Maybe you are short on time and just interested in seeing one of the most famous archeological sites in Southeast Asia. Well, then this is the perfect post for you. I was spending about 10 days in Vietnam for my birthday and I wanted to make a pitstop to Siem Reap to see the famous Angkor temples. I only had one full day to spend in Siem Reap and a half day the following day before flying out to Vietnam. This one day in Siem Reap Itinerary will give you some sort of idea of what to do and how to fill your time there.
What to see in One day in Siem Reap
The temples will take up most of your day since that is what Siem Reap is mostly about. Book your tour here.
Angkor Archaeological Park
Angkor Archaeological Park is a popular destination among tourists because of it’s long and rich history. Many popular movies have also been filmed here like Indiana Jones and Tomb Raider. There are many temples within the park and I am listing the top three to visit during your one day in Seim Reap.
Angkor Wat Temple
The most popular temple in the park is Angkor Wat. This temple is huge and took me a lot longer to walk through in comparison to the other temples. It’s considered the largest religious monument in the world. Cambodia has gone in and out of their religious beliefs from the past going from Buddhism to Christianity depending on the leader at the time.
The Bayon Temples are most popularly known as the temple with stone faces. This temple is filled with a lot of tourists because of so many great areas to photograph with faces. There are over 200 faces within the temples and about 50 towers.
Angkor Thom is most known for all the trees that have grown on the temples. These trees are a soft or malleable type of tree that allows them to grow on the temples. These trees are not good to use for building and for their materials.
This is a popular tourist destination, especially for Korean tourists. There are a lot of great Korean restaurants and more in the area. It’s a great place to see floating houses and houses on stilts in the area.
Get a Massage during your one day in Siem Reap
After having a long day at the temples, you can easily get an affordably priced massage. There are many places between Pub Street and the Siem Reap Night Market where you can get a massage. Every time I travel to a Southeast Asian Country, I have to make sure I have time to get a massage. It’s my favorite way to relax after a long day of travel.
This is a popular area to hang out and especially at night. There are a ton of restaurants, places to eat, drink, and have a great sweet dessert. There are a ton of rolled ice cream places that you totally need to enjoy while there. Additionally, try some great traditional Cambodian food like Fish Amok.
Siem Reap Night Market is a must for one day
After having dinner at Pub street take a stroll down to the Siem Reap Night Market. You can find a ton of great souvenirs here from bags, scarves, jewelry, and more. You can bargain with quite a few of them as well, which is great if you want to save some money. Most of them won’t go lower than a certain amount so I felt a lot of the places were pretty much the same price across the board.
Is one day in Siem Reap enough time?
I think this depends on you. For me, it was the perfect amount of time. I spend a full day sightseeing all the temples at the Archaeological Park which at the end of the day, I became so exhausted and not interested in seeing any more temples. However, if that is what interests you, one day will not be enough. There were definitely a lot more temples you can explore in the park.
The temples I saw were the top three you shouldn’t miss. Additionally, I took my time, you could easily go faster through these parks, but the park is fairly large and widespread which requires a lot of walking and taxis between each site.
Currency in Siem Reap
The currency in Siem Reap is the Cambodian Riel, however, the United States dollar is more favorable among Cambodian locals. They feel that the US dollar is a stronger currency than their own so they prefer it. You will, however, get some riels back when you purchase things from vendors, restaurants, and more.
How to get around Angkor Archaeological Park
There are a few options for getting around the park.
Rent a car driver
You can easily hire a driver and gain access to many of the temples easily. This was my preferred option because I traveled during some of the hottest months which was also unpredictable when it came to the weather. When you travel to Southeast Asia, the rain can be unpredictable and I was worried about being caught in a storm. During the hot weather, it was great to be greeted by cold air conditioning and cold water provided by the driver.
Go on a tour
There are many tour options for the Angkor Archaeological Park that include a sunrise or sunset tour. It’s perfect to do some of these tours because you can easily access the park earlier, later, or get quick access to the temples. I highly suggest you do a tour because it can be quite overwhelming in the park with so many people, tourists, and temples to discover within the park. Book your tour here.
Rent a tuk-tuk driver
If you just want quick access to the park, you can easily rent a tuk-tuk driver for the day. There are many options for this and you can find one easily through your hotel, at the airport, and more. This is perfect for those who want to make their own itineraries.
Photography Tour of Angkor Wat
So I actually took a photography tour at Angkor Wat, mostly because this was a huge bucket list location for me. For someone like me, Indiana Jones was one of my favorite movies of all time as a child growing up. So my choice for my 31st birthday was to spend a little more to get memorable photos and a tour of the park. It was a great combo for someone like me.
How much is an Angkor Wat ticket?
Prices vary on how many days you plan to visit the temples. You can get a 1 day, 3 days or 7-day pass. Tickets are usually paid in US dollars rather than Cambodian Riels. You can, however, pay with a card as well at the ticket office. Tickets are non-refundable and non-transferable.
- 1-day pass – US $37
- 3-day pass – US $62
- 7-day pass – US $72
Free entrances are for children under 12 years old. A passport needs to be shown as proof.
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