I have the pleasure of spending my twenty-sixth birthday in Siem Riep, Cambodia, which is home to some of the most exquisite temple structures in the world. These temple structures are known as Angkor Wat and truly take three days to see the temples adequately. Contrary to popular belief, one can see these temples on a budget and truly have a rewarding experience.
Here are my tips on how to see Angkor Wat with under $200 in your pocket:
- Invest in the Three Day Pass: When purchasing the pass for Angkor Wat, bear in mind that it must be used for consecutive days. There is a one-day, three-day, and seven-day pass to the park. Given the plethora of temples within Angkor Wat, it is highly recommended to see the park in more than one day to allow yourself the proper time to enjoy the temples. The three-day pass is priced at $40 and is the best value for your money. This will help you see the majority of the temples and will not let you go over your $200 budget.
- Book a Guest House: If you look on Booking.com or Hostelbookers.com, you will see that there are many Hostels that are priced at $2 per night for a private room with a private bathroom. Having survived one of these hostels myself, I can attest that they are very nice and a great value for your money. Some of them even come with breakfast!
- Hire a Driver: Many of these hostels have drivers of Tuk-Tuks outside waiting to receive your business. Depending on which part of Angkor Wat that you would like to see, you can hire a private guide for $20 per day. This loyal Cambodian tour guide will take you all over and explain to you the value of each temple compound. Additionally, this tour guide will be wait for you in the hot sun as your tour each temple compound at your leisure.
- Eat Local Food: Given how affordable Cambodia is in general, you will be able to dine in splendor for breakfast, lunch, and dinner since the average meal will cost you between $5-$10.
- Go Souvenir Shopping: The locals within the Angkor Wat historical park make beautiful stone carved souvenirs that are inspired from the carvings on the temples and with your budget, you can surely afford a meaningful souvenir from your wonderful experience.
Having the privilege to see Angkor Wat is a sensational experience that one should absolutely experience in their life time. The impressive rock carvings on the temple structures make it no mystery why this site was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site. What is important to remember is that if you are traveler on a budget, you can still see wonderful world monuments such as this since the cost of living and traveling is much lower in Cambodia. Thus, do not be afraid to include Angkor Wat in your travel plans and you will surely not regret your decision to pay the temple compounds a visit!