How to Survive Angkor Wat

by - 3:00 PM

So... you want to visit Angkor Wat? Well, I can't blame you. The endless abandoned temple complexes in the Cambodian jungle near Siem Reap are on the UNESCO World Heritage List with good reason. But. There's always a but: visiting is not as easy as it sounds. In fact, it can be freaking difficult. That's why I'm taking you on a virtual trip to Cambodia today. Let me tell you how you can survive a visit to Angkor Wat!

Disclaimer: all advice is based on personal experiences and mistakes. Mostly mistakes though. Circumstances might be different for you in real life (especially when it comes to pants).

Step 1: Claim a tuktuk guy
Are you ready? You are? Awesome! Let's make sure we can actually get there tomorrow, because Angkor is a couple of miles away from Siem Reap and the distances between the abandoned temples aren't small either. Let's go outside and claim a tuktuk guy. If we haggle a little he'll drive us around all day for a good price. Shall we let him pick us up at the guest house at 8.30am? We could try to go around 5am for sunrise over Angkor Wat, but it'll be overcrowded and I don't like people. Especially not early in the morning when I'm still cranky. Besides, it'll be easier to quickly get a ticket if we go later in the morning. So, 8.30am it is? Deal.

Step 2: Wear pants
Our tuktuk guy is here! You're wearing pants, right? They won't let you in if you aren't. Go put some pants on and let's go!
Uhm... Hate to break it to you, but... Those shorts you're wearing? Those are not the right pants. See that security guy glaring at you? It's because your knees aren't covered. I know, I know, they should've told us half an hour ago when we were still waiting in line to get our tickets, but for some reason they prefer to tell you once you're at the first abandoned temple. Now you're not allowed to go inside any of the temples with those shorts. Lucky for you there are stalls with clothes everywhere just outside the temple complexes to sell pants to tourists like us. Let's go get you some temple-proof, knee-covering pants!

Step 3: Don't let them guilt trip you
Great, you've got pants! Now don't let the vendors guilt trip you into buying anything else if you don't want to. Focus on the cute little monkeys running around instead. These vendors will be everywhere, near the entrance of every ancient temple we're going to visit. I mean, they call this place Angkor Wat, but that's actually just one of the many temples here. Of course every temple has its own name, but they're quite complicated and hard to remember. And the entrance of every single one of those temples will be crowded with vendors literally grabbing you by the arm in an attempt to sell you something. I know it's uncomfortable, but once you're through the temple gate there won't be anyone yelling at you to by a shirt, to let's get going.

Step 4: Don't step on the stinky fruit
You smell that? The alcohol, I mean? That's fermenting fruit on the ground. Nothing to worry about. Unless you step on it. Seriously, don't step on it. It'll stick to your shoes and then it'll get stuck to the ground again and you'll have to pry your shoe loose. Last time I almost lost my flip flops to those stinky bastards. Don't be like me and kill your flip flops by accidentally stepping on that stuff.

Step 5: Bring enough money (and by that I mean US dollars)
I'm getting hungry and I only have 100 riels, which are worthless even in their own country... Everything is priced in dollars here anyway. Did you bring any? 10 dollars? Shit, we're doomed. You can't exchange money here anywhere, unless you like to get screwed over sideways. Let's see if the food trucks have any decent budget meals. A hot dog and a can of Coke for three dollars is not that bad. Let's have that. We'll figure out a way to pay the tuktuk guy later...

Step 6: Enjoy Angkor Wat
You made it! You've got the right, pants, didn't get guilt tripped, didn't get stuck in the stinky fruit and had a good meal! Now we can fully enjoy this amazing place without having to worry about anything. You'll love it here, it's a mesmerizing place. There are so many old and abandoned temples here in the Angkor area. Bayon, Angkor Thom... It's amazing to see all these places in the middle of the jungle. You don't even know they're there until you're right in front of them, surrounded by beautiful architecture and ancient reliefs, some half covered in plants and trees. They're all beautiful, these temples, but Angkor Wat is the most famous of course. Do you want to climb to the top? The stairs are vertigo-inducing, but the view is worth it. We won't have to stand in line for long; it's usually quiet this time of the day. Let's see all Angkor has to offer.

So, I hope you liked our virtual day out to Angkor. Let's end it with a virtual glass of sugarcane juice. My treat, they sell it everywhere near the bridge to Angkor Wat. You should try it, it's delicious. I guess it's time to take the tuktuk back to Siem Reap and say goodbye. I hope we'll get to travel again soon!

x Envy

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8 Fellow Ramblers

  1. Oh I loved reading this!! It isn't somewhere I will ever get to visit (not as if it doesn't look and sound insanely beautiful) but I still really enjoyed this post. Your writing style is super fun!!

    Danielle xo

    1. I'm glad you enjoyed this even though it's not the kind of place you'd visit. That means a lot to me, because it makes me feel like I'm finally on the right track when it comes to some good travel writing :)

  2. This is such a fun way to do this sort of post - I love the trousers you bought, they look gorgeous on you, and it sounds like you had a fabulous time! 🙊

    Andi |

    1. Haha thank you. I really wanted to do something different for this one. The pants are my favorite right now, I just wish it was warm enough to wear them again!

  3. This is the most fun travel post I have EVER read, you are a brilliant writer! I laughed so much reading about your poor flip flops, and the whole pants saga. And your photographs are just beautiful. Thank you for a lovely read, Envy, I've no idea what sugarcane juice tastes like but I'm raising my virtual glass to you! X

    Lisa |

    1. Thank you thank you thank you! I love telling the story of my clothes. It was weird when I was there, but so funny at the end of the day. Angkor is an amazing place to take pictures. Instagram engagement might be dead, but I just have to share these pictures everywhere.

  4. Envy, I'm always in love with your travel content! Your posts are always packed with humour and give such a wonderful feel for the place! Those trousers that you bought are just fab, I love the floaty legs! I will definitely bear the rotting fruit in mind 😉 I had never actually heard of this place before (terrible I know) but now I really REALLY want to visit!

    Abbey 🎁

    1. Thank you Abbey! I'm in love with those trousers. I think they're actually quite easy to make yourself, so maybe I might give that a try next summer. I expected you to know about Angkor though! I think you'd love the place :)


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