As the heat of the day subsides, take a moment to witness the sun making its glowing descent below the horizon. A kaleidoscope of intense, ever-changing colour sweeps across the sky, marking the end of another day in Siem Reap. During your stay, choose from our ten incredible sunset viewpoints. Our list caters for adventurers and zen-seekers alike, from mountainside vistas to city bars, hot air balloons and cruises. Sunset times vary only a little, ranging from 5.30pm to 6.30pm depending on the time of year. Plan your sunset viewing time accordingly, and don’t forget your camera!
Several of our recommended sunset viewpoints require a valid Temple Pass. However, the Angkor sites are free to access after 5.30pm.
The rewarding view from this out-of-town (12km south west of Siem Reap) viewing spot is of surrounding countryside. Dramatic skies signal the sun’s final burst of colour and light over the Tonle Sap lake. Allow plenty of time to reach this 140 metre high mountain and climb the rugged path to the summit. Recover from negotiating the steep ascent with a still and serene moment, taking in the breathtaking panorama.
This temple mountain’s name, translated as ‘turn the body’ led people to believe it may have once been a mortuary temple, used for funeral ceremonies. However, Pre Rup was King Rajendravarman II’s state temple. It was the second temple to be built at Angkor after the capital was relocated there, from Koh Ker, in the late 9th Century. A challenging climb to the top of the temple offers a sweeping view of the surrounding rice fields and jungle, making it the ideal spot to enjoy a sunset spectacle. Why not round up the day’s temple exploration with Pre Rup?
This 60-meter high temple mountain is a favorite site among sunset admirers. With its far-reaching countryside views, it’s a photographer’s dream, too. Visitor numbers are controlled at this popular countryside escape, and strictly capped at 300. We recommend entering the site and collecting your lanyard an hour before sunset, giving you time to mount the steep, narrow steps to the highest terrace. The sun makes its graceful and effortless descent over West Baray, casting a golden light over the towers of Angkor Wat.
Embark on a private or shared sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake and witness one of the most breathtaking sunsets in the world. As the sun sets over the lake, the sky transforms into a stunning display of orange, pink, and purple hues that are reflected on the tranquil waters below. While on board, you’ll have the chance to capture the lake’s unique floating villages on camera and witness its rich biodiversity, including various fish species, birds, and reptiles. Contact us for more details or to book your unforgettable sunset cruise on Tonle Sap Lake.
This tethered hot air balloon rises 120 metres above the ground, giving passengers the all-important sunset view of Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng and Tonle Sap Lake. Time your ride for just before sunset as the stunning vistas make it a popular go-to for tourists seeking an Instagram-worthy sunset. Temple passes aren’t required if you opt for the 20-minute drive from the city, past the old airport. Don’t miss out on this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to witness Angkor Wat and its surroundings from the sky in the golden light of sunset. Get in touch with us for more details or reservations.
Operating daily, with a 6pm closing time to allow for sunset voyages, passengers can enjoy the gently passing scenery of Angkor Thom’s great wall, from its meandering moat. These traditional Khmer boats can accommodate up to four people, and special occasions can be catered for. Reach out to us for more information or to reserve your memorable sunset boat ride.
Sip a cocktail and relax with friends! Sundowners can be enjoyed at several rooftop bars in Siem Reap, where you can unwind with the added bonus of the sun setting against the backdrop of an illuminated cityscape. Choose from Jaya House Riverpark’s rooftop west-facing Sky Bar, with its riverside location (Happy Hour is 5-7pm daily) or The Aviary Hotel (50% off cocktails & beers between 5-7pm at The Glide Bar). Khema Angkor’s rooftop bar offers regular live music events as well as an artisanal menu featuring grills, cheeses and seasonal platters.
The fabulously fun Pub Street area may seem an unlikely spot for catching a sunset, but the neon-lit hub of vibrant night life in the heart of Siem Reap is a lively place to start the evening. Order a refreshingly cold drink as the sun goes down at one of the many venues with upstairs terraces for the best views. Packed with cocktail bars, live music, local and international restaurants and bright lights, Pub Street continues to lure tourists and locals from sundown until the small hours.
Built during a period of prolific expansion during the Khmer Empire in the 11th Century, this artificial reservoir near Angkor Thom is a popular swimming and leisure spot. Shaded hammocks are available to rent along its shore, or hire a boat ($20 per boat, so take your friends and family along, too). Bring a picnic or visit the array of food vendors, and find a vantage point on the viewing platform on the east dike to view the serene setting of the sun over the water.
The ancient capital city of the Khmer Empire makes a perfect end to a day of temple touring. Having visited the Terrace of the Elephants, and the Terrace of the Leper King, head to Angkor Thom’s south gate. It’s an ideal location for viewing the dazzling sky at sunset over the temple’s moat. Catch the colours reflected in the water, as well as reflections of the temple and its statues. It will be crowded here, but less so in the evenings, as many group tours begin their temple circuit with Angkor Thom first thing in the morning.