Angkor Wat Tours
Angkor Archaeological Park is one of Southeast Asia’s most impressive destinations and also one of the most important archaeological sites in the region. It stretches over some 400 square kilometers of forested area and houses the magnificent remains from different capitals during the Khmer Empire between the 9th and 15th centuries. In these ruins lies the park's most iconic temple which is a perennially popular feature of our Cambodia tours: Angkor Wat.
Visitors undertaking our tours of Angkor Wat will experience the majestic temple complex built for King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. The temple’s current name means ‘City Temple’ but it was originally known as Preah Pisnulok, named after its founder, King Suryavarman II.
The temple is constructed predominantly from sandstone and is the foremost example of the classical Khmer style architecture, or the Angkor Wat style, to which it has given its name. For those who have been on many different temple tours, Angkor Wat is singled out for praise because of the intricacies and harmony of its design, which has been regularly likened to the architecture of ancient Greece and Rome.
The site of Angkor Wat lies 5.5 kilometres north of the present-day town of Siem Reap and as a reflection of its importance it has become a symbol of Cambodia, appearing on the country’s national flag. Many visitors on Angkor Wat tours remember the temple as the dramatic backdrop to the movie Tomb Raider, starring Angelina Jolie as the gun wielding, action hero Lara Croft. For visitors to Cambodia and those taking various Southeast Asia tours, Angkor Wat is a prime attraction.
Helpful tips for visiting Angkor Wat
When to Go
The peak season for tours of Angkor Wat is during the tropical dry season that is Cambodia's winter (November to April), which offers cooler temperatures and drier weather. The wet season (May through October) is hot and humid and you can be fairly sure of a downpour once or twice a day. But don't necessarily be put off by the wet season, as this can bring the added advantage of smaller crowds and a much richer birdlife to be seen in the area.
Whenever you choose to take your Angkor Wat tours, be sure to take plenty of drinking water, enough insect repellent to avoid unwanted attention and sunscreen as exploring the complex is hot work no matter what the season and the sun can be fierce in between showers.
Tucan Travel has nine Cambodia tours. Angkor Wat is included as a day excursion in every tour. Tours depart all year round and range from 48 days to eight days in duration.
Dress code advice
The temples of Angkor Wat are still holy places for Cambodian Buddhists; it is best therefore to dress somewhat conservatively and follow the simple guidelines of legs covered above the knees and shoulders covered. A good rule of thumb for those taking tours of Angkor Wat is: "Would I wear this to my own house of worship?" If not, it may be poor etiquette to wear it to someone else's revered site. As an added benefit, long trousers and covered shoulders provide better protection from the sun, insects, and brambles when walking around and between the sites.
Today, most of Angkor's major temples house at least a few Buddha statues and draw a steady stream of monks and worshippers. During our Angkor Wat tours, you may be approached for donations, but you are under no obligation to pay unless you actually choose to accept incense sticks or other offerings.
Food and drink
Local stallholders offer food and drink around the temple complex that you can purchase during our Angkor Wat tours. Souvenirs are also sold in front of all the temples where you are encouraged to bargain, but not too hard as this is how many of the stallholders make their living.