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“Terrible at sunset”
Review of Phnom Bakheng

Phnom Bakheng
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US$97.50*
and up
Private Tour: Angkor Wat Ancient Temples Full-Day Tour from Siem Reap
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US$19.00*
and up
Full-day Small-Group Angkor Wat Tour from Siem Reap
Ranked #66 of 184 things to do in Siem Reap
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Owner description: Phnom Bakheng 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.
Reviewed 29 April 2014

Avoid this place, it is an absolute circus around sunset. It is touted as the best place to view sunset over Angkor Wat but there are so many people it isn't very enjoyable. The circus starts when you arrive around 5pm along with masses of other buses, tuk tuks and all manner of transport weaving itself around you. There is a long staircase to climb before you arrive at the temple. The stairs are in a sorry state and in desperate need of repair. You can try getting an elephant up the hill. Remember to bring a torch because these steps are extra treacherous on the way down.
The temple itself is just ok. The crowds really spoilt it. You can only just see Angkor Wat. Reflections in nearby Tonle Sap are more impressive. Amongst the tourist there were a few monks and someone playing the flute - which made the experience almost bearable.

Thank Jolyon67
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
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215 - 219 of 574 reviews

Reviewed 21 April 2014

We visited this place during the eastern holiday which made the tourist even more. We hiked up about 20 minutes with thousands of people and to find a very long queue to enter the temple. We were there at about 5pm. Looking from outside the temple does not look really interesting, but I might be wrong. I think this place is over-rated.

1  Thank martinmetal
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 13 April 2014

Very nice elephats for 20$. They ride to the mountain, but come back by foot - there are some nice view points from the hill on the way.

Thank Dani K
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 5 April 2014

After you've seen half a dozen temples, they all start to look the same. Bahkeng is different in that it sits atop a hill, and you have to climb maybe a thousand feet up a dirt path to reach it. Tour guides recommend this temple for viewing sunsets.

We were highly entertained by the wild monkeys, which are not intimidated by tourists. We'd asked another visitor if she'd take our photo on the viewing deck just below the temple entrance and, while we were posing, a monkey jumped on her shoulders. She wasn't aware he'd been climbing toward her, and she startled, screamed, and ran to her boyfriend, who consoled her. Fortunately she brought us back our camera, and didn't drop it in her panic.

Bahkeng is much smaller than the other temples, and a maximum of 300 people are allowed on top at any given time. Dress code is strictly enforced. A young lady ahead of us was provided a red checkered shoulder wrap and a stern lecture by one of the staff after she arrived wearing a fitted top with spaghett straps. (No bare shoulders, no cleavage, etc)

We didn't get much of a sunset view, as it clouded over late afternoon. We waited about half an hour for the sun to start setting and got a couple of photos where red streaks were poking through the gray sky. Then abruptly one of the staff began barking at the crowd, "Time to leave, no sunset tonight! I want to go home."

That was pretty amusing too. I didn't blame her - she must have sweltered all day in the heat, supervising tourists climbing around, for about two dollars pay. Dutifully, we all arose and started climbing our way back down. All in all a very enjoyable experience, but not for the reasons you'd think.

1  Thank FancyFree55
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 2 April 2014

This temple gets poor reviews because of the crowds at sunset. I would recommend going after sunrise; at that time, we were the only people there. It is a great place to get some elevation and see around the park (including a shot of angkor wat from a distance), get photos at a temple without anyone around, and get some exercise by doing a hike/run on the hill to escape the flat lands around siem reap.

1  Thank tdsbu
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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