The Angkor Wat sunrise is without a doubt, the main event at Angkor Wat! We’re here to guide you through the morning by giving you 6 tips for seeing the beautiful sunrise over Angkor Wat.
Angkor Wat Sunrise: 6 Tips For Catching an Epic Sunrise
Where To Watch Angkor Wat Sunrise
When making plans to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat, understand that there are two entrances to Angkor Wat – the west entrance and the east entrance.
The infamous Angkor Wat sunrise photo you are wanting is from the west entrance.
Angkor Wat Sunrise: Where To Stand
First, regardless if you go by tuk-tuk or by bicycle, you’ll start at the west entrance of Angkor Wat. From the street, you’ll walk over a floating walkway and make your way through the outer wall of Angkor Wat.
Second, after you pass through the outer wall, you’ll walk along the main walkway towards Angkor Wat.
At the end of the walkway, you’ll be standing in front of the main temple of Angkor Wat. Looking at Angkor Wat, you’ll see the two libraries, one to your left (North) and one to your right (South).
Both libraries have reflection pools, but the reflection pool you want to be in front of is the left (North) side. From here, you will get that amazing Angkor Wat sunrise shot you’ve seen
6 Tips For Catching an Epic Sunrise
Okay, so now that you know which entrance to go to and where to stand, it’s time for our 6 tips for seeing Angkor Wat’s sunrise!
Tip 1: Know The Angkor Wat Sunrise Time
Guys, the most critical step in seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat is knowing what time the sun rises, 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 to 20 minutes before the time of sunrise if you can swing it.
NOTE: Weather plays a huge role into a successful sunrise. It’s it’s cloudy or raining, guess what, that beautiful sunrise over Angkor Wat won’t happen! Be sure to check the weather prior to booking any sort of tour or making sunrise arrangements.
Tip 2: Book Your Tuk-Tuk The Day Before
There are plenty of tuk-tuks in Siem Reap who shuttle tourists around Angkor Wat all day. When you find a tuk-tu driver who will take you to and around Angkor Wat, make sure you settle up with your tuk-tuk driver the day before your visit to Angkor Wat.
What do we mean by that? Agree on a pick-up time and place for sunrise as well as the price.
If you are staying past sunrise, make sure your tuk-tuk driver understands what other temples you want to see and make sure it’s included in the price he gives you.
TIP: Don’t pay the tuk-tuk driver ahead of time! Pay in full once he picks you up the next morning.
Our pick up time suggestion is to have the tuk-tuk driver 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 that you can take with you.
Tip 5: Be First in Line At The Angkor Wat Ticket Counter
Be the first person at the ticket counter line, and we mean it! It’s game face time people!
You can’t buy your Angkor Pass ahead of time. Instead, you have to buy it the morning of your visit. Make sure you are clear with your tuk tuk driver that you need to buy your ticket still.
Your tuk-tuk 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.
Angkor Wat ticket counters open at 5:00am. You get there at 4:50am.
Tip 6: Secure Your Sunrise Spot Like A Boss
Once at the reflection pool of Angkor Wat (like we talked about above), 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….
- First, 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 seat for sunrise.
- Second, 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.
- Third, 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.
- Fourth, smile and wave 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 🙂
Angkor Wat Sunrise Tour
If you are looking to book a sunrise tour to Angkor Wat, Viator is a great website offering a handful of different Angkor Wat sunrise tour options for you or your group!
From private Angkor Wat tours to group tour options, Viator is a great site offering a sunrise tour suited for everyone.
Is Angkor Wat Sunrise Worth It?
So, here’s the thing, Angkor Wat at sunrise is crowded. Like, real crowded.
People are scrunched next to each other like sardines in a can and if you don’t follow our above steps, you may not get a “people free” sunrise shot.
So the question you are asking, “is Angkor Wat sunrise worth it?”, it depends on you. Honestly, it’s not a one size fits all response we can give you.
For us, we loved seeing the sunrise over Angkor Wat. We wouldn’t have missed it for anything! The sunrise was absolutely beautiful and truly something we won’t forget.
On the other hand, we’re not you. So, if you hate crowds and get annoyed easily, then meh, this sunrise probably isn’t for you.
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)