jungle takes over the temple grounds. Trees are growing on the temples and you feel like you’re Angelina Jolie in Tomb Raider. This temple has the most picturesque spots and is very impressive.

Take your time but also don’t saunter. There are a lot of temples to see today and the temperature is only going to rise from this point on.

Banteay Kdei

The next one on your list is Banteay Kdei, which means “a citadel of chambers”. Located about 3 minutes by scooter or tuk-tuk from Ta Prohm. The temple is not as big as Angkor and not as green as Ta Prohm, but worth a visit!

Ta Keo

For Ta Keo, the next temple, you drive back northwards. You can climb all the way up this temple mountain. Ta Keo does not have as many details as most of the temples at Angkor but it’s a unique temple for sure.


Now it’s time to visit the central temple of Angkor Thom (a fortressed city-state), Bayon. This temple with 54 towers is decorated with 216 smiling faces. You will see an overload of details at this temple! There are bas-reliefs carved all around the temple on the first two levels depicting stories.

Angkor Wat

Ending the day where you started, at Angkor Wat. Now it’s about lunchtime, so no crowds at Angkor Wat. It’s the last temple for today, so take your time to explore the largest religious site on Earth. Just like Bayon this temple also has some great bas-reliefs, this time in galleries. You can also climb the upper level (if it’s not a special religious day).


After you took some hours to rest, refresh or maybe even have a swim at your hotel, you might want to do some more? Take a tuk-tuk or motorbike to Phnom Bakheng. This temple is located on a hill, so it’s the perfect spot to watch the sunset.

Day Two

If you plan to do two or three days of temple hopping, make this your first day and do day one as described above as day two.

Today you’re introducing yourself to the Khmer temple styles by visiting some less busy temples. This itinerary follows “the big tour” that drivers and hotels offer. The temples on this day are located in a loop. Your driver will suggest one way or another depending on his experience and how busy it is. We believe they know best, so you can just follow his route. The only difference is the order in which way you’re doing the loop.

Prasat Pre Roup

You’re starting (or ending) at Prasat Pre Roup. This impressive Hindu temple immediately reminded us of Prambanan in Indonesia. Afterwards, we learned that a lot of Hindu temples are composed like Mount Meru, home of Gods (for both Hindus and Buddhists).

East Mebon

The next temple on your route is East Mebon. You’ll recognise this temple by its elephants on the corners of the temple.

Ta Som Temple

Walking through Ta Som Temple is like walking through Jungle Book. At this small temple, nature takes over. Don’t forget to walk to the very end of the temple to see the tree growing over the eastern entrance.

Neak Pean Temple

Neak Pean Temple differs from the other ones as it is located in the middle of a man-made lake. You can walk to the temple via a bridge on the water.

Preah Khan Temple

The last (or first) temple for today is Preah Khan Temple. This temple complex is a large and mostly unrestored site. In between the ruins, you can find a lot of details.

Day Three

If you have time to spend three days at Angkor, this is the last day of your visit.

Take your time to visit temples located further from the centre or even go to a floating village at Cambodia’s freshwater lake.

Banteay Srei Temple

Start your last day by visiting Banteay Srei Temple. This temple is located further from the temples you’ve visited the days before. Because of its location, there are not so many tourists and you can enjoy your visit in peace. The temple is full of well-preserved details and is often called the jewel in the crown of Angkorian art. So it’s definitely worth the ride!

Rolous Group

On your third day, you can visit the Rolous group including Phreah Ko temple and Bakong temple. Another option is to go back to one of the temples where you didn’t have as much time or peace as you’d hoped for.

Kampong Pluk Floating Village

For the last stop, hotels and drivers offer to go to Kampong Pluk floating village. Although this has nothing to do with Angkor, we’ve heard some good reviews about this. At the floating village, you can go on a boat and they peddle you through the floating village and even to Tonlé Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Cambodia.

Have a memorable trip!

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