Phnom Bakheng is a Hindu temple on a hill, where the first city of Angkor was found. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman (889-910 A.D.). Today, Phnom Bankheng became a popular tourist spot for breathtaking sunset views of the Angkor Wat, which lies amid the tropical forest about 1.5 kilometer to the southeast.
Phnom simply means “hill” in the Khmer language. Phnom Bakheng is a 65-metre hill a few hundred meters South of the gate to Angkor Thom. Walking up steep hill after a tour around the Angkor Archaeological Park can be a real challenge, but the view from the top, especially before sunset, is well worth it. You will see the sun go down over the western Baray while the five towers of Angkor Wat slowly disappear in the forest to the East.
From Siem Reap town, take the road to Angkor Wat until you arrive at Phnom Bakheng, which is on the left side of the road. Climbing up the hill is quite tiring, depending on your own level of fitness. The elephant trail is also a more leisurely option available at about USD10 per ride.