I was initially against the thought of doing a “sunrise” on the first day as I needed rest since I have not had much sleep on my first night. However, I cannot really complain because I only have three days to spend there and might as well follow the plan. Call time was at 5am so I was expected to wake up at 4:30am. That was not really a problem because I ended up waking up at 4.
A three-day temple pass costs $40. Daily pass costs $20 so you save up the same amount if you choose the three days. There’s a toll gate where you can purchase the ticket, pay up and have your picture taken for the ticket. This way, the ticket can’t be used by anyone else. Always have the ticket with you, as most temples require the ticket before you can enter.
We arrived at the end of the west causeway of Angkor Wat at around 5:30am. It was still dark, but you could see a lot of people coming in. A few hundred meters from the causeway is the area where the people wait for the sunrise. It is a shallow pond located near the temple. Find a spot, settle down and wait for the sun to rise. Even though I went at an early time, I was already 2-3 rows of people away from the edge of the pond. The more people in front of you, the more difficult it is to take a shot without getting the heads of the people in the picture. It is, after all, a haven for photographers, waiting for that special moment to get those breathtaking shots.
After a seemingly long wait, the sun started to appear at around 6:30am. You will get the cue when you hear nonstop clicking of cameras. It was difficult for me to get some shots at first, but eventually, I was able to find the right angle.
It was quick, just like watching a solar eclipse, so you really have to make use of every moment and take as many pictures as you can. Soon enough, people start packing up and I was able to get near the pond. After a few more shots, it was time to head back for breakfast.
Photos from my Flickr.