Exploring Angkor at Sunrise

Seeing Angkor Wat at sunrise is one of the most popular attractions, and it's definitely worth it. I mean, maybe not so much for the view since there's so many people in front of your. But because you can time it so you can beat the crowds at other temples. 

After realizing how big the area around Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom was, we decided it would be better to take a tuk tuk around the temples. You can book a tuk tuk for the Small Circuit Tour for around $18 USD for the day, including sunrise. Without sunrise, it's $13 USD. This includes seeing Angkor Wat, Bayon, Takeo, Ta Prhom and Banteay Kdei.

If you want go a second day and see the Grand Circuit Tour, this will cost around $20 USD for the day, including sunrise. Without sunrise, it's $15 USD. This tour includes Preah Khan, Neak Pean, Ta Som, East Mebon and Pre Rup. 

This pricing isn't so bad if you have four people with you. There's an entrance fee of $20 USD/day or 40 USD/3 days. We also heard that if you go past 5 p.m., the entrance fee is free. But you won't have too much time before sun down. 

For the adventurous with time, it's worthwhile to rent a bicycle and ride there. Renting a bike costs $1 USD, so it should fit your budget. We heard it takes about an hour and a half to get there. Just keep in mind that it's better to only see a few temples a day, since they're pretty far from each other. Unless you're a biking fanatic, the heat and distance might exhaust you. 

Our Experience

When you book the tuk tuk, make sure that the driver knows your route. We left at 5 a.m. and headed over to Angkor Wat to see the sunrise. Knowing how crowded these temples can get, we opted for leaving Angkor Wat after it started getting a little bright and went off to see Ta Prhom, the Tomb Raider Temple. 

Just note that most temples open at 7:30 a.m. So, it helps to time it so you don't end up waiting around at the entrance. Getting to Ta Prhom early was a great decision, since it was fairly empty there. We had the chance to take pictures without crowds of people. 

From here, we saw Takeo, Banteay Kdei, Bayon and then Angkor Wat again. As the day we went, the crowds started getting bigger and bigger. By noon, it was super packed. We finally templed out and called it a day. 

Angkor Wat

The things we do to get a good picture.

Ta Prhom


Banteay Kdei


Happy Exploring!