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Phnom Bakheng, Siem Reap

3.2
#11 of 46 in Historic Sites in Siem Reap
Ruin Landmark
The world-famous sunsets at Phnom Bakheng draw as many visitors as the historical temple itself. This temple mountain--a typical Angkor design representing Mt. Meru, birthplace of the Hindu gods--was the first of its kind in the city. It dates back to the 9th century, when it was built by King Yasovarman and dedicated to Shiva. The temple sits on a five-level base and has five towers, with 104 towers distributed evenly around the lower levels. Early morning remains the least-crowded time to visit the attraction; expect lots of visitors during the day, and especially during the spectacular sunsets. For travelers who use our international travel planner, Siem Reap holidays become easier to arrange, with trips to the Phnom Bakheng and other attractions mapped out and timetabled.
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16 days in Cambodia & Thailand BY A USER FROM UNITED STATES September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: September, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 8 days in Cambodia & Vietnam BY A USER FROM HONG KONG August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 3 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 3 days in Siem Reap BY A USER FROM MALAYSIA January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: January, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 5 days in Siem Reap Province BY A USER FROM CAMBODIA September, popular PREFERENCES: September ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 34 days in Southeast Asia BY A USER FROM NEW ZEALAND December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: December, culture, outdoors, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 15 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM BRAZIL January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced 17 days in Vietnam, Phnom Penh & Siem Reap BY A USER FROM UNITED KINGDOM October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: October, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, historic sites, museums ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 16 days in Asia BY A USER FROM INDIA October, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping, popular PREFERENCES: October, kids, culture, outdoors, relaxing, romantic, beaches, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 23 days in Thailand, Laos & Cambodia BY A USER FROM NETHERLANDS August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites, popular & hidden gems PREFERENCES: August, culture, outdoors, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular & hidden gems PACE: Medium 7 days in Cambodia BY A USER FROM CANADA January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites, popular PREFERENCES: January, culture, relaxing, beaches, historic sites ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Medium 11 days in Southeast Asia BY A USER FROM UNITED ARAB EMIRATES August, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping, fast-paced, popular PREFERENCES: August, kids, outdoors, historic sites, museums, shopping ATTRACTION STYLE: Popular PACE: Fast-paced
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Where to stay in Siem Reap

Siem Reap offers attractive accommodations on every budget. Inexpensive family-run guesthouses provide clean, private rooms with access to the host's wealth of information. Hostels catering to backpackers cluster around the old market squares. Four- and five-star resorts welcome guests to retreat from the city into sleek modern interiors or rustic village havens, while mid-range hotels with sparkling pools fill in the spectrum. All can be booked online in advance, but with the abundant options at hand you shouldn't have much trouble finding a room upon arrival.
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4.2
  • People everywhere. Overcrowded. Weather dependent on a sunset. Only very small of views of Angkor Wat but it was covered by trees and a crane the temple itself was underwhelming as well. Also, don't b...  more »
  • WE didn't ride the elephant because most of my friends said it is cruel to the elephants. So, we just pass there without trying to ride on them. It seems we shouldn't encourage this business if possib...  more »
  • If you plan to see the sun set on Angkor Wat either get there early (around 4 pm) or otherwise expect a long queue and the risk to miss the view altogether, as they only allow 300 people into the temp...  more »
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  • A good spot for some sunset pics but get there early as the place is packed by 5.30 pm. Be in position by 5 pm otherwise you may need to wait on numbers to leave before being allowed up onto the temple at the top. Apparently, it’s 300 maximum allowed up on the structure at any one time.
  • Don't tell anyone but this is the ultimate sun rise temple. 20 minutes hike through the jungle in the dark feels spooky but as the path is wide there is no chance to lost the way. I was the only person at the temple from 5:00am to 6:30am - when the first guard arrived long before any other visitors. As the temple is on the top of the hill From Here you can see horizon in all directions: Dawn fogs raising from the jungle and clouds forming at the top of the distant mountains, descending down along the slopes, Angkor Wat domes, sky reflecting in thesurrounding wetlands.
  • Will be so picturesque after the restoration works are complete. Currently the stones of a completelly disassembled shrine are of interest. They lay down on the ground all numbered and looking like new. The stairway straight up to the mountain is closed off, so you can choose either the elephant path or a shaded circular route. The elephant path is best for a quicker descent.
  • Beautiful spot for sunset. Make sure you are early though as only 300 people are allowed up there at anyone time.
  • Phnom Bakheng is a place that you can enjoy watching sunset with a very appealing green view around this mountain. You need to walk from the gate where is at the ground to the top of mountain, and the route is quite comfortable for people. Instead of walking, you also can use to ride on elephants by paying some fees to the local there. However, you need to wear appropriate clothes if you wish to go up to the mountain. For example, women cannot wear shorts or mini-skirt to climb the mountain because it is a holy place. Walking on the road along the forest, you will reach to the top of mountain. There is a temple up there as well that you can have a photo taken.