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Phnom Bakheng, Srah Srang, and Preah Rup's insider take:

Hilltop Phnom Bakheng lures thousands for sunset but is much more pleasant for sunrise. Experienced hikers can make a frontal assault on the incline in less than ten minutes, or there's a less-taxing trail to the south that takes about twice as long. Once you're at the temple base, negotiate the cliffs that pass for stairs to check out the views. Stick to the southeast side and you'll see the sun climb above Angkor Wat, the shadow of the sacred stones shifting by the second. Or, head five miles east to the landing terrace of Srah Srang, a large (nearly 2,300 by 1,000 feet) ceremonial pool that catches the dawn's first light. The uppermost terrace of 10th-century Preah Rup, a well-proportioned temple-mountain one mile east of Srah Srang, offers panoramic sunset views of the countryside and Angkor Wat's banana-bud towers without the aggro of Phnom Bakheng.

Information may have changed since the date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.