Things to know before visiting angkor wat


Angkor Wat, located in Siem Reap, Cambodia, is a UNESCO World Heritage site and one of the most iconic and inspiring archaeological wonders in the world. With its ancient temples and rich history, exploring Angkor Wat is a bucket-list experience for many travellers. To make the most of your visit and ensure a smooth and memorable trip, here are some essential tips and things to know before you go. 


  1. Get an Angkor Pass: To enter the Angkor Archaeological Park, you need an Angkor Pass. There are various pass options available, including a one-day, three-day, and seven-day pass. Choose the pass that suits your schedule and interests. Note that the passes are non-transferable and require a photo, so be prepared to have your picture taken on-site. These are best purchased the day before so you don’t have to queue up in the morning you plan to explore Angkor Wat to purchase these and means you can go for sunrise.
  2. Dress Appropriately: Angkor Wat is a sacred site, so it’s important to dress respectfully. Both men and women should cover their shoulders and knees when entering the temples. Wearing lightweight, breathable clothing and comfortable shoes is also advisable, as you’ll be doing a fair amount of walking and climbing stairs. 
  3. Start Early: Angkor Wat is incredibly popular, and the crowds can be overwhelming, especially during peak tourist seasons. To beat the crowds and experience the temples in a more tranquil setting, start your day early. Arrive at Angkor Wat before sunrise to witness the stunning sunrise over the main temple, and then explore other temples before the midday heat and crowds peak. 
  4. Stay Hydrated and Protect Yourself from the Sun: Cambodia’s climate can be hot and humid, so it’s crucial to stay hydrated throughout your visit. Carry a reusable water bottle and refill it at the water stations available within the park. Additionally, wear a hat, sunglasses, and sunscreen to protect yourself from the sun’s rays. Don’t forget to take breaks in shaded areas to rest and cool down.
  5. Plan Your Itinerary: Angkor Wat and the surrounding temple complex are vast, spanning over 400 square kilometres. It’s essential to plan your itinerary in advance to maximise your time and see the highlights. Research the different temples, their significance, and prioritise the ones you don’t want to miss. Consider hiring a knowledgeable guide who can provide historical and cultural insights, enhancing your experience. 
  6. Respect the Temples and Local Customs: Angkor Wat is not just a tourist attraction; it holds great religious and cultural significance. Show respect by refraining from touching or climbing on the temple structures, respecting any signage or cordoned-off areas, and avoiding disruptive behaviour. Remove your shoes when entering certain temples and be mindful of any rituals or ceremonies taking place. 
  7. Be Mindful of Scams: Like many popular tourist destinations, Angkor Wat is not immune to scams. Be cautious of touts offering tour services or souvenirs at inflated prices. Stick to reputable tour operators and avoid purchasing from unauthorised vendors. Also, be aware of pickpockets and keep your belongings secure at all times. 
  8. Capture the Moments: Angkor Wat is a photographer’s dream, so make sure to bring your camera or smartphone to capture the breathtaking beauty of the temples. However, remember to be considerate of other visitors and avoid obstructing pathways or climbing on structures for the perfect shot. 


Visiting Angkor Wat is a remarkable journey back in time, immersing yourself in ancient history and architectural wonders. By following these essential tips and being respectful of the temples and local customs, you can ensure a rewarding and unforgettable experience. Prepare well, plan your itinerary, and embrace the magnificence of Angkor Wat in all its splendour.


Hey, I’m Charlie, the English born traveller who has just quit my 9-5 to travel the globe for 2 years. Make sure to follow my journey for all the Tips & Tricks you could need to plan your next adventure!