The temples of Angkor

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat at sunset.

It’s seventeen years since I last visited Cambodia’s sprawling temple complex of Angkor. So, it’s no surprise that the UNESCO World Heritage site is a bit busier than it was last time I was here.

Crowds pour into Angkor Wat.
Crowds pour into Angkor Wat.

Bus loads of tourists pour into Angkor Wat and the other famous temples of Bayon and Ta Prohm. Yet, there are still plenty of places to escape the crowds in the  400 square km site.

The colours of Angkor Wat are at their best at sunset. You’ll be sharing the temple with hundreds of others, but the scene is still magnificent, especially at the end of the rainy season when there are fewer tourists and the countryside is lush.

Ruins in the jungle
Ruins in the jungle

The pink temple of Banteay Srei is 37 km from Siem Reap, but definitely worth a visit. Watch out for green ants on the rope barriers!

A few other things to note:

Pre Rup
Fewer visitors get to Pre Rup

Dress modestly for the temples – covered shoulders and long shorts or pants.

Wear comfortable, study footwear. There is a lot of uneven stonework in the temples.

The temples of Angkor Wat, Bayon and Ta Prohm get very busy but other places are surprisingly less crowded.

We found the east entrance to Angkor Wat almost deserted. So was the beautiful Pre Rup.

If you like the idea of Angkor, but can't get there, check out my book Lust and Found for a taste of Cambodia.
If you like the idea of Angkor, but can’t get there, check out my book Lust and Found for a taste of Cambodia.

A three day pass to the Angkor archeological park (that can be used over one week) costs $40 and is an ideal option for exploring the ruins. Pace yourself to avoid temple fatigue. There are plenty of restaurants in the park and places to take a break.

Cambodia is the setting for my YA romance Lust and Found. The story follows Sienna as she travels from one end of the country to the other, looking for her lost brother. Along the way she finds herself falling for her brother’s hot friend flatmate Guillaume and also discovers something about herself amongst the ruins of Angkor Wat.


‘I really loved this book. I read it one sitting. So much going on in this book. A great love story, a mysterious subplot, and you can literally feel the humidity of Cambodia. This is one of fave books I have read this year. So, so good.’ Kate Forster

Published by Julie Fison

Julie Fison is a Brisbane writer and travel lover. Her debut novel for adults ONE PUNCH is a compelling and thought-provoking family drama that follows two mothers forced to make impossible decisions after one life-changing night. Inspired by real events, the story is a sharp study of the complexities of family life and the consequences of being blind to the faults of our loved ones. Julie’s other work includes books for children and young adults – the Hazard River adventure series for young adventure lovers, stories in the Choose Your Own Ever After series that let the reader decide how the story goes, and a play for secondary school students As the Crow Flies. Julie is also a committed traveller and loves sharing tips for midlife adventurers.

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