There are many ways to see the temples at Angkor; from tuk tuk or taxi, to cycling ( here is a friends post on her excellent Grasshopper Adventures bike tour) as well as Jeeps and even Vespa’s. The ultimate way to see the temples however, must surely be by helicopter which is what I was lucky enough to experience for the first time last week with Helicopters Cambodia.
Helicopter ides are available for anything from 8 minutes ($90 pp) which takes you as close to Angkor Wat as they are allowed to go, to 48 minutes ($430 pp) which goes as far as the Roulos group and Phnom Kulen as well as Banteay Srei and the Angkor temples, with several other options priced from $150-$300 in between.
For those with more funds, you can even to multiple landing trips with stops at far flung temples such as Preah Vihear, Bang Malea, Koh Ker, Banteay Chmar and Preah Khan which is an incredible way to save time, as well as having a truly unforgettable travel experience.
I was a guest on one of the 20 minute tours ($200pp) which flew us past Angkor Wat, Sras Srang, Pre Rup and East Maebon to Phnom Krom and the floating villages on the Tonle Sap as well as huge swathes of the beautiful Cambodian countryside and I can honestly say it was one of the most incredible things I have ever experienced and I am desperately looking for an excuse to do it again!
Seeing the temples from the air really allows you to appreciate their vast scale, I also had no idea previously that other moats (like the one at Angkor Wat) existed but from the air they are clearly marked by their lush green grass in contrast to more prevalent arid brown landscape that is common at this time of year.
Whilst the price may make it cost prohibitive for some, it is definitely worth splashing out on if you are able to. You can easily spend that sort of money for dinner in London, Singapore and Bangkok so wherever possible, I would recommend putting a bit of money aside each week in the run up to your trip to Siem Reap so that you are able to enjoy this truly magical experience whilst you are in Cambodia. Trust me – you will never forget it!
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