Once a day around the world the sun rises and then it sets. What’s perhaps most beautiful about this process is the fact that the sunrise and sunset never look the same in different places around the world. Whether you are watching the sunrise over ancient ruins or lazing on a beach watching it set over the horizon of the sea, the sun always seems to put on a show. Lighting up the sky with multiple colours and tones, changing shapes and sizes, and appearing different with the clouds, there are many best sunrises and sunset in the world. Here are some exotic places to travel and watch sunrise and sunset around the world.
1. Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia
Although on any given day hundreds of people gather in front of Angkor Wat in the Angkor Archeological Park, the sunrise over the ancient temple is no less magnificent. Rising behind the three visible and iconic towers, the sunrise is completely different every day of the week. Rain or shine, the sunrise at Angkor Wat is truly magical. On occasion, clear skies ensure the sun comes up in a red hue in the sky while other times clouds cause colours of purple and blue hues. Since hundreds of people flock to the temple complex every single day to watch the sunrise, it is necessary to arrive early in order to get a front row seat. Organize a tuk tuk driver to pick you up before 5am from Siem Reap and make your way to the temple while it’s still dark. Arriving before 5:30am will ensure you have one of the best seats in the house to watch the sunrise over the ancient temples, making it an unforgettable and once-in-a-lifetime experience.
2. Easter Island, Chile
Due to it’s semi-remote location, watching the sunrise over Easter Island is a rare experience. Not many visitors to Chile make it out to Easter Island, which is located a few hours flight out into the Pacific Ocean. Completely surrounded by nothing but the sea, the island is best known as the home of the Rapa Nui statues. With plenty of statues sitting in a straight line on the tip of the island, watching the sunrise over the statues is a breathtaking experience. With no obstructions in the way, the sunrise is often clear and crisp. Occasionally clouds will make the sunrise a light show, with hues of red, yellow, purple, and blue. To reach Easter Island, you must take a flight from Santiago, the capital city of Chile. Direct flights to the island ensure you arrive in a few hours on the one airline that offers a single daily flight. If you happen to be on the stunning islands of Tahiti, you can also take a direct flight to Easter Island from there.
3. Cappadocia, Turkey
Known for it’s fairy chimneys and surreal landscape, Cappadocia is located in the heart of Turkey. With hundreds of incredible and natural rock formations that have been turned into homes, shops, restaurants, and an entire village, the sunrise over this surreal landscape is one to remember. Many visitors to the region take to the skies in hot air ballon before the sun comes up to see the show from high up in the skies. Although hot air ballon prices are steep, it is well worth the once-in-a-lifetime experience. Whether you take the balloon ride or not, watching the sunrise over the fairy chimney rock formations is incredible. To reach Cappadocia, it is easy to fly to the nearby airport or take a bus from any major cities around Turkey. Balloon rides are offered by a few companies and tend to be similar prices, depending on the season.
4. Tulum, Mexico
Well known for it’s pristine beaches, crystal blue waters, eco-friendly and environmentally sustainable tourism, and Mayan ruins, Tulum has long been drawing travellers in from far and wide. Seemingly winning over the hearts of all those who visit the area, Tulum sits on the eastern coast of Mexico, offering up incredible views of the sunrise. Unobscured by islands, land, or buildings, the sunset seemingly comes out of the sea and often lights up the sky in a variety of different colours. Dark reds, yellows, and orange hues light up the sky depending on the cloud coverage. A few people gather on the beach to watch the sun come up over the sea, making it an incredibly peaceful experience. To reach Tulum, you can fly into the nearby Cancun airport and take a bus down the coast.
1. Ipanema Beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
Located in the heart of Rio de Janeiro and known as one of the most famous beaches worldwide, Ipanema Beach sees the likes of hundreds of thousands of visitors every single year. Locals and tourists alike gather on the pristine beach to play volleyball, swim in the crystal clear waters, socialize, drink, party, and watch the sunset. The sun sets behind some of the unique mountains that are well known along the coastline of this part of Brazil. Although the sunset often serves as an event for hundreds of people on the beach every day, it is still arguably one of the most unique and beautiful places to watch it set in the world. To reach Ipanema Beach, it is best to fly into Rio de Janeiro and find your way to the beach via taxi from there.
2. Santorini, Greece
Known as one of the most romantic destinations in the world, Santorini is located in the Mediterranean Sea and is part of the Cyclades Islands in Greece. Surrounded by volcanic activity, the island is home to hundreds of white buildings with their iconic blue roofs, doors, and details. Built on the side of the cliff with the island rising out of the water, the island has some of the most beautiful and quaint architecture in the world. Many people gather along the coastline of the island to watch the sunset over the beautiful buildings. With churches, swimming pools, little hotels, and residences, there are many fantastic places to watch the sunset over the little city of Oia. Many people gather on balconies at nearby restaurants and enjoy delicious meals of seafood while watching the sunset. To reach Santorini, it is easy to fly to the island or take a ferry from the mainland or a nearby island.
3. The Maldives
Located in the Indian Ocean and quickly becoming one of the hottest travel destinations in the world, the Maldives is home to hundreds of little islands. Many of these little islands thrive from tourism and are home to stunning over the water cabins, hotels, and restaurants. From these little islands known as atolls, the sunset is a nightly event that is never missed by anyone. Disappearing back into the sea from where it came earlier in the morning, the sunset in the Maldives often puts on a colour show, with hues and tones of red, yellow, orange, purple, and blue. Depending on the clouds, the colours can change as well as the visibility of the sun. Furthermore, the Maldives offer some of the best star gazing in the world. To reach the Maldives, it is best to fly from nearby countries like Malaysia, Thailand, Sri Lanka, and India. Many of the small atolls have airports or boats that service them.
4. Bagan, Myanmar
As Myanmar has recently become a safe place for tourists to travel, the region is quickly building up its tourism. In the center of the country, Began is known for its thousands of temples scattered throughout the Plains of Bagan. These temples can be explored by walking, bicycling, electric biking, or driving. Many of the temples can also be climbed, hosting many tiny staircases inside of them. Once on the roof of a temple, the sunset from the top is incredible. From here, you will be able to watch the sun set behind hundreds of the temples. Oftentimes, the sunset is bright hues of yellow, orange, and red. Many people gather on the more iconic temples to watch sunset, however head further inland into the plains and find a temple that you can call your own. Bagan is best explored by riding a bike or renting an electric bike, which ensures you can go down the tiny, dusty roads where cars and tour buses can’t. To reach Bagan, you can fly from bigger cities in the country or take a bus or a train.