3 Day Angkor Visit Avoid Crowded

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No trip to Cambodia is ever complete without a visit of the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor Wat. You can find a lot of incredible ruins on this vast site so how do you make a plan to see everything?? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my 3-day Angkor Wat itinerary – plus a lot of useful tips for visiting Angkor!

“Angkor” doesn’t only refer to the famous Angkor Wat temple but to the...
No trip to Cambodia is ever complete without a visit of the world’s largest religious complex, Angkor Wat. You can find a lot of incredible ruins on this vast site so how do you make a plan to see everything?? Don’t worry, I’ve got you covered with my 3-day Angkor Wat itinerary – plus a lot of useful tips for visiting Angkor!

“Angkor” doesn’t only refer to the famous Angkor Wat temple but to the entire temple complex located about 7 kilometres north of the Siem Reap town. It houses some very unique Hindu and Buddhist temples, mostly from the 12th century. First, here are some general information you need to know before visiting Angkor Wat:
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Itinerary Details

Itinerary

Day 1: DAY 1: The Grand Circuit (Sort Of)

Stop At: Angkor Wat, Sangkat Nokor Thum, Siem Reap Cambodia
We usually recommend having your earliest day first as you may be too tired after three days of exploring later on. However, if you have had a long journey to Siem Reap and need the first day to recover, you may want to do “Day 3” of the itinerary first, as that is the easiest day. Otherwise, your day begins at the absolutely must-see for most; sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple.

If you are a photographer, you will want to be there before 4:45am, perhaps even as early at 4:40am. The temple opens at 5am, but there is limited space at the pond in front of the temple and people get there early to get their spot. We arrived at 4:40am and beat a large group by mere seconds. Being...
Itinerary

Day 1: DAY 1: The Grand Circuit (Sort Of)

Stop At: Angkor Wat, Sangkat Nokor Thum, Siem Reap Cambodia
We usually recommend having your earliest day first as you may be too tired after three days of exploring later on. However, if you have had a long journey to Siem Reap and need the first day to recover, you may want to do “Day 3” of the itinerary first, as that is the easiest day. Otherwise, your day begins at the absolutely must-see for most; sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple.

If you are a photographer, you will want to be there before 4:45am, perhaps even as early at 4:40am. The temple opens at 5am, but there is limited space at the pond in front of the temple and people get there early to get their spot. We arrived at 4:40am and beat a large group by mere seconds. Being first meant that we could get what we considered the perfect reflection and establish our tripod space. If you are not a photographer, check the sunrise time and try to arrive at least 20 minutes before.

Find a good spot and enjoy the light and scene change as the sun rises over the ancient temple, then take some time to walk around the grounds and even into the temple itself. Nearly all of the other temples will not be open until 7:30am anyway, so you may as well make the most of your time here.
Duration: 3 hours

Stop At: Ta Prohm Temple, Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap 21000 Cambodia
Ta Prohm Temple is the second most popular temple in Angkor Wat, thanks largely to its reputation as the “Tomb Raider temple.” It is famous for the ancient trees and root systems growing right out of the temple.

Ta Prohm does not open until 7:30am, but I recommend arriving at least 10-15 minutes early to stay in front of the crowds. This will allow you to get your photos and walk the grounds without other people in your shots. It is also the nicest light for your photos.

If you get there at opening as recommended, you’ll have time to explore at a leisurely place and get to the next stop ahead of the crowd.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang Angkor, Siem Reap Cambodia
Though similar to Ta Prohm, Banteay Kdei is much smaller, more peaceful, and quieter. There is a spot near the front entrance with a massive tree and root system growing over the outer wall, which was my favourite view of the temple.
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Ta Keo, Ankor, Siem Reap Cambodia
For those of you who like to pack it all in, your next stops will be Ta Keo and Bayon temples. The advantage to visiting these two on your first day is that you will free up your third day to allow you to venture to some of the more remote temples. If you do not see them now, you will visit them on Day 3
Duration: 30 minutes

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.

Day 2: Sunrise at Pre Rup Temple

Stop At: Pre Rup, Siem Reap Cambodia
Look, it’s hard to beat Angkor Wat Temple for sunrise, but Pre Rup truly challenged the title. While the photos aren’t as iconic or dramatic, the magic of Pre Rup at sunrise was the peace and solitude. We were the only people there watching the sun rise over the jungle from one of the tallest, oldest temples in Angkor Wat. Compared to the thousands of people who swarmed the scene a day ago, this was bliss.

From a photography standpoint, the sunrise itself has a nice clear view, but not the most interesting foregrounds for compositions. However, that first golden light reflecting off the temples and bathing the grand staircase in warmth was brilliant!

We had the temple to ourselves for nearly two hours and just when we thought it was safe to put the cameras away, a group of monks came to explore and asked us to have photos with them!
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Eastern Mebon, Angkor, Siem Reap Cambodia
The East Mebon is a 10th Century temple at Angkor, Cambodia. Built during the reign of King Rajendravarman, it stands on what was an artificial island at the center of the now dry East Baray reservoir. The East Mebon was dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and honors the parents of the king.
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Ta Som, Angkor Archaeological Park Cambodia
Ta Som is a small temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built at the end of the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII. It is located north east of Angkor Thom and just east of Neak Pean. The King dedicated the temple to his father Dharanindravarman II who was King of the Khmer Empire from 1150 to 1160
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Neak Pean, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Cambodia
Neak Pean at Angkor, Cambodia is an artificial island with a Buddhist temple on a circular island in Jayatataka Baray, which was associated with Preah Khan temple, built during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. It is the "Mebon" of the Preah Khan baray
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Preah Khan, Angkor Wat, Siem Reap Cambodia
Preah Khan is a temple at Angkor, Cambodia, built in the 12th century for King Jayavarman VII to honor his father. It is located northeast of Angkor Thom and just west of the Jayatataka baray, with which it was associated. It was the centre of a substantial organisation, with almost 100,000 officials and servants.
Duration: 1 hour

Stop At: Phnom Bakheng, Angkor Archaeological Park, Siem Reap 17000 Cambodia
Optional: Sunset

For those of you who really can’t get enough temples, by all means go sneak in another sunset at Pre Rup, Angkor Wat Temple, or Phnom Bakeng, or perhaps your driver has a favourite spot I’d never considered! For our second night we opted for Option 2…
Duration: 1 hour

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.

Day 3: Stop 1: Bayon Temple & City Tour

Stop At: Bayon Temple, Angkor Thom, Siem Reap Cambodia
Notice there is no sunrise in front of this stop! While you are of course welcome to hit up a sunrise, you will already have visited two of the three temples that open early enough to do so, meaning your only option would be to visit Phnom Bakeng for sunrise or a second visit to Angkor Wat or Pre Rup. Instead, I opted to have a later night out at Pub Street and a bit of a lie-in, starting our day at one of, if not my favourite temple, Bayon.

Though Bayon does not technically open until 7:30am, there are multiple entrances and people were already walking about by 7:15am. For this reason I would recommend getting in by 7:15am, perhaps even earlier, if you want any photos of the entrances without people. We also spent more time at Bayon than any other temple, as the details I found to be so interesting and I absolutely loved all the smiling faces.

If I’m being honest though, MOST of the extra time was spent watching with the monkeys that live here. There were a few silly families playing about, including some babies. If you decide to spend some time with them, just please be careful with your valuables and do not feed them.
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Angkor National Museum, 968 Vithei Charles de Gaulle Blvd Khrum 6, Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor National Museum is an archaeological museum dedicated to the collection, preservation and presentation of Angkorian artifacts, also to provides information and education about art and culture of Khmer civilization, with collections mainly dated from Khmer Empire's Angkor period circa 9th to 14th-century
Duration: 2 hours

Stop At: Wat Thmey (Killing Fields), Siem Reap Cambodia
The Wat Thmey Temple is notable for being an area that served as one of the killing fields during the Khmer Rouge regime in the country.
Duration: 45 minutes

Stop At: Artisans Angkor, Stung Thmey Street, Siem Reap 17259 Cambodia
Artisans Angkor is a Cambodian social business creating job opportunities for young people in rural areas, while reviving traditional Khmer craftsmanship. The organisation, founded in 1992, is located on Stung Thmey Street, 2 minutes walk from the Old Market in Siem Reap centre, Cambodia.
Duration: 45 minutes

No meals included on this day.
No accommodation included on this day.

Important Details

Included
  • Experienced & safe driver
  • Professional English speaking /German guide & local guide
  • All local applicable taxes
Not Included
  • Entry/Admission - Wat Thmey (Killing Fields)
  • Appreciated Tip
  • Entry/Admission - Angkor Wat
  • Entry/Admission - Ta Prohm Temple
  • Entry/Admission - Preah Khan
  • Entry/Admission - Banteay Kdei
  • Entry/Admission - Eastern Mebon
  • Entry/Admission - Neak Pean
  • No Meal including
  • Entry/Admission - Ta Som
  • Entry/Admission - Bayon Temple
  • Travel Insurance
  • Entry/Admission - Ta Keo
  • Entry/Admission - Pre Rup
  • Entry/Admission - Angkor National Museum
  • Entry/Admission - Phnom Bakheng
Departure Point
Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
8:00 AM
Return Details
Returns to original departure point
Additional Info
  • Confirmation will be received at time of booking
  • Infants must sit on laps
  • Infant seats available
  • Not recommended for travelers with back problems
  • No heart problems or other serious medical conditions
  • Not recommended for pregnant travelers
  • Most travelers can participate
  • Not wheelchair accessible
  • This experience requires good weather. If it’s canceled due to poor weather, you’ll be offered a different date or a full refund
  • This experience requires a minimum number of travelers. If it’s canceled because the minimum isn’t met, you’ll be offered a different date/experience or a full refund
  • This is a private tour/activity. Only your group will participate
Voucher Requirements

You can present either a paper or an electronic voucher for this activity.

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Cancellation Policy

For a full refund, cancel at least 48 hours in advance of the start date of the experience.