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Question Ankar Wat: Thailand - worth it?
Old 07-24-2012, 02:32 PM   #1
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Question Ankar Wat: Thailand - worth it?

Leaving for Thailand in couple months, and wondering if it really is worth another 3 days to hit Ankar Wat? Anyone been there? Worth the time?
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Old 07-24-2012, 02:45 PM   #2
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Been there, loved it. Thee are a lot of reasons to visit Cambodia, the biggest is the remarkable number and size of the temples. (I like some more than Angkor Wat, but many are in the area). The people there are wonderful, especially after what happend to them. Tourism is fairly new, pretty much started in 1999. Just outside of the major cities life is quite primitive-water buffalos and hand work. There is a good Anthony Bourdain TV show on his visit there, see if you can find it or buy it on itunes. If you can spend longer you could alternate visiting temples with other activities and not get temple burn out. If you just have three days see Angkor Wat and Ankor Tom and some of the others, some are better detailed, some overgrown with trees, each has a great flavor. W would like to go back, mostly for the people.
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Old 07-24-2012, 04:50 PM   #3
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We loved it. It was not that easy to get to (at least several years ago), but it was very much worth it for us and quite unique.I guess it depends on your interests and what you would do with the 3 days otherwise.
If you like history, architecture, different cultures (example, travel in Egypt, Italy, Greece, Turkey, India) you will not be disappointed.
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Old 07-24-2012, 05:04 PM   #4
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Definitely, absolutely worth it. Go.
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Old 07-25-2012, 09:38 AM   #5
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We're headed over in Nov and plan 1 full day (2 nights) at angkor after seeing the killing fields and S-21 around PP. Then we are going to head over to Banteay Chhmar for a night or two. We then plan to cross at Poipet, catch a tuk-tuk to the train station and ride the Huumpaloong (or whatever the train is called) to central Bangkok where I will appease DW (who has never been there) for a couple days and anxiously await our plane to Burma.

While I am sure you are fully aware, Crossing the Thai-Cambodia border is prone to scams from my understanding. From visas to buses that take you to a different border crossing and get "delayed" and then point you in the direction of a guest house etc.

Train & bus travel in Cambodia | Bangkok to Angkor Wat & Phnom Penh, HCMC to Phnom Penh
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Old 07-25-2012, 12:34 PM   #6
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I went to Angkor in 2002, overland from Bangkok. The trip was one of the craziest adventures of my life. It included dodging flames in a train car and paying off para-military guys who stopped our pickup in Cambodia.

Unless you're into that kind of adventure. I advise flying into Siem Reap to see Angkor.

Also, I went to Angkor after I'd visited the historic temple ruins in the Thai cities of Ayutthaya and Sukhothai. The Angkor temples are from the same period, and are so much better preserved and more impressive that I felt I should have gone to Angkor directly and spent much less time at the ruins in Thailand.

Sukhothai is a World Heritage site, but it is nothing compared with Angkor.

Three days was about right for me at Angkor.
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Old 07-25-2012, 01:59 PM   #7
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Angkor Wat is absolutely worth it. We flew into Siem Reap to save time. 3 days does seem rushed though. There are a number of temples - Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Preah Khan (where Laura Croft Tomb Raider was filmed), Banteay Srey, etc. Depends on how much you want to see.
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Old 07-25-2012, 04:54 PM   #8
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My friends loved Cambodia. Angkor Wat is very large and it can be very hot - so be prepared. They loved it though.

Here's something you should do if you visit Cambodia.
Battambang, Cambodia Bamboo Train (Norry): Choo Choo! - YouTube
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Old 07-26-2012, 01:28 PM   #9
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Lots of "loved" it's, so guess I'm going...thanks!
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Old 08-06-2012, 12:34 AM   #10
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Absolutely! Unbelievable sights. Like the great wall you have to see the temples in person. Have a great trip.
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Old 08-14-2012, 12:27 PM   #11
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Angkor is one of the top places I have ever been. In the last 10 years, I've been to the Egyptian Pyramids, the Mayan Pyramids, Machu Picchu, the Great Wall, and more that I can't jot down quickly. Angkor is the one I want to go back to. You hire a tuk-tuk (motorcycle-drawn taxi) and driver to take you between the sites -- or a car with AC if you want to spend more for comfort. There are many sites, and all are impressive in their way.
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Old 08-14-2012, 02:35 PM   #12
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Agree with others sentiments, well worth it. We flew into Siem Reap and had no problems at all, I remember it being a new, clean airport. Arriving at night you know you are in the jungle by the approximately 2.5 million bugs swarming around the spotlight near the runway!

We hired a personal guide (which is very affordable there), who drove us around in a private air conditioned car. Even though the sights are spread over a large area, there will be lots of people and everyone wants to hit the same spots at the same time of day. We asked our guide to try to avoid the crowds and it worked out well.

One of the best things we did was take a trip about 25 miles away to a ruined temple called Beng Mealea. We were literally the only tourists there, and it was a temple on the scale of Angkor Wat but is in ruins and was swallowed by the jungle. Had a great time exploring and dancing with the local children.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:33 AM   #13
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Flew into Siem Reap, but one of the guys in the tour was asked by Customs for Cambodia if he had a "TIP" for him...wow..really crooked there I guess.
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Old 12-19-2012, 11:49 AM   #14
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We went overland and it all worked out fine (from PP to SR, and SR to BKK). The flow is much easier to get into Cambodia then going into Thailand. we waited at the border for almost 3 hours, and we were lucky as they opened up another line outside for foreigners and we were at the very front. But, we caught the train to Hualaphong and made it to Bangkok about 7-8pm. Train had a nice breeze, saw a lot and was rather mellow. We enjoyed it, especially for the 100 baht or so it costs. Would do overland again, no problem.
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Old 12-19-2012, 12:34 PM   #15
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My step son is currently studying in Osaka Japan, but after the new year he is moving to Thailand, most likely in Chaing Mai. We hope to go for a visit this coming summer. We'll have to keep Ankar Wat on the radar
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Old 12-20-2012, 02:10 AM   #16
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Let me echo everyone else: Angkor Wat is well worth seeing. One of the most impressive temple sites in the world, beautiful restored (and this from an anthropologist). Comparable to Teotihuacan, Tulum, the Great Pyramids, of the Great Wall.

That said, Angkor has gotten very touristy. I'd avoid the package (primarily Korean and Chinese) hotels on the road between the airport and town. The old Raffles Hotel is quite nice, if you can get a decent rate, or the Aman, if you're rich. Alternatively, the foreign correspondents club has nice, less expensive rooms....or check TripAdvisor...and do your research.

Three days is enough (barely). I'd do the Lake (forget the name) too. Food adequate, but not spectacular (Thailand is much better). Definitely hire a Tuk Tuk or car; don't need a guide (do need a guidebook), but may want.

My memory is that flights from Bangkok are kind of expensive, but definitely fly...the overland or boat trips are fairly difficult. I flew in from Manila on the Cebu Pacific non-stop last year for $200 round trip, so you might do better from other cities.

Enjoy!
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Old 12-20-2012, 09:28 AM   #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by jerryo View Post

My memory is that flights from Bangkok are kind of expensive, but definitely fly...the overland or boat trips are fairly difficult. I flew in from Manila on the Cebu Pacific non-stop last year for $200 round trip, so you might do better from other cities.

Enjoy!
I'm curious, what makes you think the overland trip is difficult? I've done both the PP leg to SR and the SR to BKK. Both ways, it was really easy. Time consuming yes, half day to full day of travel. But, neither difficult or uncomfortable. Definitely cheaper overland, and more interesting than an airplane. Unless one was really tight on time, would I recommend an airplane from any surrounding country.

I'd recommend a boutique hotel. Ours was $90/night, with clean rooms, breakfast, a welcome snack at check-in, pick up at airport or bus stop, an amazing pool, massages, snacks and bottled water in the room, a boxed lunch they gave you in the morning for the afternoon, cold towels the second you walked in, they offered us a shower when we departed in the afternoon (had checked out in the morning) and amazing service. All those are small things, but I found the value to be excellent.
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Old 12-27-2012, 04:45 PM   #18
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Frankly, I thought 2-1/2 days in Siem Reap to see Ankor Wat was more than adquate. Other than the temple, what else is there? Not very picturesque and not much happening in Cambodia...Thailand, yes, but IMHO not much in Cambodia.

I think the last time I looked a few weeks ago the cheapest flight was around $1,709.
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Old 12-29-2012, 08:54 PM   #19
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I spent one day at Ankor Wat and enjoyed it. Air Asia offers some discounted fairs from Bangkok to SR. The visa fee at the airport is $20 USD; be advised to have correct change.

There is a speed boat service that will take you from SR to Phnom Penh. In PP the Foreign Correspondence Club is worth a visit, also The Killing Fields and Prison 21.

Sawasdi Pii Mai 2556
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