How To Catch The Angkor Wat Sunrise

WHY IS THE SUNRISE AT ANGKOR WAT FAMOUS?

The earth is believed to have chakras just like human beings. The lines that connect these chakras are called Ley lines. Angkor is built at a point where these energy lines intersect making it one of the most sacred sights on this planet.

Throughout the ages, sunrise is considered a sacred time of the day. Now imagine being at a sacred spot on earth during the most sacred time of the day. A goosebump raising experience awaits you here

Also Read: How to see Angkor in one day

NOW A BIT OF HISTORY-WHO REALLY BUILT ANGKOR?

The Cholas controlled peninsular India which extended until present day Malaysia and the chola emperor Suryavarman built Angkor in the 12th century. Angkor is a collection of about 72 temples, more are being excavated as you read this and the main sights that can be visited by tourists today are Angkor Wat (the main temple), Bayon, Ta Prohm. Koh Ker, Prea Khan, churning of the ocean of milk.

THE BEST TIME TO VISIT ANGKOR

Angkor was a peaceful abode visited by a few tourists until Tomb Raider happened. Some of Lara Croft: Tomb Raider’s scenes were shot here, which skyrocketed the tourism with a majority of traveller’s visiting Cambodia solely for Angkor. Tourism to Angkor happens throughout the year but the peak is during the dry months from November until March.

IS ANGKOR WAT BETTER AT SUNRISE OR SUNSET

As the sun rises behind Angkor, it reflects beautifully on the lily pond at the front of the temple. So it is best to visit during sunrise. In addition to the photographic advantage, Angkor at sunrise is a spiritual experience

Sunrise at Angkor
Reflections at sunrise

HOW MUCH DOES THE ENTRANCE TO ANGKOR COST

The main attraction and the pride and joy of Cambodia, the entrance to these temples do not come cheap. The below pricing is as per 2020

  • One day pass is $37 per person
  • Three day is $62
  • Seven day pass is $72 

You can check the updated entrance fee here

TEMPLE ETIQUETTE- WHAT TO WEAR IN ANGKOR

As for all Asian temples, it is mandatory to cover shoulders and knees. As the tour involves a lot of walking and the paths are quite dusty, a loose fitting outfit with a hat/cap, shades and a comfortable pair of walking shoes is perfect.

Sacred thread at Angkor Wat
Tying of the sacred thread
Inside Angkor Wat

THE BEST SPOT TO CATCH THE SUNRISE AT ANGKOR

The best spot is by the lily pond in front of the temple so you get shots of the temple’s reflection on the pond.

Location: https://goo.gl/maps/JnXgEBbqP9kvRCmp6

Map to the best sunrise spot at Angkor Wat
The route from the ticketing office to the best spot to view the Angkor sunrise
The Lily pond at Angkor
The lily pond at the front of Angkor Wat

HOW TO CATCH THE SUNRISE AT ANGKOR

You have two options- either to book an all-inclusive tour or buy tickets at the counter. If you are buying tickets at the counter, you can arrange an early morning tuk-tuk with your hotel and start the day around 4:30 AM. The ticketing office is open from 4:00 AM to 5:30 PM everyday. As this is the most popular activity, expect a queue by 5 AM.

Be prepared to grope in the darkness to find that perfect spot away from the crowd to view the majestic sunrise. The best part of your entire trip will be the moments that follow the sunrise. From pitch darkness, to a slight silhouette of the temple dome, to a dark shadow against the bright orange sky to the sandstone wonder against the blue skies. Truly Epic!

HOW TO AVOID THE CROWD AT ANGKOR WAT

Sunrise at Angkor is a very popular tourist attraction so a huge crowd is inevitable. The best way to navigate the crowd is to start the temple tour immediately after sunrise because most tourists go back to their hotel for breakfast or settle on the grounds for a picnic breakfast.

By afternoon, head back to your hotel for a nice swim, leisurely lunch and be back around 2:30 PM. By this time, the early bird tourists usually call it a day.

Crowd to watch sunrise at Angkor
The sun rises to a full house at Angkor

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