Angkor Wat and Siem Reap are great to visit for a weekend trip. However, due to the vast size of the temple sites, I advise you to plan ahead wisely. Therefore, I have put together this weekend itinerary for you to make the most of your weekend in Cambodia.
Arrival in Siem Reap in the evening. We arrived really late. Hence, we went straight to bed. If you arrive earlier, have dinner at Miss Wong. (The Lane)
Leave the hotel towards Angkor Wat. You will arrive there at shortly after 5 am. (You will need to buy tickets before you enter the temples.)
Explore the East side of Angkor Wat. If you really want to see the sun rising over Angkor Wat, you can sit at the lakes right after entering through the West gate. However, it will be very crowded. I suggest exploring the East side and then walk over to the main entrance before the open at 6.30 am.
Around 6.15 am
Move toward the main entrance (after the bridge between the two lakes) and start queuing up. When it opens, go directly inside and queue for the tower.
Leave Angkor Wat via the main entrance (West Gate) and head to Bayon Temple.
Arrival at Bayon Temple (or at the gate of Angkor Thom).
Head to Tasom Temple.
End of the temple tour. Usually, the heat is bearable until 10 – 10.30 am.
Lunch at the hotel and massage.
Head to Phnom Kulen National Park.
This park is about 50 km North-East of Siem Reap. It is quite far – it takes about 1.5 hours to go there. The ticket is USD 20 and if you hired a driver and guide, you will have to pay additional fees. The waterfall at Phnom Kulen is not worth the 1.5 hour drive. However, the mountain is considered a sacred site and the river with Hindu limestone carvings from 800 AD totally is.
Furthermore, you will get an insight into local daily life, as the area is popular for picnics and outings.
Head into the city for dinner and drinks at Nest. I can highly recommend the vegetable green curry and the “Do It Your Way” stir fries. The chocolate mousse was delicious as well.
Browse for small souvenirs at the small shops in the area around Nest or at the night market. You can try to negotiate, in most of the shops it is OK.
If you are still in exploring mood, I would get up early again (at around 6 am) and explore more temples. I would suggest exploring until 10 am and then head for breakfast.
Have brunch at the Park Hyatt.
We had desserts afterwards at The Glasshouse (also located at the hotel). The chocolate fudge brownie and the éclair are to die for!