Sunrise at Angkor Wat

We’ve all known it was coming for a while, but February 1st marks the much-talked-of Angkor Wat ticket price increase. As of this morning, the purple-clad Apsara-bodies in the ticket booths will have collected USD $37 for every single-day pass sold, as opposed to the meagre USD $20 of yesterday. 3-day passes will now cost USD $62 (valid for 10-days), and week-long passes will set you back USD $72 (one-month validity), compared to their previous $40 and $60 respectively.

What does this mean for Angkor? Well… I’m not quite sure. Rumours of potential rapid decline in visitor numbers have spread like wildfire. I personally don’t buy into this. If you’re anything like me, the price isn’t likely to sway your decision to visit what is aptly described as one of the world’s great wonders; I tend not to check much beyond the prices of my flights and my hotels when I travel – I’m sure most people’s introduction to the Apsara’s pricing policy will be as they stand in line to purchase a ticket to the wats. I can’t imagine, after flying all this way, that there will be too many people who turn tail in the morning queues because of the hike in price.

The Angkor Wat ticket price increase could, however, mean more investment. With an estimated +2million people heading into the temples each year, and with the vast majority of that number purchasing a single-day pass, the near doubling of the ticket prices will mean a rather sharp boost in turnover. Will that be reinvested? That remains to be seen, though there have already been positive signs with the improvements made in phone and internet connectivity around Ta Prohm by way of clever masts disguised as trees. Similarly, some road improvement programs have begun.

Do the new prices still represent good value for money? I’d have to say an unequivocal “Yes!” to this one. There is an incredible amount to see within the Angkor; maybe you won’t be getting the best value for money in purchasing the single-day pass – but in reality you ought to be buying a longer one where time permits – surely a park this vast deserves more than a single visit! You can bring the cost per day down to just a little over USD $10 when purchasing a week-long pass, or around $20 per day for the three-day variant; both passes allow you to take rest days in-between visits so as not to get templed out. I’d love to see more people give Cambodia the time it deserves instead of sandwiching it between Thailand and Vietnam on their whistle-stop tour of southeast Asia. If the new prices do anything to encourage this, I’m all for it.

What does it mean for the pricing in my photography tours? Unfortunately I’m not in a position where I’ll be able to swallow the cost within my current pricing policy, but you’ll see only a small increase to the overall costs of my tours. All of the tour package prices have been updated. Why not check out my current offerings here?