chasing sunrise in angkor wat

chasing sunrise in angkor wat

Chasing Sunrise in angkor wat

Visiting Angkor Wat Complex

Visiting Angkor Wat has always been my dream since I first visited Cambodia on a solo trip 10 years ago. The complex itself has more than 100 temples (big and small). This time I took the Angkor Wat Small Circuit Tour that comprises of 4 main temples in the complex. One of them is Angkor Wat and the rest are Bayan, Ta Phrom, and Banteay Kdei Temple. Read on below to see more of our exploration in this UNESCO world heritage site.

We started our tour at 4.30 am where our drive picked us up in the hotel and the car went around the town to pick up the remaining tour participants. Upon arriving at the temple ground, it was still dark, the crescent moon appeared on the background. The sound of nature like crickets, frogs, and other animals greeted us as we passed by the bridge to enter the Angkor Wat complex. The weather was chill and I honestly haven't woken up that early for so long, but the entire effort was so worth it. Upon our arrival, we saw people lining up in front of the pond to take sunrise view and photos of the Angkor Wat. The reflection on the water and seeing the gigantic religious monument in front of my eyes is indeed spectacular.

The temple ground

Inside Angkor Wat Temple

This temple complex located in Yasodharapura (now: Siem Reap) was built in 12th century by King Suryavarman II and was completed in 28 years. It was originally a Hindu temple and is 162 hectares wide. Unlike most Khmer temples, Angkor Wat is oriented to the west rather than the east. This has led many to conclude that Suryavarman intended it to serve as his funerary temple. In 1177, the new King Jayavarman II continued to built the rest of the complex and converted it to a Buddhist temple. Upon entering the main building we saw the Hall of Thousand Gods (top images). There are four ponds at the first level where visitors cleaned themselves before meditating and praying.  Below is the original bas relief of the Hindu Story Ramayana, Mahabharata, and the Churning of the ocean. 

Then we headed to the next area, going up to the upper most level where the King used to pray and overview of the temple's upper most level. We climbed very steep stairs to reach the upper hall. I must stay that goof and fit stamina and energy is needed to explore the entire complex as it is only one of the four temples we visited. Upon reaching the upper level, we took some time to admire the bird eye view of the temple complex and the greeneries. The view was breathtaking. Then we went down the stairs again to continue our journey. Stay tuned for part two of the Angkor Wat complex exploration in the next post!




  1. Love the pictures! Gorgeous.


  2. Omg LOVE this!! So beautiful!

    Lots of love,
    Krissi of the marquise diamond

  3. Lovely photos, nice place to visit
    You can check out my new post using this link : https://www.melodyjacob.com/2023/10/the-blessing-in-emergency.html

  4. Such a gorgeous place and the pictures are amazing!

  5. I never been to Angkor Wat before, but in Indonesia there are some temples that look similar with Angkor Wat (I am sure it's different), however, I love all the pictures you take, next year I probably going to visit! xoxo, Chels

  6. So much history and what a beautiful/rustic place.



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