Phnom Bakheng: The Premier Destination for Sunset Views in Angkor

Phnom Bakheng: The Premier Destination for Sunset Views in Angkor

PHNOM PENH, June 3, 2024 – As the sun dips below the horizon, Phnom Bakheng Temple offers one of the most enchanting sunset experiences in the Angkor region, located in Siem Reap province, Cambodia. This temple is not only one of the oldest in the Angkor Archaeological Park but also a popular destination for its breathtaking panoramic views.

Constructed in the early 10th century on a 70-meter-high hill, Phnom Bakheng was the pioneering temple-mountain built at Angkor. It serves as an exceptional vantage point, offering visitors sweeping views of Angkor Wat, the expansive surrounding forest, and the vast Baray reservoir. The temple’s location on a hill allows for a dramatic display of the sky’s transforming colors at dusk, with shades of red, yellow, and orange painting a picturesque scene.

Visitors are advised to arrive by 4 p.m. to secure a spot at this coveted location, as access is limited to 300 people at any given time to preserve the tranquility and integrity of the experience. The site provides an ideal setting for photography enthusiasts aiming to capture the majestic scenery of Angkor Wat and nearby temples from above.

Phnom Bakheng is dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva and was built by the Khmer King Yasovarman I when he moved his capital to what is now known as Angkor. Here, he established a city that spanned 16 square kilometers—larger than the later city of Angkor Thom. The temple itself is a pyramid-shaped structure representing the sacred Mount Meru, with seven levels that symbolize the seven heavens of Hindu mythology. Originally, 108 towers graced its grounds and upper tiers, corresponding to the lunar phases, each cycle lasting 27 days.

Despite the passage of time and the collapse of most of its towers, Phnom Bakheng remains a significant cultural and historical symbol. It once served both as a temple to Shiva and as the tomb for King Yasovarman I, linking it deeply to Cambodia’s royal heritage and religious traditions.

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