Angkor Wat vs. Borobudur: Which Should I Visit?


The Buddhist faith can be said to be one of the most intriguing spiritual belief systems in the world. Almost as equally as intriguing as the principles of Buddhism are its many shrines and monuments. Angkor Wat in Cambodia and Borobudur in Indonesia are two of the largest and most ornate Buddhist shrines in the Eastern world, so which is better for a visit?

Angkor Wat is much larger in size and scope by land area than the Borobudur shrine. But the Borobudur Temple is a much larger structure with many more caverns to explore. In terms of history, the Borobudur Temple is much older than Angkor Wat, but both temples are essential Buddhist attractions. 

Angkor Wat vs. Borobudur
CategoryAngkor WatBorobudur
Cost Per Person (One Week)$315$532
Main and Surrounding AttractionsAngkor Wat Temple, Angkor National Museum, Phare Ponleu Selpak (Cambodian Circus Show), Banteay Srey Butterfly Centre, Landmine MuseumBorobudur Temple, Telaga Menjer Wonosobo, Garung, Bukit Rhema, Punthuk Setumbu, Camera House, Ketep Pass
FoodCambodian cuisine is somewhat similar to both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, with less of a focus on chili and sugarIndonesian food prioritizes robust and sweet flavors with intense seasoning variations and many types of fried rice dishes
WeatherThe weather of Cambodia is hot and humid throughout the year, with a warm autumn season and only a mild winter climateThe weather of Indonesia is hot and humid throughout the year, with a warm autumn season and only a mild winter climate
SafetyCambodia is not considered to be a dangerous destination for travelers, however, petty crime is possibleIndonesia is not considered to be a dangerous destination for travelers, however, petty crime is possible
TransportationTwo-wheel carriage rides known as Tuk-tuk; public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing apps are also availableWater ferries, taxis, ride-sharing apps, and public buses are available throughout Indonesia
CustomsYou will need a valid passport to travel to Cambodia and a visa that can be obtained upon entry and is valid for one monthA valid passport is needed to enter Indonesia; a visa is not needed if traveling from the USA, Australia, the EU, The UK, or Canada for up to 30 days 

Both Angkor Wat and Borobudur will offer an amazing visit if you wish to explore some of the most influential Buddhist temples in the world. Both temples are drenched in history and old-world architecture. Since these temples are not complete vacations, the surrounding areas of Siem Reap and Magelang also offer enough attractions and accommodations to satisfy an entire trip. Read on to discover more. 

Angkor Wat vs. Borobudur

Cost of Stay

Traveling to Angkor Wat or Borobudur represents one of the most affordable ways to see more of the Eastern World. A standard, one-week vacation to Angkor Wat will typically cost about $315. That is beyond affordable, and really amazing when you consider that this is about what you will pay for a week at a hotel and your daily expenses in the area. Cambodia is a beautiful country, and you don’t need to wealthy to experience it. 

In Indonesia, the costs are only slightly more expensive. A standard, one-week trip to view Borobudur Temple will usually cost about $532. Indonesia has a few more attractions to see in the area surrounding the temple, and also received more visitors annually when compared to Cambodia. 

Affordable Hotel Options

The area surrounding Angkor Wat is a lush and tropical landscape of Asian beauty. This can best be experienced with a stay at the ultra-affordable Koulen Hotel. This hotel looks more like a resort and features a large pool complex, room service, an on-site restaurant, and views of the surrounding Siem Reap wilderness. 

In Indonesia, a budget hotel to consider is Efata Homestay. This incredibly affordable hotel is shaped like a large Indonesian home and is only a five-minute walk from Borobudur Temple. The rooms are neat and clean and overlook a beautifully-kept garden. Standard amenities are included, yet the short walk to Borobudur and the cheap price are definitely the selling points with this hotel. 

Main Attractions

After visiting Angkor Wat, taking a tour of the other attractions in the Siem Reap area is certainly worth your time. The Angkor National Museum is one of the most diverse and expansive archaeological museums in Asia. This museum has a wide collection of unearthed artifacts from the region surrounding Angkor Wat and marks a great way to learn more about the iconic temple. 

Angkor Wat vs. Borobudur

Once your tour of Borobudur has finished, it is essential to spend at least an entire day immersing yourself in the natural beauty of Ketep Pass. This collection of fields, valleys, forests, and streams offers one of the best ways to experience the tranquil island beauty of the Indonesian islands. 

Food

Cambodian cuisine is somewhat similar to both Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, with less of a focus on chili and sugar. Indonesian food prioritizes robust and sweet flavors with intense seasoning variations and many types of fried rice dishes.

In Cambodia, a restaurant to try is the Blue Pumpkin. This unique and flavorful restaurant is located not too far from Angkor Wat and features a diverse array of Cambodian-infused dishes. The food is refreshing and tangy and offers one of the best ways to experience the unique flavors of Cambodia.  

In the area surrounding Borobudur, one restaurant that is worth a try is Kopi Mpat. This cafe at first appears to be hidden behind a canopy of rice paddies in the mountains near Borobudur. The unique location gives way to a wide array of refreshing and unique Indonesia menu items that is certainly the eatery to experience once your tour of Borobudur has concluded.  

Weather

The weather of both Cambodia and Indonesia is hot and humid throughout the year, with a warm autumn season and only a mild winter climate. These two destinations are more of a tropical environment, therefore, be prepared for an incredible amount of humidity no matter what time of year you choose to visit. 

Angkor Wat vs. Borobudur

Safety 

Neither Cambodia nor Indonesia is considered to be a dangerous destination for travelers; however, petty crime is possible, therefore, you should always exercise some caution when traveling alone and never leave your valuables unattended. 

Transportation

Two-wheel carriage rides known as Tuk-tuk are some of the most popular ways to get around in Cambodia. Additionally, public buses, taxis, and ride-sharing apps are also available throughout the region. Water ferries, taxis, ride-sharing apps, and public buses are available throughout Indonesia, which is in line with the nation as a collection of islands. 

Customs

You will need a valid passport to travel to Cambodia and a visa that can be obtained upon entry and is valid for one month. A valid passport is also needed to enter Indonesia; however, a visa is not needed if traveling from the USA, Australia, the EU, The UK, or Canada for up to 30 days. 

Conclusion

So, which of these iconic Buddhist landmarks should you visit? Angkor Wat is much larger in terms of area than the Borobudur Temple. This may allow you to spend more time touring the Angkor Wat Temple, which is also nicely complemented by the inclusion of the nearby Angkor National Museum.

Borobudur and Indonesia in general are also wonderful places to visit. The surrounding area around Borobudur Temple has a few more attractions and things to do compared to the area around Angkor Wat. In terms of precedence, go with a tour of Angkor Wat first. 

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