**If you haven’t read my Angkors Away cost breakdown and travel advice article, it’s worth taking a look at before reading the Angkor Wat strategies outlined here. In this article we will be referring to the costs listed in that breakdown, and knowing those costs will help you better understand these travel strategies.
Whether you have one day and zero budget to explore the beautiful ruins at Angkor Wat, three days and an unlimited budget, or five young children and a wife with a sore knee, we’ve got you covered for the best travel strategies to make the most out of your money, time, and energy.
Let’s get right to it~ Strategies for Exploring Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat Strategy 1
The Busted Backpacker Budget~ Angkor Wat One Day Mega Trip
The Benefit: Cheapest Strategy
Drawback: Physically taxing, rushed schedule
Ok, so spending absolutely as little money as possible is not just a priority here, it’s the only way you will have enough money to get to Laos, or god forbid… go back home.
1 day Angkor Wat Admission Price: $20
3 Day Angkor Wat Admission Price: $40
7 Day Angkor Wat Admission Price: $60
*Passes can only be used on consecutive days.
Spending two days at Angkor Wat means forking out the extra 20 bones for the three day pass, and that’s just not an option! Nope, you’re going to save every penny you can, and that means exploring the whole of Angkor Wat in one day.
So, how should we do it?
Go easy on the drinks the night before!
Wake up between 5-5:30 AM, and slam a Thai Red Bull or a double espresso… you’re going to need it.
I recommend being at Angkor Wat no later than 6 AM. If you plan to see the entire site in one day you might as well get there early and beat the heat. It’s going to be an extremely long day of temple romping, if you can stay out of the sun for half of it, and possibly catch the sunrise at Angkor, it’s worth a shot.
Pack Peanuts, bananas, and coconut water.
You can get all these snacks at a local convenience store, and it’s going to save you from the inflated prices of the on-site restaurants.
Rent a bike~
Trying to walk to all of the must-see temple sites is a hot and sweaty suicide mission. For a one day trip, I highly recommend getting a tuk tuk, but I understand that the money you put towards that tuk tuk could be your next vegan meal, so do yourself a favor and rent a bike.
Forgo the guide, and purchase a travel book. This will help you save a couple extra dollars, and if you really want to go the cheapest route you can even skip the travel book, and just print out a couple wiki pages to take with you.
Be sure to pace yourself! Take a nice long lunch break, and be sure to stay hydrated, and caffeinated.
Traveling is only fun if you’re in good spirits while you travel!
Angkor Wat Strategy 2:
The Lance Armstrong- Tour De’ Angkor
The Benefit: Stupidly healthy. Allows for time to explore
The Drawbacks: Not the cheapest. Lots of bike riding in the heat.
Plenty of time? Do you want to harden up those hamstrings? Want to save some chedda?
If you have three days to spare, get the three day Angkor Wat pass, and rent a cycle.
Exploring the ruins over a three day period on a bike is a great way to get your health grind on, save some money on the tuk tuk rental, and free up some night time.
If you only have two days to spare, I highly recommend trying to see all of Angkor Wat in one go, as it will save you 20 bucks on the pass.
If you have three days though, this is the healthiest alternative, and you’ll be done exploring the ruins by early dusk every night, which will give you plenty of time to grab an ice cold after biking beer.
Angkor Wat Strategy 3
The Mai Bpen Rai- 3 day Tuk Tuk Ride
The Benefits: Most easygoing. Lots of time to explore the ruins. Free time at night. Best strategy for traveling to Angkor Wat with younger children.
The Drawbacks: Most expensive strategy. You need at least three days. No cycling
Don’t mind paying for a three day tuk tuk driver? Have a couple days to spare?
Get the three day pass, and hire a driver.
If you are concerned about saving money you can still cut costs by bringing packed lunches into the site, and using a guide book instead of a person.
If possible, perhaps you can meet other travelers and you guys can split the cost of the tuk tuk.
Either way, if you take three days to explore the ruins, then each day you should be done by either early or late afternoon depending on when you start.
I recommend this strategy for anyone that has kids, or wants to relax and take it easy while still getting the full Khmer ruin experience.
Sure, this isn’t the cheapest strategy, but if you are a traveler who gets grumpy from being in the sun for too long, then this is the best strategy for a fun, no pressure visit.
If you have kids, the kids will love feeling like Indiana Jones rolling through the Angkor ruins in the tuk tuk.
This strategy will allow you to take things in stride, and still have energy to spend time dancing on Pub Street, checking out the Siem Reap circus show, or getting the kids out of the pool.
** Check out this sweet trailer below for the Siem Reap Circus show
So that’s it, three different strategies to help you make the most of your visit to Angkor Wat. I really hope this helps you guys.
By the way… Do you have anything to add to this article? Any strategies or new ideas I didn’t list? Do you hate the shirt I’m wearing in these pictures?
Comment below! I want to hear from you.
** Want to read more about Cambodia? Check out Battambang. Read about things to do in Battambang here.
Thanks for reading and happy travels,