Angkor Wat Sunrise vs. Sunset Tour: Which Should You Choose?

Temples in Cambodia
Angkor Wat Sunrise vs. Sunset Tour Which Should You Choose
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Angkor Wat Sunrise vs. Sunset Tour: Which Should You Choose?

Angkor Wat Sunrise vs. Sunset Tour: Which Should You Choose?

Visiting the iconic Angkor Wat temple at sunrise or sunset can be a magical experience. But how do you decide when to go? Here’s a helpful comparison of SiemReapShuttle’s Angkor Wat sunrise and sunset tours to help you pick the best time to visit this Cambodian wonder.


  • Sunrise Tour – See Angkor Wat at dawn with fewer crowds
  • Sunset Tour – Explore Angkor Wat in the afternoon and end at sunset

Sunrise Tour Highlights

  1. Beat the crowds

    • Arrive early (around 5 AM) to avoid tour groups
    • Have Angkor Wat to yourself in the peaceful morning hours
  2. Watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat

    • An iconic view not to be missed
    • Seeing the temple go from dark to bathed in warm light is mesmerizing
  3. Cooler temperatures

    • Cambodia gets hot, so the morning is more comfortable
    • Remember to bring a jacket!
  4. Includes breakfast stop

    • Refuel after the sunrise with local Khmer cuisine
    • Nearby restaurants cater to tourists
  5. More time at Angkor Wat

    • Take in the sheer size and scope of the temple
    • Marvel at the detailed bas reliefs up-close
  6. Flexible itinerary

    • Add on visits to other iconic temples like Ta Prohm
    • Options to extend tour based on your interests

Sunset Tour Highlights

  1. Sleep in!

    • Starts in the late afternoon so no 4 AM wake up call
    • Relaxing pace lets you recharge between temple visits
  2. See Angkor Wat by day…

    • Explore the grounds, galleries, libraries in daylight
    • Discover details difficult to see at sunrise/sunset
  3. …and sunset

    • Climb up for panoramic sunset views
    • Watch the sky turn fiery shades of orange and red
  4. More temple options

    • Can include sunrise at other temples like Bayon
    • Flexibility to customize based on your priorities
  5. Beat the post-sunrise crowds

    • Sunrise tours all finish up around mid-morning
    • You’ll have Angkor Wat to yourself in the late afternoon
  6. Incredible photo ops

    • Prettiest time of day for photography
    • Capture the temple contrasted against pink and purple skies

Bottom Line

Both tours offer amazing Angkor Wat experiences – just at different times of day. The sunrise tour prioritizes beating crowds and seeing the temple at dawn. The sunset tour lets you sleep in, see Angkor Wat by day, then catch sunset. You can’t go wrong with either! Check SiemReapShuttle’s sunrise and sunset tour details to decide which works best for you.

Sunrise or Sunset at Angkor Wat? How to Choose the Perfect Tour

The iconic view of the rising or setting sun behind the silhouette of Angkor Wat should be on every Siem Reap traveler’s bucket list. But with both sunrise and sunset tours available, how do you decide when to experience this Cambodian wonder? Grab a cup of khmer coffee as we compare the pros and cons of each.

Embrace the Dawn with a Sunrise Tour

Get ready to become one with the roosters and rise before the sun on an Angkor Wat sunrise tour. The alarm clock shock is real, but watching the sky transform from black to pink to gold as the sun peeks over the temple towers is absolutely worth it.

The magic really happens when you have the ancient temple practically to yourself. Without the usual afternoon crowds, you’re free to roam the halls and galleries to truly soak in the meaning of this 12th century Khmer masterpiece. The silence is broken only by the occasional click of a camera shutter capturing that iconic sunrise view.

After working up an appetite, refuel with a breakfast of traditional num krok rice cakes and kuy teav noodle soup nearby before continuing on to explore other Angkor ruins bathed in morning light.

The sunrise tour is perfect for:

  • Early birds who don’t mind sacrificing some sleep
  • Beating the largest crowds and heat
  • Photographing Angkor Wat in peace
  • Appreciating the temple’s spiritual atmosphere

Angkor Sunrise with 3 Main Temples Tour

Take in the Grandeur with a Sunset Tour

Prefer to sleep in past sunrise? No problem! On a sunset tour, you’ll arrive in the late morning to spend ample time wandering Angkor Wat’s passageways and galleries in daylight. Without being rushed by sunrise crowds, you can fully admire intricately carved bas reliefs depicting Hindu mythology and epic battles.

After lunch, continue on to other incredible temple sites like the jungle-entangled Ta Prohm or the many-faced towers of Bayon. By late afternoon, return to Angkor Wat right as the crowds thin out. Climb up for an unforgettable sunset panorama lighting up the towers in gold. Watch the sky transform into a painter’s palette of oranges, pinks and purples – an awesome backdrop for photography!

End your day fulfilled, knowing you experienced Angkor to the fullest from day through night.

The sunset tour is ideal for:

  • Late risers who appreciate extra morning sleep
  • Seeing Angkor Wat’s details in daylight
  • Beating the sunset crowds
  • Dramatic sunset photo opportunities
  • Full-day exploration at a relaxing pace

Explore Angkor with Bayon Temple and the world-famous Ta Prohm (Tomb Raider) Temple

Choose Your Own Adventure!

Whether you pick a sunrise or sunset tour, you really can’t go wrong when Angkor Wat is involved. Both tours will show you the majesty of Cambodia’s most famous temple, just at different times of day. Pick the one that fits your sleep preferences and photography goals. Or do both, and get two awe-inspiring perspectives on this incredible 12th century wonder of the world!

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