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Cambodia, specifically Angkor Wat

My husband and I are taking a cruise from Hong Kong to Singapore with ports in Vietnam, Cambodia, and Thailand. Our stop in Cambodia does not allow enough time to travel independently to Siem Reap to see Angkor Wat. I have seen recommendations that AW is a must see if traveling in that part of the world. Our cruise does offer a 2.5 day tour to Siem Reap (AW and other sights are on this side tour) from Vietnam and rejoining the cruise in Cambodia but it is quite expensive and uses 2.5 days away from regular cruise itinerary. I am now looking at flights to Siem Reap Cambodia from Singapore (we have 4 days before flying home). I have checked airline schedules and can accomplish this within a 30 hour window allowing for travel to and from Singapore. I have also found a travel agent in Vietnam who will put together package for airfare, transfers, drivers, guide and hotel. Or I could do airfare and hotel online and let travel agent take care of driver/guide. Does anyone see any red flags that this side trip should not be pursued? Has anyone traveled in these cities and can provide advice? I will probably not travel to this area of the world again in my lifetime and feel I may regret not taking the extra effort to see AW.

Posted by
7748 posts

I highly encourage you to see Ankor Wat. What a shame a cruise ship does not include one of the world’s treasures when they are so nea except for a special “side trip.” It should be standard. Are you using Tonkin Travel in Vietnam?

Posted by
2526 posts

The antiquities in and about Angkor Wat are amazing in my opinion and if possible, please do visit. Siem Reap is a short distance from Angkor Wat and offers all the standard amenities for international tourists. Do a bit of research and you'll find reputable companies offering guides and transportation. Hotels and restaurants are are easy to book and provide tremendous value. Enjoy.

Posted by
444 posts

Angkor Wat should not be missed even if you have to miss some of the cruise. The area is truly amazing. Do your research about hotels and tours. My visit was too long ago to be useful.

Posted by
1665 posts

I agree Angkor Wat is worth seeing. As mentioned there are plenty of reputable tour companies, if the travel agent can put together a package that meets your needs, that would be convenient. But I'm a bit confused about your comment "30 hour window" - does that mean you would fly to Cambodia, see Angkor Wat, and return to Singapore in 30 hours? That is way too tight in my opinion, you can't even make a dent in Angkor Wat in two days. It's a 2 hour flight each way from Singapore to Siem Reap, plus the extra time to get to airport ahead of time, etc. so you really would eat up a good chunk of your short window with that. You may want to price out the cruise excursion in both time and money - it may actually pencil out in better favor once you factor in the flying/travel time.

Some helpful hints for Cambodia based on my short visit there. Bring cash to pay for the visa on arrival at the airport (or try doing the visa online) and two passport photos. You can use US dollars. Ask your guide to visit the smaller temples first in the early morning (my favorite was Ta Prohm) and then visit the big temple in the afternoon - it helps with the crowds (though there will still be plenty). Depending on the time of year, it is hot or insufferably hot, so bring a hat, sunscreen, and your sense of humor.

Posted by
121 posts

cl, thank you for your observations. We will be traveling mid January and anticipate hot and humid. Yes, I was looking at 30 hour window as you commented that is not enough time. There is so much to see in Singapore in four days yet I am trying to make the Angkor Wat visit work for us on the tail end of our cruise and see some highlights of Singapore. Airfare is reasonable but limited flights per day. I appreciate encouragement from all who responded to absolutely see Angkor Wat. I will post after trip as to final arrangements.