Watch Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Angkor Wat

Catch the iconic shot of Angkor Wat. This is a UNESCO World Heritage Site, and the world's largest religious monument.

You'll want to leave your hotel or hostel in Siem Reap by 5am at the latest. Don't bother pre-arranging transportation, there will be tuk tuk drivers roaming the streets looking for people headed to the temple. If you haven't bought your Angkor Wat pass yet, I'd recommend leaving even earlier. The line can be crazy.

After arriving at the temples, walk across the Angkor Wat gateway into the main temple area. The iconic reflection shot can be captured from either the left or right pools, although the left seems to be more common. You may need to politely squirm your way through the crowd to get a spot on the water's edge. You'll be one many, many people here, but that doesn't really detract from the experience of seeing the sun rise over a two-thousand-year-old temple.

Depending on the weather, you may be able to catch the orange circle of the sun behind the temples as well.

After sunrise, I'd recommend avoiding the main Angkor Wat temple and instead heading out to explore some of the other temples while everyone else is preoccupied.

Pack List

  • Camera
  • Tripod
  • Flashlight or headlamp
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Activities Chillin, Photography
Skill Level Beginner
Season Year Round
Features
Family Friendly
Food Nearby
Groups
Scenic

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Leave early and bring your patience

If you are purchasing a 3 day pass, go early and purchase the pass. They open at 5am. But by the time you get your pass, and go to Angkor Wat, it's already packed with people. Instead, go to Bayon the first sunrise and watch the faces light up. Save Angkor Wat for the second day and plan to be at Angkor Wat before 5am (even though they technically are not open until 5am). The most popular spot is the pond in front of the temple on the left. Arriving just before 5am will get you a prime spot.

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Nice shots and good informations. I'm there in 3days ;)

I recommend booking a tuk tuk to take you around the whole temple circuit. We saw got to spend 3 days seeing all the temples and also got a ride to the floating village for just $4 a day. Our tuk tuk waited for us at each temple to take us to the next. Ask your hotel desk about booking a driver, they got the hook ups.


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