The world’s most coveted sunsets? The earth’s most awe-inspiring destinations? We’re probably never going to agree. I’ve already accepted that. But that’s fine, because a sunset is personal to each traveler, each individual. Which is why this list will never be an objective piece. My travel boots have taken me to so many amazing places in the world, as I’m sure so have yours, and even if we mirrored each other country by country, city by city, town by town, we’d never agree.
Everyone experiences something different when they visit a new place, and sunsets are quite often the most memorable. I’m not sure whether it’s the closure we get from the sun retiring in the sky, the feeling of warmth from the orange and crimson hues, or the opportunity for reflection as the night draws in, but sunsets have the power to silence a crowd.
The sun setting over the Great Pyramids in Egypt or the Grand Canyon in Arizona is, of course, magnificent. The fiery glow illuminating the Great Wall or the Taj is, as expected, just breathtaking. But that all goes without saying. I’ve chosen 5 sunset locations which mean something to me. You may not feel the same when you go there but I hope you like it anyway…
Angkor Wat, nr. Siem Reap – Cambodia
A sunset anywhere in Cambodia is beautiful to me; I’m moved by its history, terrified by its corrupt government and incredibly touched by its people. But the views of Angkor Wat are just incomparable. There are so many incredible locations around the world, but very few carry the harrowing and mysterious past that Angkor Wat does. If you feel like you’ve learned a great deal as the sun sets over the temple, you’ll enjoy it so much more. (Image credit)
Lake Windermere, Cumbria – England
There’s something so incredibly English about enjoying a pint or two in a quaint little beer garden – and watching the sun withdraw over the country’s largest lake really makes me proud to be British. The Wateredge Inn is the perfect place to sit and watch the Cumbrian sunset, and even though you won’t be the only one there, you’ll feel like you’re the only one who matters amongst the silent drinkers admiring the sun’s reflection in the lake. (Image credit)
The Eiffel Tower – Paris, France
Some of you may think that this is just a giant metal monstrosity. And yes, I realize I couldn’t have picked a more “touristy” location. But this Paris hot spot offers a little something for the locals after the ticket booths slam their little windows shut. I love an Eiffel Tower sunset more for the atmosphere than the location – and what can I say – the French know how to live.
Stick around and wait for the tourists to clear in their hundreds. Bring a few bottles of champagne, a fresh baguette, some brie and some grapes. Join the locals as they toast to the sunset and wait for the Eiffel Tower lights to turn on. The atmosphere is incredible, not because of where you are, but because of the locals’ urbane way of toasting to something un-materialistic. (Image credit)
Lebua State Tower, Bangkok –Thailand
I discovered the 63rd floor Sirocco restaurant long before it became a movie sensation (The Hangover II), and I still maintain that it’s one of the most spectacular places to dine in the entire world. Just one sheet of glass away from the muted hustle and bustle of Bangkok down below, you’ll feel close yet faraway. This is a great way of seeing the crazy city from a height that very few people ever will, and a sunset here is served with a side accompaniment of wind in your hair. (Image credit)
Café Del Mar, Ibiza – Spain
Sunsets aren’t always about romantic spots and secluded settings. In Ibiza, the bigger the crowd, the better the sunset. There’s nothing more mind-blowing than a coastal sunset, an ice cold Mojito, spine-tingling trance chill out and crowds of music fans enjoying life. (Image credit)
Author bio: Mags Yip is the author and editor of The Smart Girl’s Travel Guide, a budget travel guide specializing in South East Asia traveling, Europe travel and other parts of the world.
Follow her on Twitter @SmartGirlTravel or join her on Facebook.