We set off at about five o’clock in the morning and the staff picked us up at our accommodation. The location where the hot air balloon takes off is in an open arid field on the outskirts of Siem Reap. When the balloon was filled, everyone was excited, then jumped in and lifted off. In just a few minutes, the balloon had already risen to an altitude of more than a hundred meters.
The balloon drifted silently, the pilot glided over trees, marshes and some temples, you could hear the intermittent puffing of hot air being released into the balloon, and the pilot announced our altitude off the ground loudly.
The air cruise was silent and at the whim of the light breeze. Soon, we had a beautiful sunrise! Oh! It was a visual treat, I should say. You could see open fields in the morning light, stilted houses, tall coconut trees, motorcycles driving on country roads, and temple ruins below shining in the sun. It was really exhilarating to see the colours change on the Angkor ruins, the Cambodian traditional houses, and the mountains in the distance.
Landing was a bit rough but they had enough ground crew to take care of our safety. Besides, the staff provided us with cold drinks and souvenirs after the flight.
There are two types of hot air balloon ride in Siem Reap, the first one mentioned above, the hot air balloon can cruise freely, but can not see Angkor Wat from the air. There is another type of hot air balloon ride, the balloon is tied to a fixed position and cannot cruise freely, but a full view of the Angkor Wat can be seen from above. The second one is cheaper ($15) and lasts less (10 minutes), but you’ll be able to see even more spectacular scenery, an equally stunning experience!
- Whole tour duration: Including picking up and sending back is only 2 hours
- How many metres above the ground: up to 200 meters
- Air cruise duration: 10 – 30 minutes
- Price: Depends on the size of the group (up to 12 people per group), the general price is $100 per person, the minimum is $85, the maximum is $150. Tied hot air balloon ride is cheaper and only costs $15
A Few Tips
- The hot air balloon air cruise can only operate between November and mid-March;
- The hotel’s balloon tour includes pickup and drop-off. It is best not to try to bypass the hotel’s small fees, otherwise you may not be able to find the place to take off;
- Wear clothes you don’t care much about. Some sticky fuel might drip on your shirt.