Miscellaneous: I wouldn't have make it thru this trip wihout Lonely Planet. Read it rather religiously before the trip, but was surprised to see kids paddling bootlegged version of tour guides (LP included of course) around the temples. They are really cheap and look just like the original, fully coloured!. I got 'Ancient Angkor' for USD5 (Started at USD 10) after much bargaining with a kid in Ta Prohm. But when I was in Banteay Srei on my last day in Siem Reap, a kid was selling it for USD 1!
- Budget Travel
a wife worth waiting for
Luggage and bags: Backpack is best for getting around as it offers more flexibility in a country like Cambodia where everything might not be as convenient as back home.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Sandals are nice but hiking boots come in handy when scampering around the ruins.
Photo Equipment: Zoomie for taking shots of the kids and elevations shots of faraway temples. Wide angle for taking in the vastness of some of the larger sights.
Miscellaneous: D proved once again that she is my perfect compliment not only for traveling, but for life. :)
- Budget Travel
Indispensable items you would need...
Luggage and bags: Exploring the Angkor temples require a lot of walking and climbing around. So please bring along a small to medium sized backpack or daypack for you to put your necessities in as you wander about the place. You would want to keep your hands free so you can navigate your way around those dark corridors and steep steps. Keep those shoulder sling bags at home.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: A good pair of sports or running shoes (Slippers won't make it unless you are looking to get your toes cut by some boulder or rock).
Dress in a T-shirt and bermudas or shorts. Jeans might get rather stuffy and uncomfortable once you start sweating profusely.
Bring along your sunglasses, a cap or a hat as it can get really hot in midday. A bottle of sunblock lotion is highly recommended.
If you are going during the monsoon season (October to December), you might want to bring along a waterproof windbreaker or a raincoat as the skies just rip open their floodgates without warning.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: OK, this may sound silly but be sure to bring packets of tissue paper with in case you ever need to take a crap in one of the toilets around Angkor. Some of the toilets don't have any toilet paper at all. Fortunately, I didn't need to do anything beyond taking a leak at one of their toilets, which believe me, wasn't a pleasant sight at all.
Tip: Try to do your 'business' in the comfort of your hotel's toilet every morning before you leave for your explorations.
Bring some mosquito repellant as well as Siem Reap is rather infamous for its dengue epidemic. I suppose the touristy areas are safe but when you are out hiking through the remote areas, you should apply some repellant generously, especially onto your legs.
Photo Equipment: If you do forget about this stuff, you seriously need to be shot..twice over.
Miscellaneous: Have a large bottle of water (1 litre) with you; you will need it.
Get a good guidebook on Cambodia.
Passes for Angkor Wat
Miscellaneous: Useful to have some spare passport or similar pics for when you purchase your pass to Angkor Wat - especially if you care about how you look! My kids were horrified by their wilted photos, taken after a lengthy wait at the small office at the AW admin. As I understand it, you can bring your own pic - for the aesthetics and the avoidance of yet another wait.
Luggage and bags: A travel backpack (size depending on your length of stay) and a day bag.
Day bag essential to put in items such as your guide book, water bottle, torch light, etc.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Leave your heels at home and bring out those rugged walking shoes....A pair of sandals like Teva are good, especially with all the walking you're about to experience in Angkor...
Wear tee shirts and bermudas or 3/4 pants as it is really hot...Do put on some sun block as the sun ca get a bit "fierce" at times...
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Don't be too overly concern about Malaria here...Just use a repellent in the morning and evenings...
I also did bring a mini first aid kit and a small toiletries bag
Photo Equipment: A good camera to capture Angkor at its best...If u're not too into photography, then a normal camera would do...Some people go all the way by bringing their tripod and the SLR cameras to capture Angkor at its best! And the results were fantastic!
- Budget Travel
Free Visitor Guide
Miscellaneous: If you can't afford to get your own travel guide, the one found in the tourist center is pretty good. It has the latest updates for places to stay and hanging-out. Very informative. I went to the tourist center, they ran outta them and the officer asked me to go to Grand Hotel d'Angkor across the street to get one.
- Budget Travel
Light weight raincoat
Luggage and bags: I go to Cambodia with 2 backpacks. 1 for my stuffs and 1 for daily pack during visiting temples areas.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Cotton t-shirt and cargo pants will be fine. Beware about the weather which closer to the monsoon [on August - September]. Preparing light weight raincoat or umbrella will be fine. Especially if the rain comes suddenly whenever you climb up the temple. Then sneakers or sandals that make you feel comfy in climb up the hill [Phnom Bakheng] and Angkor Wat 'till the main tower.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Tissues and mineral water.
Photo Equipment: Warning for myself, since I love to picturing every single details of the temples so I have to bring more than 1 rechargeable battery for my digi-cam.
- Historical Travel
"A pilgrimage to Angkor" (Pierre Loti)
Luggage and bags: This book is a great intro to what you might finf there.
It is about the travel that this french writer did to this part of Asia in the beginning of the XX century.
In that times, it was a french colony and the temples were just discovered.
He, as a child, wrote an article on the discovery in a magazine that his brother (who trvelled there) brought, and decided he had to go there some day... and he did!
- Budget Travel
Wear sensible shoes to Angkor Wat
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Make sure to wear shoes which can be tramped in all day, as well as factoring in the huge number of steps - steep steps - and the general dirt and grime of it all. Open shoes would be a bit of a disaster, from my observation and experience.
- Hiking and Walking
- Family Travel
Protection from the sun, dust and tourists
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: First, protection from the sun. Sunscreen on every exposed part of your skin. Including your ears, which can get sunburnt. Cap/ hat to prevent getting a sunburnt scalp, and shades to help you enjoy the reliefs more without the sunglare. Extra tip: get a pair of brown shades instead of the normal black ones. Apparently it emphasises the detailing of carvings amazingly. Definitely a bonus I realised when I found my brown shades enhances my visual experience.
Second, if you are considering travelling in a tuk-tuk, bring a scarf large enough for you to tie it around your head. Fret not about appearing like a freak with your head all wrapped up, it is much better than breathing in too much dust or having to hold your hands up to cover up your mouth with a small piece of tissue throughout the whole trip. Of course, when it is not so dusty I do take in some fresh air along the way.
Miscellaneous: Thirdly, the tourist crowd is everywhere, especially at the entrance where you get your entry pass to the temples. Get ready a passport size photo so you can skip the queue to take your photo for the pass. And get good walking shoes to help you get to the unbeaten path away from the crowd that will require some climbing and walking over loose rocks.
- Budget Travel
Hat, Mosquito repellent and light clothes
Luggage and bags: Travel light. Don't bring anything heavy.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: Wear light clothes, something that let's your skin breathe. Something with omni-control or those clothes with wick-away capabilities. :) This will help make you more comfortable despite the heat and humidity. Bring shoes which will be comfortable for walking through dirt-packed forest trails, up narrow temple steps and slippery market alleyways. But always keep in mind that your footwear should be comfortable in hot weather. :) Bring a wide-brimmed hat because the sun is very fierce even for Asian skin like mine. I can just imagine what it can do to western skin.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: It you need special medicine then bring them with you. For everything else you can get from the groceries that line the main street.
Photo Equipment: Bring chargers and extra batteries with you. Keep your cameras in weather-proof cases as rain showers often come in the afternoons.
- Historical Travel
- Road Trip
Dawn Rooney's "Angkor" book
Miscellaneous: I can heartily recommended that you bring a copy of Dawn Rooney's "Angkor - An introduction to the temples" with you when you visit the temples. We would read the corresponding chapter at each temple we visited. You'll gain a great insight into the history of the temples. If you don't want to load down your backpack, you can always buy a bootlegged copy from many vendors around the temples for about $3.
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: Unfortunatly, both Angkor Wat and the western border near Poipet are high-risk malaria areas - meaning you'll need anti-malarials. This area is known to be Larium resistant (which is ok, because Larium is known to have some pretty wicked side effects anyway) so you'll need to either bring Doxycycline or Malarone. Malarone is more convenient because you only have to take it daily starting 2 days before your trip, during, and 7 days after. It is extremely expensive, however, and your health insurance most likely won't cover it. Doxycycline is much cheaper, but you have to take it daily for A MONTH after your trip to stay protected.
Vacinations recommended before you go: tetanus, diptheria typhoid, polio, hepatitis A (or the combo with B). All this can add up money wise. Standard vacinations are covered by your insurance, but the more exotic ones probably aren't. All told, we spent $300 just on shots and anti-malaria drugs!
Bring anti-diarrea medicine, sunscreen, and mosquito repellent too!
Cambodia - Emerging economy
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: As an emerging economy, will be difficult to find toiletries of your preference and medication outside the major towns. So better top up in Bangkok or from your home destination.
Miscellaneous: Found my "Lonely Planet" extremely useful in my unplanned trip. It is worth the weight to carry around. Bought it in Bangkok, not sure if easily available in Cambodia.
ALWAYS CARRY A STRONG MOSQUITO REPELLANT
Luggage and bags: I carry a small day backpack for my essentials:
AS MALARIA AND DENGUE FEVER IS PREVALENT IN THESE AREAS IT IS BEST TO USE A GOOD STRONG AND RELIABLE REPELLANT
ALWAYS CARRY ENOUGH WATER FOR THE TIME NEEDED..
MAKE SURE YOU HAVE A GOOD MOSQUITO AND INSECT REPELLANT WITH YOU.
Clothing/Shoes/Weather Gear: WEAR A GOOD PAIR OF WALKING/HIKING BOOTS
A GOOD HAT AS THE SUN CAN BE EXTREME
A PAIR OF SUNGLASSES
A SMALL ROLLED UP PONCHO
Toiletries and Medical Supplies: A TUBE GOOD SUNSCREEN
A TUBE OF GOOD MOISTURISER
A SMALL STICK LIPBALM
A PACKET OF WETONES
A SMALL PACKET OF TISSUES..
Photo Equipment: A DIGITAL CAMERA BATTERY CHARGER
A SPARE MEMORY CARD
AN INTERNATIONAL POWER POINT ADAPTOR
Camping/Beach/Outdoor Gear: ALWAYS CARRY A SMALL SELF CHARGING TORCH
I ALWAYS CARRY A BACKUP PAIR OF GLASSES
- Budget Travel