The main event at Angkor Wat is that A-MAZ-ING sunrise. We’re here to guide you through it to help make your morning as stress free as possible. We mean, you are already waking your butt up at 4am and let’s be honest, that’s enough stress 🙂 Here are the only 6 tips for seeing Angkor Wat’s sunrise you’ll need.
6 Tips for Seeing Angkor Wat’s Sunrise
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Where to Watch the Sunrise Over Angkor Wat
Before we bust into our tips, we want to make sure you understand EXACTLY where the sunrise over Angkor Wat is. The photo you are wanting is in front of Angkor Wat from the west side entrance.
Please note, you’ll get dropped off on the street. You’ll walk over a floating walkway then through the outer wall of Angkor Wat.
After you pass through the outer wall, you’re on the grounds. Once on the grounds of Angkor Wat, you will walk along a walkway with the main temple at the end of it. When you arrive at the front of the main temple, you will see the two libraries, one to your left (North) and one to your right (South).
Looking at the libraries, you will see two reflection pools in front of them. For that sunrise shot, you want to be in front of the left (North) pool opposite the temple.
Okay, now that you know where to go. It’s time for our 6 tips for seeing Angkor Wat’s sunrise!
Tip 1: Know What Time the Sunrise Is
Guys, the most critical step in seeing the sunrise is knowing what time the sun rises haha, duh, right?!
Sunrise is typically around 5:30am (give or take a few minutes). However, just to be on the safe side, type in “what time does the sun rise at Angkor Wat” into the lovely google machine and the sunrise for the next day will appear.
Our tip, get there at least 15 minutes before the time of sunrise if you can swing it.
Tip 2: Book Your Tuk Tuk The Day Before
Settle up with your tuk tuk driver the day before. Tell him what you want to see, agree on a price (don’t pay ahead of time) and most importantly agree on a time and pick up spot.
Our suggestion, have him meet you outside your accommodation around 4:15/4:30am.
Tip 3: Have Your Stuff Ready to Go
We don’t know about you guys, but we like sleep. As in, we’ll take every single second we can get.
To give you a few more minutes in the morning, pack your day pack with everything you’ll need for the day (i.e camera, sunscreen, bottle water, etc.) and have it ready to go.
Also, if you want to go a step further, have the clothes you plan on wearing the next day laid out. That way when your alarm sounds off like the evil banshee it is, you can just roll out of bed, throw on those clothes, grab that bag and be on your way to meet your tuk tuk driver.
Tip 4: Get Breakfast to Go
Don’t even think about eating a nice sit-down breakfast at your accommodation.
Talk to your accommodation ahead of time to see if they are able to make you a to-go breakfast.
If not, try a local street shop. They’re open early and will gladly whip you up something to eat you can take with you.
Tip 5: Be First in Line At That Ticket Counter
Be the first person at the ticket counter line. And we mean it. It’s game face time people!
If you haven’t bought your ticket ahead of time (which we don’t think you need do, we didn’t) make sure you are clear with your tuk tuk driver that you need to buy your ticket still.
Your driver will take you to the ticket counter where you will leap (and we mean leap) out of that tuk tuk and run to an open ticket counter and get in line.
Ticket counters open at 5:00am. Get there at 4:55am.
Tip 6: Secure Your Sunrise Spot Like A Boss
Once at the reflection pool of Angkor Wat, you’ll notice a handful of Khmer’s wanting to get you to come into their coffee/food shop after the sunrise. DO NOT DECLINE THIS REQUEST. You read that correctly, do NOT decline.
Read these next few sentences carefully because this will help you get front row and center to Angkor Wats sunrise….
Find the coffee shop that is named after 007 / James Bond. That guy has a mat on the ground in the very front of the reflection pool that will give you perfect seating for sunrise.
Agree to come to his stall for coffee after IF he lets you sit on this mat. He’s super nice and will 100% agree to it.
He’ll walk you over, past the hordes of tourist, and you’ll plop your sweet little tushy on the ground, front and center, while everyone looks at you in jealousy. Smile at all the jealous people and then setup your camera to see one of the most beautiful sunrises ever.
Probably the greatest thing to ever happen to us during an early morning sunrise watch party was being harassed to buy a cup of coffee…just saying 🙂
For The Budget Conscious: Looking for a humble stay with a Cambodian family? Well, look no further than Yanick’s Angkor Cottage. Stay in a guesthouse that is on the families property. Home cooked meals and sweet serenity await you at Yanick’s.
For The Luxury Inclined: Green Empire Resort is a luxury getaway close to Angkor Wat. With lovely rooms, a nice pool, beautiful gardens and friendly staff you’re in for unforgettable time.
For Something In Between: Located a few miles from Angkor Wat, you’ll find the beautiful Grand Venus La Residence. Grand Venus La Residence is a modern hotel featuring massive pool and a beautiful surroundings far from the noise of Siem Reap.
For more places to stay near Angkor Wat, you can check out the latest places and prices here.
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– Lauren & Jesse Stuart (The Stüs)