The lost city of Angkor Wat is the primary attraction for most and is considered to be the heart of Cambodia – it is even depicted on the national flag. A 10-20 minute tuk-tuk ride will bring you to the dazzling site, which is as awesome in size as it is in beauty. To make the most of your trip, book a tuk-tuk driver the night before and ask for a price for the whole day. If you want to avoid the early morning queues, head out to buy your tickets the night before. Tickets to Angkor Wat almost doubled at the end of 2016, from $20 for a one-day pass to $37. It now costs $62 for a three-day pass and a week pass costs $72. To see one of the Wonders of the World, however, it is a relatively small price to pay.
Within the 150-square-mile archaeological site, there are dozens of temples in various states of repair; undoubtedly the best introduction to the world’s largest temple complex is to view the main temple, Angkor Wat, at dawn. Ignore the hundreds of tourists streaming over the ancient bridge towards the temple; once you are within the grounds, they will melt away from your consciousness, as you witness the sun rising over the main temple and see it reflected in the twin pools on either side of the walkway. From here, you can tour the temple, climb to the top of the main tower for stunning views and to grasp the sheer size of the jungle-entombed temple complex. Once you have had your fill of Angkor Wat, return to your tuk-tuk driver for the next temple. Head to the closer temples of Bayon, with its exquisitely detailed carvings, or the remains of Ta Prohm, where the film Tomb Raider was filmed, or go to some of the more far-flung temples, where you will find fewer tourists and, within the tranquillity, discover the spirit of Angkor Wat. Wild monkeys roam through the jungle and are a delight to behold – but keep possessions safe, in case they take a fancy to them.