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Phnom Bakheng: The Best View of Angkor Wat and Sunrise/Sunset

If you know me, you know I absolutely did not wake up to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat. Instead, we opted for an afternoon hike to the top of a hill to visit Phnom Bakheng. Having been completed in 910, this temple is more than 1,100 years old, and being at the top of a hill, it's a great place for panoramic views of the surroundings. Angkor Wat is 1.5 kilometers away to the east, and wow, it's such a great view.

Because it's to the east, you can watch the sunrise over the iconic temple, and twice a year (on the equinox), it rises directly over the highest tower. These photos are so amazing: just google Angkor Wat Equinox, and you'll be booking your flights along with everyone else. You can even see Siem Reap further in the distance.

How to Get to Phnom Bakheng

Phnom Bakheng is just south of Angkor Thom. It's right before the southern entrance, in fact, and from the east entrance, it's a mild 20 minute hike to the base of the temple. Along the way, you can see the tip of the Baksei Chamkrong temple, and there is a great viewpoint of Angkor Wat at the top of the hill, before you climb the temple steps. This is a popular destination for locals, tourists, and even monks.

Phnom Bakheng Temple

Watching the Sun Set from Bakheng Temple

Phnom Bakheng is a really popular destination for sunrise and sunset. There are only 300 people allowed on top at a time, and once up there, you will still need to vie for a good viewpoint. We waited around for about an hour to make sure we would have unobstructed views, but it was definitely worth it.

sunset at Baksei Chamkrong cambodia


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