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What's the best way to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat?

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Jan 10th, 2011, 08:08 PM
  #1
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What's the best way to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat?

We will be in Siem Reap this weekend and want to see the sunrise at Angkar Wat.
What is the best way to do this? Where should we go? Can we buy tickets at that time or are they closed and we have to see it from outside the area?

We have a guide for the day and I'm assuming we will arrange to meet him AFTER the sunrise so he doesn't have to just sit there with us....and what is the best spot to arrange a meeting? (or should we just come back to our hotel and meet him there?)

Suggestions and feedback are much appreciated!
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Jan 10th, 2011, 08:33 PM
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The temple area -- Angkor Archeological Park -- opens at 5:30 a.m. You can buy a one day pass at the park entrance on that day or a multi-day pass in advance. The pass allows you to visit all the temples in the park and some outside of the park.

The tuktuk drivers are accustomed to getting to Angkor Wat (or any other locale) for sunrise and will pick you up at your hotel around 4:30 to 5:00. You don't need a guide for sunrise, but you do need a flashlight.

If you choose Angkor Wat, you stumble around in total blackness until you reach the moat in front of the temple. Hundreds of people will materialize in the dark and enterprising vendors will sell you chairs and coffee. After the sun comes up you can get an early start on the temple. Your guide could meet you there, just specify the gate.

To me sunrise was kind of a non-event, though it did allow us to be first in line for for upper stories of Angkor Wat.
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:13 PM
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If you are going to do sunrise, you should buy your passes the evening before. Your driver will normally just hang out and sleep in the parking lot while you wait for the sunrise and then tour the temple.

If you are going to have your guide meet you for the first time that morning, you might want to specify a particular spot, such as where the bridge begins, out by the road, and have him/her carry a sighn. They all wear the same shirts..
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Jan 10th, 2011, 09:14 PM
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Agree with Marmot. You will get a chair for the price of a coffee which is quite undrinkable really but what the heck. Have it anyway and so don't have it squat by the pond! When the sun does come up from behind the temples, it is gorgeous. So get a front row seat, wait and click! Enjoy. Incidentally, the main temple at Angkor opens much later so take your time getting to the top.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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One of our best experiences at Angkor was to arrive at Angkor Wat just after sunrise. All the sunrise watchers were gone, and we had the temple prety much to ourselves... just a few monks. We had an hour of silence there - did some walking meditation - it was magical.
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Jan 12th, 2011, 07:41 AM
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One of our best experiences at Angkor was to arrive at Angkor Wat just after sunrise. All the sunrise watchers were gone, and we had the temple prety much to ourselves... just a few monks. We had an hour of silence there - did some walking meditation - it was magical.
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Feb 1st, 2011, 10:49 PM
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Thanks for all your suggetions. We ended up going with our guide to Phnom Bakheng where we climbed the mountain in pitch darkness and sat in peace and quiet until the sun made its appearance. The best part about it was that there were hardly any other people there.
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Dec 23rd, 2011, 06:06 PM
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Gabi7, how do you go about finding a guide and how long was the mountain climb in the darkness?
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Dec 23rd, 2011, 06:08 PM
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Also, to anyone------ is one full day at Angkor Wat enough if we are on a tight schedule?
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Dec 23rd, 2011, 07:10 PM
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A day is not enough to visit the temples at Angkor. If you are on a tight schedule, prioritize what is important to you. Cut out less important stops and spend more time at stops that are your top priorities. If Angkor is not a priority, then don't go.
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Dec 24th, 2011, 11:06 AM
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Abby's, please read the other thread - you are talking about a day at Angkor Wat, and Kathie is talking about the "temples at Angkor" ( of which there are many in addition to Angkor Wat).
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