Phnom Bakheng

Attraction Phnom Bakheng, Siem Reap, Cambodia Published on: 13-11-2015

1 hours 30 mins
05:00 AM - 06:00 PM
04:00 PM
05:30 PM
First-time visit
Must see
Temple & Monument
20.00 USD

Phnom Bakheng is good for

Good for family with kids Family with kids Good
Good for senior Senior Good
Good for couple Couple Good
Good for solo Solo Good
Good for group Group Good
  • Highly recommended by fellow travellers.
Phnom Bakheng is served as the temple mountain of the first city of Angkor. Elephants can take you from the bottom to the top of Phnom Bakheng Mountain.

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Why Phnom Bakheng is special ?

Phnom Bakheng is one of Angkor’s oldest temples. It was built as a state temple between the late ninth and early tenth centuries, when King Yasovarman constructed it as the centerpiece of his new capital, Yasodharapura, later absorbed into Angkor. The first mountain-style temple built there, Phnom Bakheng represents Mount Meru, home of the Hindu gods. Despite its architectural and historical significance, the temple is popular today mainly for its panoramic view of Angkor Wat.

What to explore at Phnom Bakheng?

The temple was built on Bakheng Hill so you need to climb up the hill first. The climb takes about 15 minutes.
From the top of the temple, you can get a 360 degree view over the surrounding area. To east, Angkor Wat, to west, West Barray and the great view is worthing every effort of the climb.
If you want to enjoy the gorgeous beauty of this site, sunset is the best time to visit. This is when can avoid the crowds of tourists.

How to get to Phnom Bakheng?

As always, tuktuk is the transportation of choice while in Angkor Wat and Siem Reap. It should be around $5 if you’re going from your hotel in Siem Reap. You can just say to your driver that you want to see sunset at Angkor Wat, and the default location will be Phnom Bakheng (doesn’t that show you how famous it is?).

The driver will drop you at the entrance to Phnom Bakheng, and he will wait for you until you come down. Looking for your driver after you get down can be confusing too! There will be so many tuktuks lining up, and in the dark, you can not make out clearly which is yours.

It would be a good idea to ask approximately where he will park, or agree on a meeting point so he can wait for you there.


Selling points

  • The most beautiful sunset in the world
  • Perfect Sunset
  • Worth the climb for the view
  • Good spot for sunset
  • Visit in Time for Sunset
3 days with friends in Siem Reap

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3.0 days
457.90 USD
Total travel distance
Number of places
25 places




Phnom Bakheng, Siem Reap, Cambodia

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Tips for you

  • Plan to leave for the temple around 4, so you can be at the temple at 4:30. And then, you will need another 30 minutes or so for the hike up to the temple. At 5, you'll be all ready with your camera to take shots of the whole 360 degrees view.
  • You need to be dressed appropriately, e.g. long pants, shirt with sleeves, no tank tops or shorts.
    What to wear
  • During busy season there will be elephants that can take you to the temple and back for $15 dollars each way
  • They also do not allow Tripods as you take the stairs up to that point where a limited number of people are allowed to go up and wait for the Sunset.


FourSquare View more

$20 elephant rides to the top, $15 elephant rides to the bottom, but it presents a moral dilemma as the elephants are prodded with sharp objects if they don't behave.

TripAdvisor View more

First of all we climbed in an elephant, great ride and experience but a little bit pricey for Cambodia, and it is torture for the poor elephants, they have them going up and down with the seat on their back (it is supposed to go on the neck so they won't get hurt) they also carry the seat with a rope tied around their stomach and it makes friction so you can imagine. I did not like it at all, I wanted to take a picture and the drivers were so in a hurry, they just wouldn't let me. (I took it anyway but it wasn't so great) Then when we got to the top of the mountain and the top of the temple the amazing sunset was not amazing at all. We sat there for about an hour to wait for the sunset in the heat, I took some good pics, and the view of the three towers of Angkor Wat is really nice but that is it. If you have the time and energy go for it, if not don't worry, you won't be missing a lot. If you want to ride an elephant (to the top of the mountain) you should get there between 3:30 and 4:30. Dress properly, otherwise you won't be able to get into the temple.

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