Three days is the bare minimum to see the main sights at Siem Reap. Obviously, longer the better. For a smoother trip, hire a car. Here’s a suggested three-day Itinerary. It manages to cover the major sights. It may seem a little cramped. But it worked for us and should for you as well. If you like to linger on at a place, by all means, do that. Some of the places can be skipped.
Day 1: Start at South Gate of Angkor Thom, proceed to see the Elephant Terrace, Leper King Terrace, enigmatic Phimenakas & the royal enclosure and then the majestic Bayon.
After a lunch strap on your Tomb Raider gear and head to Ta Prohm and catch a glimpse of Angkor Wat at sunset. You will come back here the next day. So just take in the views.
Day 2: Pack your breakfast and get an early start. No matter what time of the year, everyone wants to catch the sunrise over the Angkor Wat towers. So be prepared to squeeze. After the million photos of the sunrise and its reflection in the pond, head in. You will need at least four hours. The head to Ta Som and Neak Pean before breaking for lunch.
Next, check out Preah Khan and plonk in for the sunset at Bakheng. Again expect a crowd.
Day 3: This day will be a little rushed. Start with Banteay Srei, then proceed to Banteay Samre, Bakheng and Preah Pithu. Optionally add in Bapuon, Tep Pranam and Suor Prat towers.
Traditionally everyone talked about the ‘Petit’ and ‘Grand’ circuits when visiting Siem Reap. here is a low down.
Petit Circuit: Angkor Wat, Bakheng & Angkor Tham. Plus Thommanon, Chaosay Tevoda, Spean Thma, Hospital Chapel, Ta Keo, Ta Nei, Ta Prohm, Kutisvara, Banteay Kdei, Srah Srang & Prasat Kravan
Grand Circuit: Angkor Wat, Bakheng & Angkor Tham. Plus Pre Rup, East Mebon, Ta Som, Kroi Ko, Neak Pean & Preah Khan