Me, I had some trouble understanding what Angkor Wat consisted of. Once you start doing your research, you quickly realize how many ruins/temples there are THERE! There’s Angkor Wat but there’s also a hundred others. Angkor Wat is the largest temple of all so it immediately gets main-attraction-status. I had no idea before this so I hope this gives anyone who’s planning to visit, a clearer picture.
First, this map is useful, save it. I wish I had it earlier than halfway through our day at the ruins. With the map, you clearly see where what is. The green ‘line’ is referred to as the Big Circuit. The red ‘line’ is the Small Circuit. And Angkor Wat plus Angkor Thom makes up the Grand Circuit. (For the record, we only did the Grand & Small Circuits.)
In my opinion, you can do all three circuits if you start your day really early at 4.30am. Catch the sunrise at Angkor Wat and proceed onto the other circuits. If you’re a regular guy or girl like me, hire a tuk tuk for the entire day. Some people rent bicycles and cycle. Gotta say the grounds are v–a–s–t though. It’s a lot to cover unless you have super quads/super lungs/super health/fitness… you get it.
We were one of the many early birds that arrived at 5ish a.m.. The skies were gloomy so we didn’t get much of a sunrise. In fact, we got drizzles! But dampen our spirits it did not, we welcomed daylight and forged on.
An Instagram friend recommended dusk at Angkor Wat too. I totally would have considered that if I had known!