Golden Hour At Pre Rup

Bakheng is the most popular spot for sunset viewing in Angkor. And natuarally the most crowded. So we chose Pre Rup instead. The relatively quieter state temple of the 9th century Khmer king Rajendravarman II.

There couldn’t have been a more fitting finale to our four day visit than to watch the sun slip quietly behind the horizon from the top of this second oldest temple in the Angkor complex. The ochre of its ancient laterite and brick, made all the more radiant and mysterious by the warm glow of late evening light.Pre Rup, Siem ReapHere are more images from that evening and of the sunset that followed. The spires you see in the horizon, just below the sun in the sunset shots, are those of Angkor Wat!

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Thank you for visiting and have a great weekend.

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Madhu is an Interior designer turned travel blogger on a long sabbatical to explore the world. When not crafting stories on The Urge To Wander, she's probably Tweeting @theurgetowander or sharing special moments on

97 thoughts on “Golden Hour At Pre Rup

  1. I’m in awe. These are majestic subjects. Photos are excellent and the light glorious!

  2. Another unique fact about sunset watching at this ancient temple is the volume of people who turn up. It would seem as if every tourist that is in Siem Reap goes to watch sunset at Phnom Bakheng. When we went there, maybe more than 1000 people turned up.

  3. Amazing work and commendable indeed.. sorry, I am a bit late on comment as I was busy..great luck..

  4. Ummmm – how beautiful it is, especially in that golden light. Speaking of the Angkor Wat tower/s, I loved how they would pop up, unexpectedly, from across the plain – I suppose that was the idea 🙂

    1. This is just one among many amazing temples there! In fact it gets hard to shortlist which ones you want to visit!

  5. So pretty…I can’t wait to visit Angkor! You’ve done a great job making me want to go. 🙂

  6. One day I will stand at this hallowed site and be reminded of the gift of your stunning photos.

  7. All of those photos are glorious.
    Most interesting to me —- the traveler climbing up those steep, steep steps. A wide shot gives a sense of ease, no challenge, no problem.
    This gave me a vivid spatial perspective. Thank you!

  8. We missed going to Cambodia earlier this year when a couple of friends went. We were invited to join them but we had agreed to spend some time with friends. Perhaps another January.

  9. hi Madhu, I like the words of your intro: “Bakheng is the most popular spot for sunset viewing in Angkor. And naturally the most crowded. So we chose Pre Rup instead…”

  10. They are like pillars of gold, ooozing self importance – I love them 🙂 I also really like the photo of the man in the doorway 🙂

  11. “Radient and mysterious,” the perfect description for your gorgeous golden hour photographs, Madu.

  12. Stunning sights for sure Madhu and beautifully captured! Thanks for sharing hon. 😀 *hugs*

  13. Superb pictures Madhu! Thanks to you now my desire to go back to Cambodia has got even stronger. 🙂 From your post series on Cambodia and Laos it seems like you had a wonderful time exploring that part of Southeast Asia. Looking forward to more of your stories from other parts of the world! 🙂

  14. Fabulous Madhu. I think your photos will take some beating in this challenge, but maybe that’s because I’ve always wanted to visit Angkor.

  15. I couldn’t wait to see your choice! Pre Rup ! Wonderful !

    1. Thank you. These and the ones over the Mekong were some of my best sunsets ever Angeline!

  16. Great idea for the challenge. We did Angkor Wat 2 years ago and had to do very early mornings to beat the heat. The photos were beautiful as they were all in the earliest morning hours. I see you did the same!!! Beautiful shots.

    1. Thank you Tina. This one was late evening. But we did visit other temples at dawn and that was amazing too.

  17. King Rajendravarman II – the influence of ancient Indian civilizations is obvious in many parts of South East Asia.

    1. Yes it is. And I find it so fascinating! The Khmers are supposed to have descended from the union of Khambu an Indian princeling and Mera a Naga princess and the name Khampuchea is derived from Khambuja or ‘Sons of Khambu’!

  18. Went up Phnom Bakheng during a different time and it was deserted. Don’t recall taking a sunset shot at all while in Siem Reap – now that I’m looking at your gorgeous shot, I’m just scratching my head 🙂

    1. That is surprising Dennis! I witnessed some of my best sunsets ever in Siem Reap! Do check out my Mekong Sunsets post for proof 🙂 We returned to Angkor Wat one evening for sunset. It was worth the effort to watch the entire temple light up with the last rays of the sun!

  19. Love the golden light, is this in Ankor Wat?
    I’m inviting you to join us on a regular photo tour link up on Mondays called Travel Photo Mondays, take a look

    1. Not Angkor Wat Noel, this is an older temple called Pre Rup in the Angkor archaological park. Appreciate the invitation to the photo link up. Am traveling at the moment. Shall check it out on my return.

    1. Thanks Amy. Have fallen behind on my blog reading again. Posting from an airline lounge at 3.30 am! Promise to catch up on my return from Paris 🙂

      1. i know how things light up at that time, but you still have to ‘see’ it, which you do so very well 🙂

    1. Me too Gilly, particularly since we were quite ‘templed’ out by then! But the theme demanded I choose the ones shot moments earlier 🙂

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