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Angkor wat guides etc

india
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Angkor wat guides etc

Hi,

We are a family of 3 adults who would be doing the Angkor circuit in late august. We have contacted a few tour guides to get an idea of the tour prices excluding the temple pass. We would like to cover the following temples Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm, Banteay kdei, Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Ta Som, Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre, East Mebon and Pre Rup - over 2 to 2.5 days. I am being quoted a price of around USD 240-220 for 2.5 days. And if we do it over two days a price of 150 USD This seems way too much even if we factor in an air conditioned car/van. Am I wrong?

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Sydney, Australia
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1. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Are your quotations inclusive of a car for transport or just for the guide's services?

As a general rule of thumb, a good guide these days and out of high season will cost you circa $30/$40 and a good air conditioned car with driver circa $40/$50 per day.

So which ever way you slice and dice your quotations, they are high.

So why not just wait until you get there and arrange guide and transport through your hotel?

After all, there is no shortage of either guides or transport in Siem Reap-Angkor at that time of year.

However, tourist numbers are way up this year and predicted to top 4.2 million for calendar year 2014 and this is certainly increasing demand somewhat, even though the great increases in tourists come from countries that tend to take cheaper options.

Best regards. Ian

Sydney, Australia
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2. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

I think that's a bit steep since it clearly cannot include your Angkor Pass. Who is this quote from?

normal prices - 3 day Angkor Pass - $40 each, guide $30 / day (per group) a/c car (Toyota camry) $30/day (per group) - a van will be more expensive

If you book a guide & driver through your hotel and pay for your own lunch you should be able to do it for $60+/day after you have bought the passes

india
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3. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Dear Angkorlad and helen2154,

Thank you for the prompt replies and for confirming my suspicion. I agree it would possibly be better to arrange the entire thing once we reach Siem Reap at a more reasonable rate. The guides were some of the independent tour guides highly rated in trip advisor. On a different note:

1. Should we use a tuk-tuk to do the entire tour or break it up into tuk-tuk and car or entirely by car? I am guessing far off sites like Bantey Srei etc may be done by car. While the smaller circuit by tuk tuk. Any advice?

2. Also considering we have two senior citizens (around 65 years in age) and I have heard the stairs can be pretty steep - any advice on which temples if any could pose a problem from this list-Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Bayon, Baphuon etc), Ta Prohm, Banteay kdei, Preah Khan, Neak Poan, Ta Som, Banteay Srei, Banteay Samre, East Mebon and Pre Rup?

Sydney, Australia
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4. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

A sensible idea to consider a car for the day you visit Banteay Srei but the other day/s can easily tuk tuk.

if you have look at canbypublications.com/siemreap/sritinerary.h… you can get to photos of each of the temples - this way you can judge better for yourself which may be problematic. Certainly you will have no issues with Preah Khan, Banteay Srei, Ta Som and the majority of Angkor Wat (if you take things slowly) Pre Rup will be a challenge and I think you may be doing your looking from ground level only. The Bayon could also be difficult but perhaps best to make the actual final decision when you arrive.

Sydney, Australia
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5. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Personally, I use a tuk tuk for visits to Bantey Srei as it is an interesting and relaxing journey and with a lot to see and even on a hot day the breeze in the tuk tuk is plesant. But that said, it is about the outer limit for travel by tuk tuk although I have been to Beng Belia several times by tuk tuk but do not really recommend it for those short on time such as the average tourist staying less than a week or so. There is a lot to be said for staying far longer in the Siem Reap-Angkor region and taking a relaxed approach to the many places of interest and other non-temple ruin related places of interest there. The Siem Reap-Angkor region deserves far more time than most tourists give it.

A quick look at a guide book will rapidly sort the various temples out for you, ie flat ones and vertical ones. None of which should be beyond any of you if you exercise care and take things steadily. Just be sure to dress appropriately if you wish to go to the upper Bakon level at Angkor Wat. Strict dress rules apply for men and women as it is still very much a place of worship for many Buddhists from around the world.

Best regards. Ian

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6. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

I would defintely say tuk tuk to Banteay Srei. It is not that far, the road is fine and I just repeat and emphasize what Ian said. For most tourists spending their time visiting the temples in the main park area, it is the one opportunity to see a lot of local life which takes place along the road. In a car you just go by too fast to enjoy the impressions, let alone take any pics of the engaging stuff you will be seeing, or feel any connection to the surroundings or have smiling waving kids running alongside for a few seconds.

Edited: 10 August 2014, 13:17
Amsterdam, The...
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7. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

By the way, I also see a misconnect in some of the opinions in terms of cost. If I use Ian's costs for guide and car ("a good guide these days and out of high season will cost you circa $30/$40 and a good air conditioned car with driver circa $40/$50 per day"), it works out to $70 - $90 a day which of course translates to $140 - $180 for two days. You got a quote of $150 for two days making an average of $75 per day which is right by Ian's lower limit. And since very few drivers or guides will gladly or quickly charge 50% for a half day, since the chance of picking up a supplemental half day additional work is near zero, then even the 2.5 days charge is not unreasonable based on these cost estimates.

So the impression created in the further discussion that the quotes you got are very high is actually not at all justified given Ian's estimates of current pricing.

india
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8. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Dear Lennybruce,

Thank you for pointing the discrepancy out. I am still a bit confused whether 120 to 130 usd or 170 to 180 usd (a good 50 usd difference) is what I should be looking at as the benchmark. We have discussed that we would possibly be happier with a two day tour since I am not sure whether we will fully recover after our numerous flight changes etc to get to siem reap.

Is it comfortable travelling around in tuk tuk versus the air conditioned car in siem reap around the third week of august given the humidity, temp etc?

Amsterdam, The...
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9. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Although I don't know where in India you come from, I would imagine you experience similar weather conditions and also have similar modes of transport so maybe let your previous experience be your guide if applicable. Otherwise its a totally personal thing. From my observations, the vast majority of people including young and old, seem to use tuk tuk versus car. If you choose for tuk tuk then my recommendation would be to clearly tell the tuk tuk driver or whomever arranges it for you that there is a chance that you will want to switch to a car on the second day. Even with rising tourist arrivals I am pretty confident that in August your hotel, guide or tuk tuk driver will have someone in their network who will be available with a car for even the next day.

In terms of cost, I would cost out a 2 day program including main temples of the small and grand circuit plus the trip to Banteay Srei, including guide, excluding temple passes and personal expenses of course at $130 minimum.

However I think the prices mentioned by Ian are actually at the moment much more "fair trade" prices (meaning a days work given the number of days when there is no work really provides a day living for a driver/guide and their family plus that tiny bit extra we all want to earn for our labor beyond the absolute necessities of life) so I think $150 is much more reasonable. Over two days this $20 difference translates to only $5 more for the driver and also for the guide.

And if one finds one's way to one of the top guides around then sure, just for that rarer quality of someone in higher demand one could pay even another $5 a day more bringing things to $160 - $170 if the guide is using an equally top notch driver and car in demand. Of course its very difficult for the average tourist who is leaving things to the hotel to arrange or looking around online for names to know if a guide for example is in that top notch category. But all things being equal, I would say plus minus around the $150 point is a good benchmark.

I did just notice that you mentioned you will have two "senior citizens" with you, then I assume you will be four people? Although the Siem Reap tuk tuk can take four people, and my driver mates do it often, be aware that the secondary facing feat is more narrow and has a much smaller backrest (see for example the pic at the top of www.angkortuktuk.net/tuktukservices.htm ). So while most people will alternate seating places you will probably want to make sure your elders will always use the more comfortable main seat, that is if you choose for the tuk tuk.

Edited: 10 August 2014, 15:16
india
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10. Re: Angkor wat guides etc

Dear Lennybruce,

Thank you for the detailed reply. Family of 3 plus+ 1 guide would make it four. Will aim for a two days tour by car at around USD150 excluding tickets etc. If we decide to take a tuk tuk what should we aim for as the cost for one day?

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