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Magical Sunset Moment on Bakheng Hill

Famous sunset over Angkor Wat from Bakheng Hill

Type the phrase of “Angkor Wat sunset from Bakheng Hill” on Google search; you will be treated surprisingly by hundreds of stunning sunset photos from Bakheng hill and thousands of articles about the magical sunset moment on the sacred hill. The sunset view over Angkor Wat on Bakheng hill, between Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom, is so famous that every visitor is advised to climb up to the hill once in their Cambodia trip to enjoy one of the most gorgeous sunset views in the world. There are thousands of people heading to the top of Bakheng Hill every afternoon to witness the magical moment of sunset in time. The excitement is limited in a short period of time from roughly 5 pm to 6 pm, merely 1 hour, which makes the sunset on Bakheng Hill become a legendary sunset and mysteriously attract travellers to the city of Angkor temples.

My own sunset experience

Joining the lines of people waking long the rough stone steps up to the renowned temple located on the top of Bakheng Hill, I was racing with the sun. I felt clearly the steps of time when the sun and I was moving towards opposite directions. I was heading up to the hill while the sun was falling down to the horizon. It was really hard to climb up a long steep path, I was not sure how many steps there are but it’s worthwhile to try to witness the spectacular sunset on the top. Unfortunately, I couldn’t reach the top in time, in our race, I was the one left behind (by the sun). I enjoyed the most beautiful view of the sunset at the place which is 20 steps under the hilltop. In my wet t-shirt after a long sweaty climbing path, I burst into happiness and surprise before the splendid picture of nature and human beings, the perfect harmony of nature and a manmade marvel. The stunning sunset on Bakheng hill captivates travellers by the scene of the mighty red sun slowly scattering “golden clusters” of sunshine into the vast plain of Siem Reap at the root of the hill. The plain of Angkor temples was suffused with mystic light as the remaining light from the heyday during previous centuries and became enlivening in the twilight. The 5 grand towers of Angkor Wat complex were poured into the quaint palette of sunset and seem printed their shadow onto the enchanting sky. Then in heartbeat, the glorious temples sank into a thin layer of grey mist and last sunlight sun as a secret cloth covering all creatures.

Phnom Bakheng Temple

When I reached the top, the magical moment has just gone by. This is the time for me to enjoy the remaining peaceful atmosphere after the glorious sunset. I realized Phnom Bakheng, the temple on the top of Bakheng Hill is also very impressive, however, people are usually too immersed in magic Angkor Wat in a sunset and neglect the ancient quiet temple. This is the most solitary place in all Angkor and the pleasantest. Five towers are arranged like the dots on a die. The tower in the middle contained the linga, considered the most significant and holy tower. Seated lions sculpted in the round are on each side of the slope near the summit, I guess they have been guarding the temples for centuries. Although there are a lot of travellers visiting the hill every day, the temple is covered by a holy atmosphere, which infers a sense of the sacredness of a Hinduism sanctuary. Except for Angkor Wat in the west, it’s possible to see Phnom Krom to the southwest near the Grand Lake, Phnom Bok in the northeast, Phnom Kulen in the east, and the West Baray. After the sunset over Angkor Wat on Bakheng Hill, I understand why long lines of people keep climbing quietly up the hilltop every day. They are looking for a precise moment that some are lucky to enjoy twice, once in their lifetime and others never have that chance.


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