Sunday, September 13, 2009
sunset locations, now that Phnom Bakheng, the prime spot for sunsets over the Western Baray, is a virtual circus. I was pleased to hear Sokuntheary, the ticket-seller, offer me both a three consecutive day pass or a three days in a week pass when I arrived at the ticket counter, as I'd heard you had to ask. We headed for the quiet temple of Eastern Mebon and saw the buses lining up as we passed Pre Rup, which didn't augur well for that temple. Meanwhile, Eastern Mebon was empty but the high tree-line negated it as a sunset location so we quickly headed back to Pre Rup. Here the Japansese tourist buses had spilled out their contents and with such a small temple by comparison to Bakheng, every available vantage spot was taken well before sunset arrived and ruined any hope of watching the sunset in peace and tranquility. Pre Rup has become a mini-Phnom Bakheng and don't forget this is the low season, so it'll only get worse after November. I had one last option as the sky darkened. Srah Srang was close enough so we got the car driver to drop us at the eastern end of the royal pool and we settled down to watch the sunset in that peace and quiet I was looking for. And considering the inclement weather of recent weeks, it was a lovely sunset too as the sky took on a hue of blues and yellows. Recomendation; if you are looking for your own sunset location and don't mind the crowds, then Bakheng will suit you. If you want some peace then you'll likely be on your own at Srah Srang or even Phnom Krom, if you don't mind the drive out towards the lake and a tough climb up the hill. The latter isn't everyone's cup of tea.