Angkor is one place definitely worth the effort and you won't leave disappointed. Seems hard to believe the worlds largest religious monument lay undisturbed until the French rediscovered it in 1862. Most people end up underestimating the appeal of this place and leave themselves a day or two short of getting the maximum value out of their visit here. Having a plan before you go will help you to make the most of your time here.
Without the aid of a trained guide, Indiana Jones or Lara Croft seems a little daunting then don't despair. With these plans your anxieties will soon subside once you know a little more, and are familiar with a few of the travel tips we offer below.
As you travel from your accommodation in Siem Reap for the first time more of the temples become visible, nearer and nearer as you cross a more than a mile long moat into the temple areas where various Hindu god symbols are finally revealed. And with their revelation you sense something in your self, a connection to the people that created these relics, of the long lost past. You begin to hear their stories retold. Regardless of your religion the stories told in the carvings will reveal something of interest in your children and nurture their imaginations to consider the folks who created them. You can even see the holes made that the elephants used to move the large sandstone rocks into place. A good game for children to play at this stage is for the kids to identify the sounds in the forest and match them with the carvings they see etched into the sandstone.
Where to stay? Journeys Within Boutique Hotel is one of the better places for families to stay in Siem Reap. Like the city itself this resort has undergone a steady improvement and has developed in a way that has sustained the quality of hospitality which has always attracted people who have visited the area.
Back in the day Journeys Within only ran tours. Then came a small guesthouse. Now the complex offers a pretty full range of services and attractions. You will have someone to do the kids laundry while you take a complimentary tuk tuk into town in the evening. Even breakfast is made to order for kids and adults alike.
You may simply enjoy the quiet but pretty surrounds which are far enough away from rowdy pup street to give a truly family friendly rating. See more in the video below.
See reviews of more great family friendly Siem Reap hotels like this on TripAdvisor.
By plane is the easiest way to get to Angkor and will leave you with more time to explore. Bangkok Air, Siem Reap Airways and Royal Phnom Penh Airways and President Airlines all fly to Siem Rap.
The boat to Seim Reap from Phnom Penh can take more than six hours when less water flows along the Mekong in the dry months. Then even though you do get a good view of life on the river it's far better to choose this as an option in the wet season months. Book this from any hotel or guesthouse for about $25.
Travelling on a number 14 bus from Phnom Penh is another options that allows you to see the countryside from another vantage and the five hour journey will set you back less than $10. But again you need to consider how the kids may handle this journey because there ain't any turning around once you start.
Siem Reap is one of the fastest growing tourist areas in the world for good reason. Even though you may get caught in a traffic crawl on your way back from the temple to Siem Reap in the afternoon this is a small price to pay when you consider the benefits the tourist trade is doing for the Khmer people. Hiring a tut tut is a much quieter option than in Bangkok one way to deal with the distances you will need to travel if you are going to see enough of the temples in three or four days. We are talking about hundreds of temples spread over hundreds of Kilometers. But when it comes to the main temples these can become overcrowded and it is best to travel in the opposite directions of the large tour groups to avoid the crowds.
Don't plan to see everything if this is your planned length of stay. Although guides are often saying to stay longer at their subject location this is one place where that adage really rings true.
Have a little tour on a tut tut in the video below.
The map below will assist in making your Angkor tour plan become a reality.
Planning Map of the frequently visited places at Angkor.
A Google map of Angkor is often also helpful for directions.
I remember I was a teenager when I first learned about the the communist Khmer Rouge. Only saying. I turned out all right didn't I? Also you will find great authentic crafts shops around which help the local people. Then it is worth holding out on souvenirs until you find these.
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