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Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

Brescia, Italy
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Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

Dear All,

I need your help. I am going to be in Thailand for a few days with a couple of friends. Our trip is a very quick one, mainly for business, but we have a couple of free days there. Provided that at least 1 day will be dedicated to visiting Bangkok and its attractions we have just about 1 more day to travel around. While I know staying just 1 day in Angkor Wat is simply not enough, we thought we couldn't really miss going there, being so close to it or we would regret it forever. As such we decided to book the Air Asia flight to Siem Reap which lands at 11.30 AM (is Air Asia punctural? anyone?), stay for the night and fly back to Bangkok for yet another meeting the day after with the Air Asia flight that leaves Siem Reap Airport at 12.00.

Chronometer at end, we will just have 24 hours in Cambodia and Siem Reap.

My questions follow:

1) provided that the flight lands in time at 11.30 AM, how much time will I need to clear immigration, customs, get very quickly to an hotel/guest house in central Siem Reap and then get to the temples?

2) In the few hours we have, what would you suggest us to visit? we will sure go back to Angkor Wat again in the future but for the time being, what temples should we go and see?

3) Can you stay longer in Angkor Wat even after 6 PM?

I know it's a very short visit, probably madness but as I said we didn't want to miss it. Any suggestion is more than welcome !

Denver, CO
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1. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

You should be able to clear customs, get your visa and arrive in town in 60 - 90 minutes. Arrange a tuk tuk driver ahead of time with your hotel and have them waiting for you at the airport and then to take you out to the temples. You will need to stop and get a pass, it should take about 30 minutes or so from hotel (depending on where you are staying), get your pass and out to Angkor Wat. The temples close at 5:30 - but you can hang out and watch sunset before returning to town. Take a look at Canby Publications - they have a lot of information about the temples and suggested itineraries - it will be a rush but will give you a taste of what is to come when you return. I'd suggest the top three for such a quick visit - Angkor Wat, Bayon, and Ta Phrom - but if you do a bit of reading ahead of time you may decide on others.

Bangkok, Thailand
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2. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

As far as I know, the archeological park has no street or indoor lighting, so after 6pm it will be too dark to see much and you might even fall and hurt yourself in the darkness. In October even nautical twilight …wikipedia.org/wiki/…Nautical_twilight ends some 30 minutes past 6pm.

Amsterdam, The...
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3. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

Agree with Lynn about pre-arranging a driver and the three priorities in terms of temples. I would do Angkor Wat itself on the afternoon you arrive. Next morning be at Ta Prohm for sunrise. Get there while still dark (take small flashlights) and experience the solitude and nearly mystical experience of the jungle that has nearly engorged Ta Prohm coming awake as the sun begins to filter down thru the thick tree canopy cover. You then get to see this temple with hardly any other tourists around. Then head to Bayon and whatever else in Angkor Thom there may be time for before heading back to the airport. If you accomplish just this, plus of course a very pleasant evening in Siem Reap as well, you will have a very memorable and impressive experience.

Airasia is as punctual or not as any other airline.

Edited: 26 September 2013, 11:54
Port Elizabeth
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4. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

I would leave the bulk of my luggage in Thailand, if possible. Take a small overnight bag with you, that will not get in the way on the Tuk-tuk. (Cambodian Tuk-tuks are quite spacious.) Arrange for hotel pick-up, but go directly to the temples and only check into your hotel in the evening. This will save 1/2 hour to an hour of precious time. Angkor Wat and maybe Bayon in the afternoon. Ta Prohm and 1 or 2 others like Ta Keo early the next morning.

Brescia, Italy
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5. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

Thank you for your detailed replies. I was afraid that spending just a few hours in Angkor could be a waste of time but from your comments it sounds like it will be worth it. I have two more questions: 1) Anybody knows if there is a left luggage counter at DMK Bangkok Airport where I could leave "the bulk of our luggage" before travelling to Cambodia? 2) If, as some suggest, I want to visit Angkor Wat in the afternoon and then a new temple in the morning of the day after, will I need to purchase a 1 or 2 days ticket? namely, does a ticket run for 24 hours from the time and hour of purchase? THANKS !

Bangkok, Thailand
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6. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

DMK has a left luggage counter immediately on the left when you enter the departures hall.

Denver, CO
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7. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

You will need to purchase two passes - better off to just get the 3 day pass (it will cost the same as two one day passes - US $40 - a one day pass is $20). Have fun and get ready to be planning a return trip!

8. Re: Just a few hours in Angkor Wat (unfortunately)

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