Angkor Entrance Fee Schedule

I did my homework prior to entering Angkor Archaeological Area and found out about the cost of entrance fees. This was quite an important bit of information I needed in order to plan out the budgeting and exploration schedule. What I knew before coming to Angkor was the following entrance fee schedule:

  • 1 Day Entrance Fee to Angkor: $20 US
  • 3 Days Entrance Fee to Angkor: $40 US
  • 7 Days Entrance Fee to Angkor: $60 US

One day pass is good enough to explore main and most popular ancient temples which are located along the small circle that most visitors take. This includes Angkor Wat, South Gate of Angkor Thom, Central Angkor Thom with Bayon, Terrace of the Elephants and Terrace of the Leper King, Victory Gate, Thommanom, Ta Keo, Ta Prohm, Bantey Kdei, Sras Srang and Prasat Kravan ruins.

Three day pass allows a visitor to explore all major temples as well as some less frequented ones along the grande circle with enough time to dedicate to your favourite spots. On top of what you would see on a single day pass, you would also get a chance to explore Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon, Banteay Samre and Pre Rup as well as quite possibly a bunch of smaller ruins.

Seven day pass is for serious explorers and gives you enough time to explore all of the main and smaller temples of the main area, as well as some of the more remote temples, such as Banteay Srey (Citadel of the Woman) or Rolous Group temples (Bakong, Preah Ko, Lolei). You could also visit the West Mebon, which is submerged in the waters of the West Baray moat.

Photo: Seven Day Pass to Angkor Costs $60 US, Contains a Photo and is Laminated. Holes Are Punched Upon Each Visit
Photo: Seven Day Pass to Angkor Costs $60 US, Contains a Photo and is Laminated. Holes Are Punched Upon Each Visit

Because Angkor temples were on top of my must see before I die list, I definitely wanted to pay the price of a 7 days pass and explore the area thoroughly. At the same time I realized that because entrance fees are rather steep (keep in mind that average monthly wage in Cambodia is $90) for Cambodia, so I wanted to make sure I use each day to the fullest.

Because of that, I would not consider going on a rainy day. I wanted to take some nice pictures while I’m exploring and that’s virtually impossible in downpours typical for rainy season in South East Asia (unless you have some specialty water resistant equipment and don’t mind getting soaked the hell out of).

I’ve been patiently waiting for the right day and it’s paid off. The biggest disadvantage of multi day passes was the fact that you had to use them up in consecutive days. I did not see the possibility of scoring 7 consecutive days of sun in rainy season but I remained hopeful and determined.

Luckily, there was serious talk that Apsara Authority will be changing this rule and multiday passes will be modified to allow for use over a period of time, rather than consecutively. If you bought a 3 days pass, you would have a week to use it and a month if you bought a 7 days pass. This sounded more like it. If this was put in place, I’d be able to go at it full throttle on a nice day and if the following day turned out rainy, I would not go and would wait until the next sunny day to make full use of my 7 day pass.

Luckily for me, the consecutive-days-use rule was terminated on the day I didn’t get to go because I was with Ha. When I got to the ticket booth on my attempt to get the first glimpse of Angkor Wat, they were just replacing the signs with new ones which stated that you could use multiday passes over an extended period of time, not consecutively. That was great news and there truly was nothing in my way to start exploring the ancient temples of Angkor.

The rule of non consecutive days is still in effect. If you buy a 3 day pass, you can use your three days over a period of 1 week and if you buy a 7 day pass, you can use your 7 days over a period of 1 month (it will terminate on the day prior to the day of purchase of the following month).

Photo: Rear Side of the Seven Day Pass to Angkor with Hole Punched To Signified Used Entry
Photo: Rear Side of the Seven Day Pass to Angkor with Hole Punched To Signified Used Entry

Three and Seven day passes will have your mugshot on it. If you have a passport photo on you, you will be asked to provided it to the person processing your ticket which generally speeds up the processing and sets you on the way to Angkor quickly. However if you don’t, you will just be sent to another window where your mugshot will be taken with a webcam and this image will be used to print on a pass. This is how I had mine processed. It was an extra step I needed to do but it only delayed me a few minutes.

If you wish to have a pretty picture on your pass to Ankor and have yourself processed faster, then bring one passport sized photo with you. Either way, try to show up for the purchase of your entrance ticket before 7.30am as after that time buses full of tourists from Japan and Korea start coming and none of them will have a passport photo so they all will wait to get a mugshot taken. This could put you back quite a while – if you get there right after half a dozen buses full of elderly Asian people with cameras hung on their necks.

Photo: Angkor Ticketing Office
Photo: Angkor Ticketing Office

Free Sunset

If you purchase your entrance pass at 5pm or later, it’s validity won’t come to an effect until the following day but you will be allowed to enter the Angkor Archaeological Area and enjoy a free sunset.

Getting a Glimpse of Angkor Wat

Since it was such a nice day today and I didn’t spend it exploring Angkor Wat, I thought I would use the evening to at least get a glimpse of it. I knew Angkor Wat is only some 6 kilometres from Siem Reap, so even though I didn’t have the entrance ticket for the day, I thought of taking my bike for a spin to at least see it and take pictures of it from the distance. Because it’s so close, it shouldn’t be an issue getting there within a few minutes of swift riding and even though they wouldn’t let me get close to it without a ticket, I was excited to at least get my first glimpse of it just before the sun sets for the day.

Without much hesitation, I rode off up the road that leads to Angkor Archaeological Park. I was expecting a nice day tomorrow so this would give me a better sense of how far it really is from Siem Reap.

This was the first time I rode in that direction and was surprised to see some of Siem Reap’s fines hotels along the way. I passed the Kantha Bopha children’s hospital (dedicated to Cambodia’s God King Jayavarman VII) in which cello concerts are held by Dr. Beat Richter for charitable purposes and shortly after, the buildings that lined the road disappeared and got replaced by big trees. The sense of leaving the town and entering the forest was only disturbed by a large number of locals on motorcycles and old cars driving in both directions.

I knew I couldn’t have been too far but I couldn’t see nothing for the trees were too tall. Riding was smooth because the road was well paved and there were no hills on the way. Then as I was keeping my speed I got yelled at and had to pull over. The man who was sitting on the side of the road pointed me in a direction of a building hidden in the bush of those high trees just off the main road.

Photo: Angkor Ticket Office
Photo: Angkor Ticket Office

I turned around and swirled off the road to approach that building only to find out that it was the entrance gateway for foreigners. The man on the road was there to halt all foreigners so only locals make it in without paying the steep entrance fee. As a foreigner, after you have paid the entrance fee, you will be let through and you will eventually get back on the same road, but you have to take a detour to go through the ticketing office first. Angkor Wat is a major Cambodian cash cow.

Sadly, no sight of any temple, any silhouette, any ruin or anything otherwise interesting can be had from riding up to that point. I don’t know what exactly I expected to see, but I didn’t get a glimpse of anything. I thought there would be a staple standing up high enough to protrude over the tops of the trees, but it wasn’t the case.

Photo: I Was This Close to Angkor Wat, But From Here You Can't See Any Temples, Only Lots of Locals Riding In and Out
Photo: I Was This Close to Angkor Wat, But From Here You Can't See Any Temples, Only Lots of Locals Riding In and Out

At the time I didn’t realize how vast Angkor Archaeological Park was. The place is massive and temples are spread across a truly huge area. There is about one more kilometre of riding after the ticket booths before you get to see the nearest temple. This of course I didn’t know but I just couldn’t wait until tomorrow and had try to get a glimpse of Angkor Wat. It didn’t work out, but it gave me a good sense of how far it is to get to Angkor Wat from my guesthouse and it wasn’t far at all. At this point I felt confident that even though I haven’t kept myself in any particularly awesome physical shape, I could do the Angkor Archaeological Area on a bike with ease.