In addition to travelling around the Angkor Archaeological Park on a bicycle, in a tuk-tuk, in a taxi or viewing the park from a fixed line hot air balloon, you can also take a boat tour.
About Angkor Gondola Boats
Angkor Gondola Boat is one of several companies offering boat tours in the Angkor Archaeological Park, Angkor Focus and Kongkear Angkor also offer the same service. The prices charged by these companies ranges from $20 USD to $35 USD including pick up and drop off at your hotel. This price does not include a visitor pass to the Angkor Archaeological Park which costs currently costs $37 for 1 day, $62 for 3 days, and $72 for 7 days. This difference in price for the boat tour is explained by differences in the food and drink provided to you on the boat trip, and the duration of the boat trip, although essentially they all offer the same service.
An ‘Angkor Gondola Boat’ is a four seat wooden boat with the front of the boat shaped like a mythical Garuda bird. This is a design of boat that was discovered during archaeological digs at the site and was probably used by the Khmer Royal Family for ceremonial purposes. These boats ply the moat around the Angkor Thom temple complex, which contains notable temples such as Bayon Temple.
The length of the moat is just under 13 km and it appears that only one the gondola boat companies, Kongkear Angkor, will take you around the entire length of the moat in a trip that lasts 2 hours 30 minutes. The cheapest provider of the service, Angkor Focus, offers a trip that is 90 minutes long including the time that it takes to drive from Siem Reap Angkor Thom and back again, meaning that the actual time on the water in boat must be fairly short.
These boats trips are popular as sunrise or sunset tours, and are a pleasant way to see the park without doing any walking. The other advantage of taking a boat tour is that you will see parts of the Angkor Thom temple complex that you wouldn’t normally see unless you were prepared to walk a long way, which given that it’s hot in Cambodia very few people would want to. From a boat on the moat you get a good view of wall around Angkor Thom as well as of the Prasat Chrung, which are temples constructed at each of the four corners of Angkor Thom.
Location of Takao Port
Angkor Gondola Boats depart from Takao Port near to the Southern Gate of Angkor Thom.