I cannot say that the best way to explore the Angkor temple complex is from above. Being on the ground and getting up close with the temples is far more rewarding. But flying over them in a helicopter is spectacularly cool, too.
Sitting at a café drinking beer and eating some lunch after our day of hiking through the ruins I spotted an ad for a helitour on the back of a tuk tuk. We got back to the room and called HeliStar Cambodia and were fortunate to be able to book a ride for the following morning, shortly before our flight departed. It was perfect timing and a wonderful experience, showing the true scale of the temples and just how many there are; lots are under repair and not generally open to the public, according to our pilot/guide.
Some incredible visuals of the temples from above.
The 15 minute tour comes in at $150/person. It is not cheap. But that’s also roughly what helicopter tours typically cost in my experience; I don’t know that I’d want to be on one much cheaper than that as it would raise questions in my mind about maintenance practices and such. And, hey, we’re probably not going back any time soon so a little splurge on the way out was a good idea.
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