Inquiry Submission By capetowntraveller1982
We have been travelling for a while now and arrived in Siem Reap as the next destination on the list with honestly zero real planning as to how to see the temples. I had taken a quick look at the forum to see how long people recommended which went from 3 days to 2 weeks. After reading the TA Forum and a few sites we decided to stay 3 full days in Siem Reap.
To confess I had no idea really of how many temples there were or just how huge the complex was! We literally arrived at the bus station, used Grab to get a tuktuk price then negotiated the same price with one of the tuktuk guys there. He took my Whatsapp and asked us if we wanted to go to the temples the next day. I asked how much and what he recommended and then compared the price with the hotel who were charging the same thing ? USD20 for the big tour and USD15 for the small tour.
We slept in the first day and decided to do the small tour in the afternoon starting at 12:00 and ending up at Angkor Wat at about 16:00. The first couple of temples, in particular the “tomb raider temple” there were quite a few Chinese tour bus people there but Angkor Wat was relatively quiet in the late afternoon before sunset. We had the whole East side of the temple completely to ourselves and really enjoyed the atmosphere there as the sun came down. Also the place to take photos from across the lake was not too busy either. The next day we did the big tour and we started at 8:00. Again we just followed the standard route starting at Preah Khan. None of the temples were particularly crowded. By the time we visited the last temples, Ta Som and East Mabon we were happy to head back to the hotel and felt no need to visit any of the far away temples. Obviously on top of that it was extremely hot so spending much more time out would have been difficult.
In the end we just spent the 3rd day in the city relaxing by the pool and did not use the 3rd day of the 3 day pass. Definitely felt no desire at all to see the sunset at Angkor Wat. Obviously cheaper to buy for 3 days than 2 separate 1 day passes so made no difference. All of this was between the 21st to the 24th of Feb so just before Chinese New Year.
Everyone of course is absolutely free to make their own decisions as to how long to spend in Siem Reap and I respect everyone’s choice! I have no doubt at all that with more time, a guide, more planning etc I could have appreciated the temples far more. I just wanted to leave this as an opinion though for anyone to find when trying to determine how many days to spend there.