The prized temple and showpiece is now known as the Angkor Archaeological Park, which we will virtually be walking to during the 2021 Walk to Cambodia. The city of Angkor was built in the 12th century as a Khmer capital for King Suryavarman II.
Now a popular tourist destination, there are a few things you must know before setting yourself on your Cambodian journey.
From when to go to what to wear, you want to educate yourself on the ins and outs of Angkor so you can arrive prepared and ready to explore.
At Human and Hope Association Inc. we value the power of education. So we want to make sure you are educated in the culture and history of the country.
What is Angkor Wat?
As mentioned, Angkor was a city built for King Suryavarman II in the 12th century. The ancient city was built to extend over 400 kilometres, which actually makes it the largest pre-industrial city in history.
Angkor Wat is the most famous of more than 1,000 temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park.
The things you MUST know before visiting Angkor Wat
- Angkor Wat isn’t the only temple
Yes, as we mentioned, it is just one of 1,000 temples in the Angkor Archaeological Park. Some of the popular ones include Bayon, Ta Prohm, Banteay Srei, Angkor Thom and Preah Khan.
If you are looking to see the highlights reel, you can book a tour to explore these with a local guide. We recommend Siem Reap Shuttle Tours.
- You MUST wear the appropriate clothing
When visiting Angkor Wat and any of the temples, you must abide by the dress code. You will need to ensure your shoulders and knees are covered, but of course, you will want to wear light clothing as the sun will be strong. A hat and some good walking shoes are also recommended.
- Be prepared to drink lots of water
It can be very humid in Cambodia, and walking around the temples will leave you very thirsty. To avoid being dehydrated, bring some water to begin with and of course, there are loads of vendors to buy water from along your journey.
- There is a big crowd at sunrise
If you want to catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat, be prepared for crowds. The sunrises around 5:30-6am and if you are staying in Siem Reap, allow for a 30-minute trip.
- It gets HOT
If you are visiting in the warmer months, try and go earlier in the morning. Once it hits 11am the sun really starts to warm up!
- Be respectful
This is a given, but this is something you need to think about. There is no smoking at the Angkor Wat temple so please do not bring your smokes along for the journey. In addition to that, please show respect to the locals while visiting.
- Give money to charity, not children
You will see a lot of locals asking for money while exploring Angkor. Please do not give money to children or the like. Cambodia has a lot of local charities you can donate to instead, like our program partner, Human and Hope Association! Find out more here.
- Be aware of others
There are a lot of people who visit Angkor Wat daily, so please be mindful of others. This is with everything from taking images to just walking around the grounds.
- Step away from your camera
Enjoy the beauty of Angkor! Yes, of course, take as many images as you like, but also be present and take in the surroundings away from your camera!
- Learn as much as you can about Angkor
While exploring, have a travel guide or listen to your guide taking you around. Ask questions and learn about the amazing history! There is so much to learn, so if you do your research beforehand, you will be able to learn more when you are there!
Angkor Wat truly is as beautiful as you see online or as people describe it. If you are planning to visit Angkor, you will most likely want to stay in the city of Siem Reap! Of course, this is also a great tourist destination, and there is lots to see and do!