Photographing Angkor Wat
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Photographing Angkor Wat Siem Reap Reviews
Photographing Angkor Wat Apr 22, 2008
I made the mistake of visiting Angkor Wat in the morning. Since the entrance to the temple is on the west side, the morning sun hovers behind the impressive structure obscuring its depth and impressive detail. The exception for morning pictures would be to arrive pre-dawn. Angkor Wat can be photographed nicely - in silhouette - against a colored sky as the sun rises. The most spectacular sky colors are just before the sun appears above the horizon.
Upon entering the Angkor Archaeological Park, the Angkor Wat temple is the first monument encountered so it would seem natural to stop there first. An experienced guide would know better but motorbike or tuk-tuk drivers rely on you to know where you want to stop first. On my second visit, I waited until afternoon to visit Angkor Wat and the difference was unbelievable. After about 2:00 p.m., the sun brings the monument to life and its detail, depth, and clarity become much more apparent as you approach the structure.
The most popular sunset location is Phnom Bakheng (Bakheng Hill) which was the first major temple constructed in the Angkor area. It is outside the Angkor Archaeological Park so can be reached without paying entry fees. The hill is about a twenty minute motorbike ride from Siem Reap followed by a 15 to 20-minute easy hike up the hill. Elephant rides are available to the hill-top for $15. The views are spectacular and Angkor Wat can be photographed in distant jungle from there.
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