Trip review: tour to the temples of Angkor in Cambodia

April 2013

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This travelogue illustrates a Cambodia trip lasting five days, discovering the temples of Angkor and the capital Phnom Penh. Flying from Vietnam, I reach Siem Reap, the town which is the ideal base from which exploring the local famous temples of Angkor, both those who are near as well as those more distant. The tour of the temples of Angkor can be made by various means: renting a car with driver and tour guide is probably the most convenient one; the package which is typically offered along with the nights by many travel agencies that deal with this destination.

After the tour of Angkor, including the great city of Angkor Thom, the temple of Angkor Wat, the "Small Circuit" with the  Tomb Raider and the more distant temples of Banteay, the journey continues in Cambodia with a long car transfer to the capital Phnom Penh. The road, which runs through the green heart of Cambodia allows to explore other archaeological ruins, as well as the market of spiders where fried spiders and other insects cooked with spices are sold. After a short tour in Phnom Penh, Cambodia tour ends at the international airport of this city to continue to the next destination.

A tour to Cambodia is thus an excellent choice for who is interested in history and archaeology, but without forgetting also the ethnic aspect, thanks to the unique local traditions and customs.


There are many tour operators and travel agencies that offer tours in Cambodia with different itineraries, but all include at least a couple of days between the temples of Angkor. Departures can be as a group with fixed dates group or just individual (even for only yourself) by communicating to the travel agency the route you want to follow . The tour in Cambodia presented in this trip review was booked through Asiatica Travel as individual departure, in conjunction with a trip in southern Vietnam (it is quite usual to combine a trip to Cambodia with tour in Vietnam and maybe Laos, thus covering much of Indochina, but it all depends on how much time and budget you have available).


Getting to Cambodia is usually simple: some airlines such as Qatar Airways offer connecting flights via Doha, otherwise there are a good number of connecting flights via Bankok. To get to Cambodia from Vietnam there are many flights, most non-stop, very convenient if you decide to visit both countries. Generally, the city in Cambodia where you will land will be Phnom Penh, from where you can get to Siem Reap (the city of temples of Angkor) by a road transfer of about 6 hours, or through a short connecting flight. However, there are increasing international flights arriving directly into Siem Reap.


This tour in Cambodia took place during the first week of April, traditionally the hottest time of year, with daytime temperatures that can exceed 37 degrees. However, this is also the peak of the dry season, so it rains less than the following months, which are fresher. Climatically speaking, the best time to visit Cambodia would be in December (cooler temperatures and very little rain), but this, together whit August (which is rainy) is also the period of greatest influx of tourists and therefore I would not recommend these months to make a trip to Angkor. The temples of Angkor are “assaulted” by about 2 million visitors every year and this is a problem, especially when every tourist wants to click a souvenir photo in front of every statue or archaeological find in the most absurd positions.

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Carved faces of BuddhaTour to Angkor Thom including the great temple of Bayon <<-- GO
Angkor Thom is a real city, capital of the Khmer empire and civilization; it’s dominated by the majestic temple of Bayon and characterized by high stone towers with the face of Buddha carved on the facades at the four cardinal points.
Female figuresThe trip to the temples of Angkor continues with the tour of Angkor Wat <<-- GO
The temple of Angkor Wat is probably the most famous of the temples of Angkor. It consists of a huge complex of buildings, whose walls are finely decorated with low-reliefs in excellent condition, showing figures of Khmer women (devata) and other drawings.
Temple of Angeline JolieTa Prom temple (temple of Tomb Raider) and other temples of Angkor photos <<-- GO
The Ta Prom temple is known by Cambodians as the Tomb Raider temple or temple of Angeline Jolie, as it was the film set of the famous movie and video game. Buried by the jungle until a few years ago, the temple is characterized by the stems and roots that grow above the ruins.
Temple od BanteayTour to the other Angkor temples of the Small Circuit and photos of Banteay <<-- GO
At a short distance from Siem Reap and the other temples of Angkor, there are some minor structures, but equally spectacular, dating prior to Angkor Thom. These temples are built in pink or red sandstone, which gives them their characteristic color.
Fried spidersTravel by car from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh in the heart of Cambodia <<-- GO
Cambodia is not only Angkor, but it is also a country that has much more to offer, and even a car trip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh allows you to appreciate some aspects which you will miss running only along the usual routes suggested to mass tourism.
Royal  Palace in CambodiaDay tour in Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia <<-- GO
The trip to Cambodia comes to an end with a visit to Phnom Penh and its magnificent Royal Palace with the Silver Pagoda. I have also a trip to the National Museum of Cambodia and the Wat Phnom pagoda attended by many believers.

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Thanks to Asiatica Travel for organizing this trip

Taxi from and to airport

Private shuttle transfers

Airport transfers

Airport pickup & tour

Transfer by car and driver

Customized taxi transfers