When visiting Angkor Wat you will be presented with a number of tour options for visiting the numerous temples across the site. Two of the most popular tour options are the Grand Circuit and Small Circuit. In a nutshell touring the Grand Circuit and Small Circuit will allow you to hit all of the “can’t miss” sites.  The Grand Circuit will take you to temples that are on the outer edge of the park, while the Small Circuit takes you to the main temples like Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom.  If you only have one day to go on a tour I would pick the Small Circuit.  It’ll allow you to hit the main temples.

What Type of Transportation Should I Choose?

If your budget allows I recommend hiring a private a/c car, especially if you are visiting the region during the monsoon season. It can get really hot and humid, so the a/c will feel like a godsend as you make your way from temple to temple.  If you no mo’ planny money (don’t have a lot of money) and one private cah no fit into yo budget you can always hire one tuk-tuk.  I think that it’s not too bad if you are only doing the Small Circuit.  If you plan on doing the Grand Circuit via tuk-tuk bring lots of water and cold drinks with you because it will be hot and humid. A good driver will also provide cold drinks and plan any rest stops for food and restroom breaks. 

The Grand Circuit

The Grand Circuit extends to some of the outer regions of the site.  Our Grand Circuit tour consisted of the following temples: Pre Rup, East Mebon, Tasom, Neak Pean, and Preah Kahn. The exact temples of your Grand Circuit may have a few variations depending on the hotel or tour company that you make arrangements with.  Regardless of the variations, you can’t go wrong because all of the temples offer a unique quality and are super-dooper cool.

The Small Circuit

Despite its name the Small Circuit has some heavy hitters.  Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom (Bayon), Banteay Kdei, and Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider Temple) are all part of this tour.  If you only have one day to visit the temples of Angkor Wat this is the circuit that you want to choose.  Be sure to charge your cameras, pack some snacks, and awaken your inner Jones because you’ll easily lose track of time on your Small Circuit adventure.

We began our day by watching the sunrise at Angkor Wat.  Although we had to get up early, it was totally worth it.  Visiting this temple was the reason why we decided to travel to Southeast Asia this Summer.
We then made a quick stop at Banteay Kdei before heading to Ta Prohm or what the tourists call Tomb Raider Temple because Tomb Raider with Angelina Jolie was filmed here.
Our final stop was at Angkor Thom.  Angkor Thom is cool. It’s so cool that I might even like it a little bit more than Angkor Wat.  What sets Angkor Thom apart from the rest of the temples is its size. Angkor Thom is big and includes a good mix of temples. Some of them have giant stone face carvings.  Others are overgrown with trees. While some have hidden courtyards, stairways that lead to the heavens, and labyrinth-like chambers.

Why Go?

Visiting temples is the reason why millions of visitors visit Angkor Wat each year.  So visit one or two or three. In fact you should just go ahead and book a circuit tour; at least the Small Circuit Tour.  Not visiting a temple while in Cambodia would be like not ordering a steak at one of the world’s best steakhouses. So go ahead and order yourself a temple tour. You won’t be disappointed.