Star Gazing: My early morning adventure in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia

Wednesday, June 10, 2015


The one thing I HAD  to do in Siem Reap was see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. Being raised on the…


To be early is to be on time, to be on time is to be late, to be late is not to be


motto, I wanted to be at Angkor Wat at 4 am. The sunrise is at 5:30 am. That meant I needed to leave my hostel by 3 am, which I totally did.

The thing about 3 am. IT IS PITCH BLACK, and there is NO ONE on the roads. I found that to be both AWESOME and TERRIFYING. The cool part was the peacefulness of the city and being able to see the beautiful stars. The scary parts was the fact that I was alone, in the dark, on roads that I didn’t really know. Towards the end of my drive I got to an intersection and I was more-or-less lost. Should I go straight? Should I go right? Not knowing what to do, I just sat and waited. Eventually someone had to come by…right?!?

Sure enough, two boys came motoring down the street, and I stopped them for directions. My Khmer is non-existent and they didn’t really know English, but they did know the word “Angkor Wat”. They told me to go right and sure enough, 500 m down the road was Angkor Wat shimmering in the moonlight.

With an hour and a half until sunrise, I just sat and stargazed. The moon was full enough that I could clearly see the outline of Angkor Wat.

Simply divine.

By 4:45/5 am they started letting people into the temple, and I am proud to say I was one of the first three people there 🙂 It took me about 10 minutes to set my camera up, and then I sat. By 5:20 the masses started to arrive. SO MANY PEOPLE.

I was really hoping for some fluffy clouds but the colors were still beautiful…


Angkor, Cambodia


Angkor, Cambodia


Angkor, Cambodia


Angkor, Cambodia



By 5:35 I got the pictures I wanted so I packed up and headed out. People were still arriving. I would be SO angry if I had paid for a sunrise tour and missed the sunrise!

I got a coffee to go and started my Angkor Temple Tour.







Angkor, Cambodia


Look at my cute ride!


Angkor, Cambodia



Banteay Kdei



Ta Prohm



Hands down my favorite temple in Siem Reap.





Neak Pean


Not so pretty in dry season…



Brunch and Bike Charging


At this point both my bike and I were running dangerously low on fuel. Thank goodness there was a free-charge-point/restaurant near Neak Pean.


Angkor, Cambodia


Once I got my bike plugged in I ordered the Fried Beef Salad. Perhaps I was just super hungry, but this meal was SO GOOD. Sour-Spicy fried beef, with fresh veggies, fried egg, and rice. NOMNOM (Sorry! not my best pictures! I was very hungry lol)



Prah Khan




At this point (12 pm) I needed a break, so back to the hostel I went.

By about 4 pm I was hungry again so it was time to head to my third TREE Alliance Restaurant, Marum. Happy Hour started at 4 pm with 50% off cocktails so I ordered a Frozen Mango and Coconnut Daiquiri.


Marum, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Then I ordered Lotus, Jackfruit, and Coriander Hummus…


Marum, Siem Reap, Cambodia


So good.

Then these showed up.


Marum, Siem Reap, Cambodia


Yup. Those are crickets. Being a very common snack in Cambodia, I knew I needed to try at least one. It took me about 10 minutes, but I eventually summoned the courage to eat one. The taste was excellent, but the texture was not my favorite. I think if I kept trying them, I would eventually get used to the texture and learn to love the popular Cambodian snack.

My final dish was a “Truly Khmer Dish” called Khmer Pork Salad with Fresh Mint, Red Onions, and a Lime Chili Vinaigrette.




Like Makphet and Romdeng, the food was exquistite. I HIGHLY recommend TREE Alliance restaurants!!! Not only is the food “to die for” but it is a great organization working to help the local community.


After dinner, I returned my bike and enjoyed the even at Common Grounds working on my blog (in air-conditioning!).


Tomorrow I head back to Thailand to the island called Koh Chang!


Love always, Arianna the Wandering Pipette





Article Name
Star Gazing: My early morning adventure in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Sunrise and temples galore in Angkor, Siem Reap, Cambodia.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *