Do’s and Don’ts for Hiking in Angkor

Why Hiking in Angkor is Unique

Hiking in Angkor is an unforgettable experience, offering stunning views and a glimpse into Cambodia’s ancient history. Unlike typical hiking trails, Angkor’s paths weave through ancient temples, dense jungles, and vibrant local communities, making it a unique adventure that blends history, nature, and culture. The combination of historical ruins, dense jungle, and local culture creates a multifaceted adventure. The tropical climate, with temperatures ranging from 25°C to 35°C (77°F to 95°F), adds a layer of challenge. Additionally, the rich history and legends, such as the stories of Hindu gods and Khmer kings, add depth to the journey.

Beautiful sunrise view over Angkor Wat temple.

Essential Do’s and Don’ts for Hiking in Angkor


1. Stay Hydrated: The tropical climate can be very hot and humid. Carry plenty of water to avoid dehydration.

Tip: Use a reusable water bottle to reduce plastic waste.

    Hiker drinking water from a reusable bottle in Angkor.

    2. Respect the Temples: Temples are sacred sites. Follow all rules and guidelines, such as not climbing on fragile structures.

    Tip: Observe dress codes, covering shoulders and knees as a sign of respect.

      The mystical Ta Prohm temple covered with massive tree roots.

      3. Hire a Local Guide: Local guides offer valuable insights into the history and culture of Angkor, enhancing your experience.

      Tip: Guides can also help you navigate lesser-known trails and avoid crowded spots.

      Tourist with a local guide at Angkor.

        4. Wear Appropriate Footwear: Trails can be uneven and slippery. Sturdy, comfortable shoes are essential.

        Tip: Hiking boots or trail shoes with good grip are recommended.

          Sturdy hiking boots on a trail in Angkor.

          5. Learn About Local Customs: Understanding local customs helps you interact respectfully with local people.

          Tip: Greet locals with a smile and a slight bow, and learn basic Khmer phrases.


            1. Don’t Litter: Help preserve the beauty and cleanliness of Angkor by disposing of trash properly.

            Tip: Carry a small bag for your trash and take it with you.

            2. Don’t Touch Carvings: The stone carvings are ancient and fragile. Touching them can cause damage.

            Tip: Keep a respectful distance and use a camera for close-up views.

            Keeping a respectful distance from ancient carvings to prevent damage.

            3. Don’t Ignore Weather Warnings: Weather can change rapidly in the tropics. Pay attention to forecasts and plan accordingly.

            Tip: Carry a lightweight rain jacket and avoid hiking during heavy rains.

              Pay attention to weather warnings and plan your hike accordingly.

              4. Don’t Disrespect Local People: The local community holds the temples in high regard. Be respectful in your interactions.

              Tip: Avoid loud behavior and be mindful of local customs.

                Be mindful and respectful when interacting with the local community.

                5. Don’t Venture Off-Marked Trails: Unmarked areas can be dangerous and damaging to the environment.

                Tip: Stick to designated paths to ensure safety and preservation.

                  Local People and Cultural Interactions

                  Interacting with local people in Angkor adds a rich cultural dimension to your hike. The Khmer people are known for their hospitality and warmth. However, it’s important to show respect for their traditions. When visiting villages or interacting with locals:

                  • Do Greet Politely: A smile and a slight bow with hands pressed together (sampeah) is a respectful greeting.
                  • Do Ask for Permission: Before taking photos of people or their property, always ask for permission.
                  • Don’t Point: Pointing with your finger is considered rude. Use your whole hand to gesture.
                  • Don’t Touch Heads: The head is considered sacred, so avoid touching anyone’s head.
                  • Don’t Raise Your Voice: Keep conversations at a moderate volume to show respect.
                  Local Cambodian people wearing traditional Khmer costumes.

                  Dive Deeper into Angkor’s Mysteries

                  Hiking in Angkor is a unique blend of adventure, history, and culture. By following these guidelines, you can ensure a safe, respectful, and enriching experience. Ready to explore more? Book our Our Angkor Sunrise tour to experience the beauty of Angkor at dawn. Enjoy a tranquil hike, witness breathtaking sunrises, and delve into the rich history of this ancient land with our expert guides.

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