An exhilarating way to see Angkor is from the air. Although over-flying of the temples is not permitted, you can still get a wonderful overview by balloon, helicopter or microlight. Angkor passes are not required for any of these aerial excursions.
The cheapest option is from the gondola of a tethered helium balloon ($15, children $7.50; 15min) located between the airport and Angkor Wat. Weather permitting the balloon ascends to 200m around thirty times a day, carrying up to thirty passengers at a time, offering a bird’s-eye view of Angkor Wat and nearby temples.
Thrilling 8min helicopter trips from Siem Reap’s airport (from $90/person) around the Angkor Wat area run by Helistar Cambodia (063 966072, helistarcambodia.com) and Helicopters Cambodia (063 963316, helicopterscambodia.com). Longer flights can also be arranged over the Tonle Sap, Kulen hills and so on.
Most exciting of all are SkyVenture’s microlight trips (skyventure.org); flights start at $60/person for 15min around Roluos up to $180 for a 1hr “see it all” trip.