Amazing Angkor Wat - How we travel overland from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap

Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Have you been to Angkor Wat? Angkor Wat is located in the province of Siem Reap in Cambodia and is just one of the many temples in Angkor Archaeological Park Complex and is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world. It has become a symbol of Cambodia as evident by their flag.


Located in Angkor, which was formerly the capital city of the Khmer Empire, Angkor Wat is one of UNESCO's World Heritage Site and is flocked by tourists from all over the world. (I believe the month of November is one of the best months to visit Angkor Wat.)


the amazing Angkor Wat before sunrise in Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat before sunrise
the amazing Angkor Wat after sunrise in Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat after sunrise, taken in another location
HOW TO GET THERE 

BY AIR

As Angkor Wat is one of the most popular tourist destinations in the world, most major airlines have direct flights to and from Siem Reap where the temple complex is situated. If your airline does not have a direct flight to Siem Reap, try a connecting flight from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap or if you want, use the transport system below.

BY CAMBODIA POST VIP VAN OR BUS 
How we travel from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap

You can also go to Siem Reap by bus or via a mini van. When we get there, we travel overland - by bus from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Pehn then via a mini van from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap and travel time for the latter is 5 hours and 30 minutes which included a quick gas stop and a quick lunch. The good thing about traveling by mini van is that you're not so many that you don't need to wait for so many people during stopovers.


Cambodia Post Office Building in Phnom Pehn Cambodia
Cambodia Post Office Building, Cambodia Post VIP Van is parked in front of the building and the waiting area is on the right 
Prior to our departure, we booked in advance a 7:00am ticket Cambodia Post VIP Van via Bookmebus.com and it was a pretty smooth transaction without any hassle, when we present the ticket to the driver, it was honored right away without any questions. If you are traveling from Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap via Cambodia Post VIP Van, you need to go to Cambodia Post (see above picture), there is a coffee shop in front of the building where you can have a quick breakfast. Cambodia Post also offers free pickup service, we had arranged for it but we decided to go directly to the post office instead, via tuktuk. There are also several ATM machines at Cambodia Post on the left side. (If you want to travel by bus, your ticket will indicate the address of the bus terminal, so ask your tuktuk driver to bring you to that address).

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STOPOVER

As mentioned above, we only had 2 quick stops, the gas stop and the lunch stop then from the point where we had our lunch, we are just more than an hour away from the mini van station. 

TUKTUK

Tuktuk is one of the main transport systems in Cambodia. When we arrived at the mini van station in Siem Reap, we were greeted by tuktuk drivers.  There we met, Rai Ray (contact details below) and we negotiated for our fare from the station to the guest house then from the guest house to Angkor Enterprise (place to book a ticket for Angkor Wat) and vice versa ($15). The other fare we negotiated was for the tour the following day for the Angkor Wat Sunrise and the other 2 temples: Bayon and Ta Prohm ($20).

WHERE TO STAY
Ta Som Guesthouse and Bou Savy Guesthouse are two (2) of the guesthouses we booked in Siem Reap, 2 of the best and cheaper accommodations in Siem Reap, just a walking distance from the park, Triangle Market and not so far from Pub Street (a popular tourist spot). You can also try Oasis Capsules Hostel (situated at the heart of Siem Reap and just a step away from Pub Street and Night Market), Victoria Angkor Resort and Spa, Angkor Paradise Hotel, Park Hyatt Siem Reap, Angkor Holiday Hotel, and some other cheaper accommodations in Siem Reap, Cambodia


OASIS CAPSULES HOSTEL, SIEM REAP, CAMBODIA
Oasis Capsules Hostel is situated at the heart of Siem Reap and is just a step away to the Night Market and Pub Street. ATM machines, supermarkets, restaurants and massage parlors are all a walking distance from the property. 
After our 2 days stay at Ta Som, we transferred to Bou Savy where we were accommodated by one of their receptionists and one of the tuktuk drivers, Houen Houem (contact details below). We were not able to book him for the tour as we already had our Angkor Wat tour a day in advance prior to transferring to Bou Savy.

GETTING AROUND | ANGKOR WAT TICKET & ANGKOR WAT SUNSET
the amazing angkor wat sunset in Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat Sunset
As mentioned above, we negotiated for our fare from the mini-van station to Ta Som and from Ta Som to Angkor Enterprise and vice versa. Fare was $15, haggle if you think it is too much. 

Our tuktuk driver then came back and fetched us at Ta Som after we had our much deserved rest at around 4:00pm and he drove us to Angkor Enterprise, the place where we purchased our Angkor Wat ticket for next-day validity. If you are just contented with just a one day tour (now $37 which was only $20 when we went there November of 2016) at Angkor Wat complex, which I think is enough, go to Angkor Enterprise and purchase a ticket from 5:00pm to 5:30pm. If you go there and purchase before 5:00pm, it can not be used the following day, it is only good for that same day. So better purchase the ticket from 5:00pm onwards so you can use it the following day. Your ticket will have a photo of you which you can use for the Sunset pictorial on the same day you purchased the ticket and for the Sunrise the following day. 

After we bought our next-day ticket, we went to Angkor Wat to have our Angkor Wat Sunset pictorials then we had our dinner and went back to our guesthouse. Find Cheaper Places to Stay in Siem Reap.

ANGKOR WAT SUNRISE | BAYON TEMPLE | TA PROHM


the amazing angkor wat sunrise in Siem Reap Cambodia
Angkor Wat Sunrise
We woke up at past 4:00am the following day and our tuktuk driver was already waiting for us outside when we went downstairs. We then drove to Angkor Wat Complex and had our breakfast near the front gate. As we had taken our breakfast, we were surprised to learn that even on the wee hours of the morning, tourists started to gather and walk their way inside Angkor Wat to secure a spot to get a good glimpse of the temple and to capture an amazing Angkor Wat Sunrise. One of the locals we met there told us that the best spot to be in Angkor Wat to capture the beautiful Angkor Wat Sunrise is at the left side, which I agreed. When you capture the Angkor Wat Temple at the left side, you can see the reflection from the water (see picture above). 


Bayon Temple in Siem Reap Cambodia
Bayon Temple
After we get inside and tour the Angkor Wat temple, we then met our driver outside near the gate and he brought us to the next temple, Ta Prohm and from Ta Prohm, we went to Bayon Temple (my favorite). Our tuktuk driver also dropped us at another temple but we were already satisfied with just seeing all the 3 temples mentioned above, so we just went back and stopped over at a nearby restaurant, had our fill and head back to our guesthouse. Find cheaper places to stay in Siem Reap

How about you? Have you been to Angkor Wat or anywhere in Cambodia? Cambodians are some of the friendliest people we met on our Indochina trip.


Ta Prohm in Siem Reap Cambodia
Ta Prohm was used as a location in the movie Tomb Raider
VISA REQUIREMENTS

ASEAN countries are visa-free in Cambodia. If you are from other countries, click here to find out if you're visa-free to enter Cambodia.

TUKTUK DRIVERS:

Houen Houem: (he understands and speaks English)
HouenHouem@yahoo.com
HouenHouem93@gmail.com
Phone: (855)86780213, 077808162

Rai Ray (he doesn't speak English but we negotiated beforehand at the mini van station with an interpreter)
Phone: 086761225

BUS TICKET: You can purchase your ticket in advance online from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Pehn, Ho Chi Minh City to Siem Reap, Phnom Pehn to Siem Reap, Siem Reap to Bangkok and other destinations. IMPORTANT: When booking, always double check the date and time, the destination and the bus' boarding and drop off points.

Here's our video


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