Many people dream of visiting Angkor Wat one day. And when this dream is coming true, you obviously want it to become an amazing experience. Therefore, seeing the mesmerizing Angkor Wat sunrise shouldn’t be missing on your Angkor Bucket list.
While in the beginning, we actually were wondering whether it was worth it getting up that early during rainy-season in order to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat, looking back, we are so happy we did it. I would absolutely do the same again. In order to make this experience as perfect as it was, there are some things to consider.
Author’s note: In this post, we are only talking about the sunrise and sunset in Angkor. If you want to know more about the temples and get some general information about Angkor, make sure to check my Ultimate Angkor Guide.
The best time to see a sunrise in Cambodia
The truth is there will be wonderful sunrises throughout the whole year. Anyway, the chance to see them will be much higher outside of the monsoon season.
That means that you will have the best chances to see a sunrise between November and April.
The raining season takes place in Cambodia between May and October. While you can actually find some great sunrises during rainy season as well, you can, unfortunately, never really predict how the weather is going to be. (Anyway, your day can be spoiled by rain in high-season as well)
However, there are indeed some big benefits of traveling during the rainy season.
Where to stay
Since the sunrise in Angkor is happening pretty early in the morning, you might want to find accommodation near to Angkor. Siem Reap is located extremely close to Angkor and is, therefore, perfectly suitable as your base while visiting Angkor.
If you want to get to know the life of the locals in Cambodia as well, accommodation in the city center might be great.
However, there are also some accommodations a little bit outside of the town nearer to Angkor.
Later in this post, we will talk about the best accommodation in and around Siem Reap. Don’t worry, there is one for every kind of traveler and budget.
Get your ticket the day before
Where: Angkor Enterprise: Street 60, Krong Siem Reap, Cambodia
You can get your ticket to Angkor already one day before your actual tour in Angkor begins.
In order to buy your ticket, you have to go to the ticket office around 04.45 pm, when the office opens. Starting from 05.00 pm, you can finally buy your ticket.
Tip: It’s usually going to be full. Try to get there a little bit earlier in order to be the first one in line.
There are different lines depending on how many days you want to spend in Angkor. Make sure to decide beforehand how many days you will want to visit. The options are 1,3, and 7 days.
Your first time in Cambodia?
Find some super useful information that I wish I knew before traveling to Cambodia here.
Do you need a driver?
I can highly recommend you to choose Mr. Chan to be your driver around Angkor. He wasn’t only our driver but even became a friend. He speaks perfect English and even Spanish. Check his Facebook-page here and shoot him a message.
How about sunset for free?
The other big benefit of buying your ticket the day before is that you can enter on the day of purchase from 05.00 pm for free. Make sure to get there as soon as possible after buying your ticket to see the sunset. – A good place to do so is the Phnom Bakheng.
For more information about seeing the sunset in Angkor, temple guides and general information about the UNESCO World Heritage check out my comprehensive Angkor Wat Guide.
The Angkor Wat Sunrise
When does it start?
If possible you should try to reach Angkor Wat at 05.00 am. That means, if you are staying in Siem Reap, you should be leaving your accommodation around 04.30 am if your transportation is a tuk-tuk or motorcycle. This might sound super early (Well, it actually IS super early), but trust me, every minute of missed sleep is going to be worth it when seeing this gorgeous act of nature.
When joining a tour or going with a driver, they already know where to bring you. But if you are going on your own, make sure to check the route beforehand, so you won’t get lost when looking for Angkor Wat. But don’t worry, it’s actually super easy to find.
Do you want to save a lot of money while touring Cambodia? Make sure to check our Cambodia Budget Guide with money-saving tips and our 1-month-Cambodia budget breakdown.
Where to see the perfect sunrise in Angkor?
Many visitors just stop right in front of the gates of Angkor and see the sunrise from there. Anyway, don’t stop but rather enter through the bridge that leads you over the water ditch instead. Go through the first gate until you find yourself in a field with 2 ponds from where you have a much better view of the towers of Angkor Wat. (You have the best view from the left one)
If you now take a look at the pond you can see that there is a terrific reflection of Angkor Wat on the water. That’s why you should absolutely try to get a space in the first row.
Extra Option: We even saw some visitors not taking any risks about having some tourist head in their photos by walking into the pond. If you don’t mind having your feet wet that definitely is an option 😉
Tours to see the Sunrise in Angkor Wat
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The best accommodation in Siem Reap
As always, you can find different kinds of accommodation in this section organized by budget and location. So there is definitely also the right accommodation for you on this list. If you want to get more information about the accommodation or want to know availability or prices, just click on the name of the accommodation that caught your interest.
Backpacker Accommodation (Dorm)
The Mekong Hostel – 3 Stars
Budget Accommodation in Siem Reap (Private Room)
Siem Reap Friendly House – very affordable
Accommodation in Siem Reap
Mekong Angkor Palace Inn – 3 Stars
Anusa Residence & Spa – 4 Stars
Chhay Long Angkor Boutique Hotel Siem Reap – 4 Stars
Luxury Accommodation in Siem Reap
EOcambo Village – 4 Stars and very affordable
Hillocks Hotel & Spa – 5 Stars
Luxury Accommodation near to Angkor Wat
The Grand Cyclo Boutique Suite – 5 Stars and very affordable
Sumeru Boutique Hotel – 5 Stars
Templation Hotel – 5 Stars
Sokkhak Boutique Resort – 5 Stars
Shintana Saya Residence – 5 Stars
Do you already have travel insurance for Cambodia?
One of the things I just can’t say often enough regarding traveling: Never ever travel without insurance. You simply can’t know what is going to happen during your trip. Trust me, it reduces a lot of stress knowing you are covered in case anything happens. And it feels also good to know there is someone that you can reach 24/7 if you need help.
Good insurance doesn’t have to be expensive, though. Have a look at one of the most popular travel insurances worldwide: World Nomads. Just enter your travel details and see how much your travel insurance would cost and what it covers.
We help you with packing! Have a look at everything you need for traveling in Southeast Asia for men and women.
Where to next?
Have a look at our complete 1-month Cambodia Travel Itinerary.