Shannon Did What?

Sunrise at Angkor Wat

TravelShannon Guerrero4 Comments

Sunrise at Angkor Wat is one of those bucket list experiences you have to have once in your life.  Sitting there watching the sunrise just behind the main temple of Angkor Wat was somewhat spiritual for me.  It was so incredibly beautiful that I almost wanted to cry.  I had dreamed about sitting there to witness that for years and it was happening right in front of my eyes.

There is a lot of thought that should go into your visit to watch the sunrise over Angkor Wat because it is such a widely popular experience to have.  I’ve completed a complete breakdown of instructions from day before through day of including where to view and what to bring.



The ticket off opens at 5am each day.  If you choose to buy your ticket the same day you’d like to see the sunrise, you might risk getting a good view.  Just like all of the temples, the ticket office is still a drive from Angkor Wat.  Don’t risk a good viewing spot, buy your ticket the day before.  FYI, tickets are available in 1-day, 3-day and 7-day variations.


In further preparation for your visit, there are few things you should pack before you leave your hotel.  Grab a plastic bag to sit on.  The ground will most likely be muddy and you have to wait an hour and a half for the sun to rise.  Unless you want to stand or sit on the mud, go to the front desk of your hotel to ask for some plastic.  Guaranteed they will be super helpful.

Other things to pack:
A flashlight - it will be pitch black out.
Snacks - if you get hungry easily, pack something for breakfast.
Camera - pretty obvious, right?


The entrance to Angkor Wat opens at 5am even though the sun won’t rise until around 6am.  Guaranteed the will be a crowd at the entrance even before 5am.  Don’t worry, the area to view the sunrise is a good 700 meters from the spot where they check your ticket.

The crowd is not actually a line so don’t worry about queueing.  Remember you still have to walk another 700 meters.  Our guide was yelled at by a couple of Asian tourists because they thought the crowd was a line and accused us of cutting.  Our guide had the best response to the outraged tourists.  Without flinching, he calmly said, “You may go first”.  It was hilarious.

Also, keep in mind that depending on where your hotel is, it could take more than 30 minutes to get to Angkor Wat in the morning especially if you take a Tuk Tuk.  They are significantly slower than cars.


After your ticket gets checked, walk down the stairs and across the water on the floating bridge.  Just after you walk up the next set of stairs, the traditional path leads you to the left.  This is where all of the other tourists will be literally running down.  Don’t go that way! Instead just continue walking straight (you may not be able to see the exit sign as it is pitch black outside) through the opening in the wall.

I know that sounds against the rules, but it did not seem that this was something you shouldn’t do.  After all, our guide took us this way and said it was completely ok.  I wasn’t too trusting of following him at first, but it truly is the best way to get to the best place.

In the photo below, you'll see a rectangle opening just above the second stairs in the center of the photo.  That's the exit.


After walking through the exit, you’ll end up at a water with a view of the temples behind it.  The main walkway should be on your left.  

There are two lakes in front of the temple with the main walkway in the center of the two.  The main pathway leads to the the lake on the left of the path.  This is where most of the tourists go.  Avoid it if you can.  The left lake can have a crowd that is 30 people deep and the right side may be only 10 deep.  Also, currently (as of January 2018) the temple tower on the far left has scaffolding in front of it.  When you sit on the right side, palm trees will cover the scaffolding.

Fortunately, we were the first at the left lake and were able to set up smack dab in the center of the lake.

The photo below shows the crowd around us at the right lake which was significantly less than the left lake.


About 30 mins before the sunrise, it’ll start to get light out. About 10-15 minutes before sunrise is the best time for photographs. The light changes very quickly, so heads up for you photographers, you’ll have to adjusting your settings. Bring a tripod for slow shutter speeds during blue hour or if you’re sitting you can just use your knee like I did.

Depending on the weather the day you go, you can see a rainbow of colors as the sun rising and the light changes.  In the earliest stages, the sky will be more of a blue color turning to purples and then to pinks.


If you can help it, mornings with scattered clouds will have the prettiest color sunrises. The clouds not only create interest in the sky but the reflections from the light on the clouds create vibrant colors.  You really can't help the weather you'll have just like attempting to see the Northern Lights.

Hope this guide is useful to you to witness one of the best sunrises you'll ever see.

Yours Truly // Shannon

Singapore 2-Day Itinerary

TravelShannon Guerrero1 Comment

Singapore is always a country I was interested in visiting but had always heard that it was super expensive to visit. I prepared myself a bit for possible pocket-gauging prices especially since generally traveling through Southeast Asia is very affordable and in most cases insanely cheap.

To my surprise, I didn’t end up spending an arm and a leg in Singapore. Sure, there are definitely ways and areas you will pay a lot. Stay at the Marina Bay Sands, eat at the restaurants at the Marina Bay Sands, go to the bars with views of the Bay, pay admission to the Super Trees or even go shopping in the plethora of designer stores. But you don’t have so do these things.

Here is a list of things to do while in Singapore and most of them won’t break the bank!


Little India is one colorful area of the city you should definitely explore. If you haven’t tried Indian food, this is a great place to do so. And if you love Indian food, you’ll find stalls and restaurants of authentic, delish dishes at your fingertips. The best part about this area is definitely the colors. There are tons of colorfully painted houses and artsy walls to snap photos of. 


There are two main stops to see when at the Gardens By The Bay, the Super Tree Grove and Cloud Forest.  There are ton more attractions to visit in the Garden like the Flower Dome, the OCBC Skyway or the many gardens and sculptures, but if you’re short on time the Super Trees and Cloud Forest are the must sees.  

Cloud Forest is actually home to the tallest indoor waterfall in the world.  It’s an incredibly impressive sight to see and the perfect way to cool down from the humidity outside.  If you love plants, Cloud Forest will be heaven for you.  You can get tickets for $21 USD for both the Cloud Forest and Flower Dome.

The Super Trees, though not actually trees, range from 25 to 50 meters tall.  They are vertical gardens that are designed to look like trees.  It is free to walk around the Supertrees, but if you want a more up close view and a higher vantage point, check out the OCBC Skyway.  You can pay $6 USD to access the walkway.


The Marina Bay Sands is the most recognizable building in Singapore.  It is lavish and the optima of luxury standing tall over the bay with three towers and what I can only describe as what looks like a surfboard across all towers.  The most spectacular views can be seen from the Skypark at the 57th floor of the hotel.  If you want to splurge for a night at the Marina Bay Sands, you’ll have access to the Skypark and the infamous infinity pool.  If not, you can still buy admission to the Skypark for views from the Observation Deck for $17 USD or there are a few restaurants to choose from to grab a drink or some food. Book your tickets in advance, 


It’s not very often that you have a chance to dine at a restaurant that has a Michelin Star.  I never thought I would have a chance to eat at one especially since they are usually super expensive.  Did you know that there are three foods stalls in the world that have been awarded this prestigious honor?  Well, two of the stalls are in Singapore.

Hawker Chan and Tai Hwa are two places to not pass up.  You get a Michelin Star meal all for a couple of bucks.  One of the cheapest meals you can get and one of the highest praised.


I didn’t realize how big of a foodie city Singapore is.  After trying some Michelin rated food, head over to TIan Tian for some of the best Hainanese chicken around.  Anthony Bourdian covered this food stall on his show No Reservations.  As with the two food stalls mentioned above, this place can get extremely busy.  Come ready to wait or go at an extremely off hour.  We went around 2pm and there was absolutely no line.  I’ve heard others say the line was out of control.

Hanoi Sahul - Hanoi, Vietnam

TravelShannon GuerreroComment

The city of Hanoi is one beautiful place.  It's full of such beautiful culture and incredible foods to try.  A stop in Hanoi is a must do on any trip to Southeast Asia and I found a great option for a place to stay.

The Hanoi Sahul hotel is a great, affordable option in Hanoi and it offers some really great amenities that would be any experience better.  If you love complimentary buffet breakfasts and a clean room, add Hanoi Sahul to your list.

I've broken my review down by category to make it easier for you to see all of the thing the Hanoi Sahul has to offer.


As soon as our car arrived at the Hanoi Sahul, the service was exceptional.  We were greeted by more than a handful of people that opened the car doors and retrieved our luggage.  After checking in we were escorted to our room.  The Hanoi Sahul are extremely aware and tentative to their guests.  I swear it felt like they knew where we were in the hotel at most times and made sure to escort us or call the elevator before we even turned the corner.  The staff was very helpful and flexible.


If you’re looking to stay in the Hanoi Old Quarter this hotel isn’t within walking distance.  However, it is extremely easy to travel anywhere around Hanoi from the Hanoi Sahul.  The hotel is about a 15 minute Uber to the Old Quarter which is usually less than $2USD. 

I actually liked that the hotel was more immersed in a more local area.  It somehow feels a bit more authentic.  The hotel is located very close by a couple of local malls with lots of places to eat.


The complimentary buffet breakfast that is included in your stay is one of the largest assortments I’ve seen.  You could have a meal and then some.  The spread included western and Vietnamese options and a giant from scratch Pho station.  What’s better than hot soup in the morning?  But seriously, I don't think I've seen a buffet breakfast this large that included such diverse and tasty options.


There are multiple amenities that the Hanoi Sahul offers.  They have two restaurants, an indoor pool and sauna, a karaoke club, massage shop and a bar on the top floor of the hotel with beautiful views of the city.  You can also get these 360 degree views from the second to top floor which is where the buffet breakfast is located.


The rooms are extremely spacious comparatively to most hotel rooms that feel like a small shoebox.  The rooms are clean, actually have English stations on the television, and a very high tech shower complete with about 6 shower heads to choose from. 

Next time you're in Hanoi, check out the Hanoi Sahul hotel!

You can check them out online, here.