We had one day to see Angkor Wat, a place that many people recommend 3 days to see. Here’s how we visited Angkor Wat in one day and what this amazing place looks like.

I’ll start by admitting this isn’t going to be some sort of academic review or architectural synopsis of Angkor Wat, solely because I don’t know much about the history of it! But what I do know is if you are in Cambodia then it is definitely a recommended visit.

A large ruin in Angkor Wat

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We opted to spend 1 day (5 hours) at the large religious complex when the recommended time is 3 full days. I personally could not have gone round for 3 days mainly because it is largely similar throughout Angkor Wat and the history and subtleties is not something I massively buy into.

A large tree growing out of a ruin

There are different ways you can visit and travel through the complex. Deciding one of these is the first step as they can largely affect your experience. The 4 main ways would be;

  • Tour guide
  • Cycling
  • Walking
  • Tuk Tuk Driver
A collection of Tuk Tuk's in Angkor Wat

I cannot say how much a tour would be as you can find many locals who will take you round the site, some with good English and some not so much, and you will be able to go to all tour agencies and pick up an official licenced tour.

The cost is so vastly different that I won’t advise on how much you will pay, what I would advise is to shop around and if you ever think ‘hmm that seems expensive’ then it is and don’t pay.

Intricate carvings of Angkor Wat

Walking is not really an option, I only put it there so I can tell you not to try, this place is massive. It is a large town in itself and it would be impossible to walk around it in a week.

Cycling is the cheapest option but you will need to be fit as the distance from the city centre to Angkor Wat and then the subsequent full day of cycling would be a hard day. Plus, very much like walking it is difficult to see the best places if you are short on time.

A man getting a red band tied to his wrist by a monk

We opted for the tuk tuk driver as it seemed the best of both worlds. The driver himself does not offer any sort of description or help, he is solely the driver, so if you are looking for information then the tour would be the best way to go.

However we paid our 15USD and proceeded to the three main temples. The driver drove us to each one, took out his hammock and waited for us to come back. We were completely in control of the pace of the visit and that suited us.

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3 large spires at angkor wat

Entry to the complex will knock you back 20USD for a day ticket but considering it’s the largest religious complex in the world I think that it’s worth it.

Angkor Wat ruins with large preserved faces staring out of the walls

Now Angkor Wat itself is amazing in my opinion. The scale is what made it impressive to me. Take a look through the pictures in the post and see for yourself. Whilst travelling around the larger more well-known temples you will have the opportunity to have a look through one of the many markets available.

Comparing the prices to those back in the city centre showed that you would not be paying a premium on anything buying it from these markets. So don’t miss out on getting something you like because you think you will save money. As always haggle them down!

A statue at Angkor Wat holding some orange linen

One tip on haggling by the way is if you like something just WALK AWAY. They will halve the price and you can start the haggle from the lower price, always trying to get the final price to at least a third of the original.

A collection of stalls on red dirt

One day was enough for us, that could however be due to the immense heat on the day we went that reduced us to fatigued dried husks. Either way we did thoroughly enjoy our time and it is a highly recommended visit from me.

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A large outbuilding to the main temple. The outbuilding is large by normal standards

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Have you been to Angkor Wat? Do you want to go and have some questions? Please comment on your experiences and ask questions below!