How to get a Free Sunset at Angkor Wat?

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This might come as a shock to many.

But Angelina Jolie did not act in Angkor Wat!!

lara croft

In fact, the Angkor Wat is merely the tip of the Angkor iceberg.

welcome to angkor wat

Angkor literally means “city”, and Wat as “temple”. Hence the city of temples – Angkor Wat. (The queen of all temples)

Now I don’t want to start on the history and origin of the Angkors because that would probably cover a book, which I have here in my hand, called the “Ancient Angkor”, a book on the stories and history descriptions of every single Wat they have at the Angkor.

You can find the details of Angkor here, and Angkor Wat here.

In this entry, I am going write about something more useful and practical, like I always do. Lol.

I am going to teach you how to get a free sunset at the Angkor. Why? Because the entrance fee to Angkor is not cheap.

one week and 3 days pass booth

For budget travellers like me who can’t stay put for too long, spending three full days at the Angkor is just too much. I bet my petty arse that by the end of three days, I’ll most probably be too templed-out to want to see another similar-looking stone sculpture in the jungle.

One day pass costs USD20, but then you only have from sun rise till sun set to cover a vast area of temples, say at least 26 km on the road just for the main temples.

I’m talking about just the green line on the map.

View the full map of Angkor here.

Two days seem sufficient but then I’ll be paying the same amount as I will pay for three days – USD40, that means I will waste one full day, and that’s just not worth the value.

Hence the best way, is to buy a one day pass, and enjoy a free tour during sun set the day before the ticket become valid!

one day pass

Now put on your sunglasses, wear a black shirt (it’s dusty!), get a cheap town bike from the city, and off you go.

nicolekiss at siem reap hostel

Cycle north of Siem Reap for about 10km or so (if you’re staying at the most southern area of Siem Reap like me, else it would only be 6-7 km at most),

cycling back to siem reap from angkor wat

and stop by the ticketing counter on the right of the road to wait to buy the entrance ticket at 5pm (after this time the ticket will be valid for the next day).

ticketing stop

When you obtained your ticket, you will have your ugly exhausted sweaty face pasted on the front of the paper one day ticket.

angkor one day pass
With my ipod on

Continue to cycle north along with all the tour buses and cars and tuk-tuk who are too much a loser to take cheap transportation like renting a bicycle. Pfft…

the road to angkor wat
Bus driver: “Eat my dust, blogger!”

When the brilliant light of the sun turned golden yellow, you will find yourself at a road next to the river surrounding Angkor Wat.

riverside view of angkor wat

Continue to cycle around and soon Angkor Wat will come into vision.

angkor wat

“Finally!!! The long awaited legendary Angkor Wat!” I thought to myself.
“I’m actually here!”

“Now what?”

Don’t you just hate it when you have finally seen the 8th wonder of the world and suddenly all the anticipations just die off because in the end, it’s not THAT difficult as how you would have anticipated to actually be here and see this.

Though I have to admit it was a long cycle.

It’s like yea now that I am here, ticked off a box in my wanna do list, should I move on to the next?

But yea, Angkor Wat!!! Woo hoo!!!

angkor wat close

lion statue at angkor wat
900 year old lion!

The entrance to the main garden of Angkor Wat after crossing the river bridge,

angkor wat centre entrance

By now the sun should be catching up pretty fast, casting a gorgeous tan on the long stretch of pillars

angkor wat pillars

And shadows within the corridors,

pillars at angkor wat

And synchronised group cam whore in bright pink shirts!!!

pink tour group at angkor

Kid carrying baby asking for money,

kid and baby at angkor

Not as sincere, I gave them some money and his peer laughed at him cause it was too little -.- (I only have 200 riels with me, hey! I’m a poor traveller k?! Why do you think I cycle in the first place!)

Inside the temple, you will find the statue of Vishu, Hinduism god, wrapped in robe asking for donation.

buddha statue inside angkor wat

I’m pretty much disturbed by this because seriously, it’s a ruin. In my very personal opinion, without offence to any religion, this is a ruin, a thousand year old ruin for that fact; and these locals just barge in to this sacred place, wrapped some golden robe around some ancient statue, put some joss sticks and asked for donation from visitors and travellers around the world. I don’t know, I think it’s just plain wrong.

It’s one thing to be respectful, it’s another to “cheat” money off random religious tourists. I met a guy traveller back at the hostel who complained that when he tried to donate 500 riels, the lady who were “responsible” for the donation and joss sticks actually “reminded” him that it was too little!


Other than the over-commercialisation, the temple itself is pretty eerie and beautiful at the same time.

posing at angkor wat 2

Really, it’s a wonderful place to experiment with your camera self timing skills.

posing at angkor wat

Before you manage to go any further into the temple, the guard would be asking you to leave as it was near 530pm closing time.

Get a very last look at the beautiful sun set (that came free!!!) at Angkor Wat,

sunset at angkor wat

Before making your very own AW jump! (I have a sudden inspiration to do this)

jumping at angkor wat
Yea baby! Hard Rock café shirt rules!!!

Now you know how to get a free sunset at Angkor Wat. Say thank you. Bye~ :D


20 kissed Nicole

  1. Beautiful photo's of a beautiful place! I love photo #16 best. :)

  2. #17 now. You better be done editing now cos I'm not gonna triple post in a row. :3

  3. how did u do that jump! :D

  4. Hi nice photo taken. May I know what camera you using..

  5. nice photos you took...:D..think you should have took up design in the first place..or were you?..:P..hehe...

  6. did you go for any sunrise ?

  7. I love your travel entries. :) It's very informative. I'm thinking about where to go for the next long holidays (next month - Harvest Festival public holiday in Sarawak so Monday and Tuesday are off days) and Cambodia seems like a nice place from your entry.

    P/S - Love your new banner. Very, very delicious...and I don't mean the strawberry. ;)

  8. Nice photos. I never knew angkor wat is so huge. Will definitely be heading down there at least once before it sinks. I read somewhere it's sinking every year.

  9. Did you self-time that jump as well? Impressive.

  10. The jumping photo is very nice ar, how did u do it? many times did u try wor?...hehe...just curious...:)

  11. Nice picture of Angkor Wat with the lake in front... and nicer picture of an Angkor Wat jump! :)

  12. hey nicole. i read your blog from time to time =)

    i was in cambodia for a week from the 6th of May to the 12th. and looking at your pictures, i have to say that i have most of the shots that you have. almost identical actually. even the jump (i make it a point to jump anywhere in the world i go). hahahaha.

    i guess most people have the same kind of perspectives of angkor wat.

  13. Hey Nicole,
    I read your blog from time to time. More so now, since I'm planning a trip to cover Cambodia, Laos and Vietnam at once.

    You did your Masters in MMU right? I was studying in the Malacca branch too for 4 years for my degree. Hehe.

    Anyway, I have the same dream of travelling the world too. My greatest obstacles are the travelling alone part and finances. So, I really salute you that you seem to be handling both really well!

    You're an inspiration, and keep up those tips on travelling cheap ;).

    Here's to achieving our dreams!

    Btw, I'll be in Europe for the next two years, France, Finland, Netherlands, so if you happen to be in those places the same time as me, you're welcome to share my dorm. Will help to keep those costs down, huh? ;)

  14. Thank you :-)

  15. Hmm..refering to your Tomb Raider location is it Tha Phrom ????

  16. Im gonna join and say the same stuff... your jump.. impressive!

  17. hey, what time did you set off from your hotel?

    where did you "park" your bike when you were in the temples?

  18. Hey Nicole, fantastic post and thanks so much for the info. I'm visiting Angkor Wat soon and you really set me thinking whether I should get a 3-day pass! :)

  19. how many days did you take to go to all the temples at angkor anyway?