Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

How do you feel about waking up at the crack of dawn when you're on vacation?

Challenging, but we rose at 4:45 am one morning in Cambodia. We had heard the sunrise over the temples at Angkor Wat was not to be missed. Our means of experience: balloon ride.

At first, we were grumpy and felt we had succumbed to tourist scam as the balloon ride cost a whole $15 per person. I know, I know, but that is pretty expensive by Cambodian pricing structure, even for tourists. I'm fully aware that here in Japan or the States, it would be a great deal. In any case, we were skeptical and sure we'd made a bad decision.

However, I'm pleased to report that in the end, we were not scammed. We did get thrashed around by the wind up there, but the view was so worth it.

Afterwards, we also strolled around the temples in those wee hours of the morning. Strangely, for reasons unbeknownst to me, most of the sunrise-at-the-temple diehards seem to take off, leaving the area virtually empty and perfect for touring without the constant person on your heel and in your picture.

With time on our side, we grabbed a coffee at one of the breakfast stations, and sat for a while taking in the natural splendor.

One of my favorite mornings ever...

Cambodia Travel Tip #5: The balloon over Angkor Wat experience can be had any time of day, though sunrise and sunset rides are most popular. Ask your hotel concierge to make a reservation for you when you arrive in Siem Reap.


Kirsten said...

Looks like it was so worth it! I missed the geysers in the Atacama desert because I would have had to get up at 3 AM. It was the tail end of the trip and we were tired! Probably should have bitten the bullet though :)

Becca Runs Sometimes said...

Sounds wonderful. I've always wanted to go to Cambodia (most people think that's a bit strange) and there is a travel running organization here who does a Great Wall of China Marathon trip that includes a visit to Angor Wat. I always see the ads and it looks amazing, but your posts and photos are unique and intimate. Do you solicit groups like that? Like travel cyclists or running groups?

Fly Girl said...

I'm not a morning person but I'd brave the crack of dawn for an experience like this! The views look gorgeous.

Ekua said...

I think the only time I'm willing to wake up that early is when I am traveling, haha. Angkor Wat is sooo worth it!

Mary and Sean said...

In Egypt years ago, I missed out on the Valley of the Kings because I just couldn't get up at 3 am either. I regret it to this day!

Mary and Sean said...

You can easily do a trip to Cambodia on your own without any tour needed... but I'm sure there are cycling and walking tours out there though!

Mary and Sean said...

Fly Girl,
Yeah, it was tough crawling out of bed that day, but I think to compensate, we went to bed super early that same night.

Mary and Sean said...

Spoken like a true traveler... I'm willing to do all sorts of uncharacteristic things on my trips as well!

Anonymous said...



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