“The sun does not shine for a few trees and flowers, but for the wide world’s joy,” Henry Ward Beacher.
Humans have been obsessed with the shining ball of light that powers life on earth for thousands of years. Since the earliest days of civilization, we’ve gathered together to watch it rise and fall.
But where can we see these epic events in their full glory today?
Mornings.co.uk found the answers on TripAdvisor. It used the number of sun mentions on the travel review site to create a list of the world’s greatest sunrise and sunset locations
The greatest sunrise in the world
If you want to experience the most beautiful sunrise in the world, you’ll need to book your next trip to Angkor Wat, Cambodia. Its epic sunsets received over 10,000 glowing Twitter mentions; that’s more than any other location in the world.
The sun rises above Angkor Wat’s ancient Buddhist temples, reflecting purple, green, and amber shades across the surrounding lake.
“The walk through the trees to the east gate, and on to the main complex, is magical,” wrote one TripAdvisor reviewer. “Often, there’s no one around at an early hour, and the birds sing as it grows light.”
Best places to see the sunrise
Haleakala Crater on the Hawaiian Island of Maui is the second-best place to watch the new day dawn, according to its number of Tripadvisor mentions (3,933). This volcanic crater attracts an estimated 1.5mllion people a year, with many describing the morning views as “a religious-like experience.”
The iconic Taj Mahal in India took the third spot, followed by the magnificent Borobudur Temple, Indonesia, and then Arizona’s Grand Canyon.
With over 1,000 mentions, Uluru in Australia’s Northern Territory is worth a special mention. More commonly known as Ayers Rock, this sandstone monolith is around 550million years old. A sacred mountain to indigenous Australians, Uluru glows from red to orange to purple as the sun rises and falls.
The best sunset on the planet
To experience the perfect end to a perfect vacation day, head to Mallory Square, Key West, Florida. According to those who share their travel experiences on TripAdvisor, sunsets here are better than anywhere else on the planet.
Every night thousands of locals and tourists gather for the Sunset Celebration. It’s a nightly arts festival at Mallory Square Dock waterfront featuring crafts exhibitors, street performers, and food carts.
Most beautiful places to watch a sunset
The Burj Khalifa skyscraper in Dubai got over 5,000 mentions for its stunning sunsets, putting it into second place.
Top of the Rock, the tallest building in the New York Rockefeller complex, came a close third with 4,968.
The Piazzale Michelangelo in Florence attracts sunset chasers from all around the world. And 3,440 of them used TripAdivers to share their experiences.
Other places on the top 10 list include two Indonesian temples, Tanah Lot and Uluwatu, the Empire State Building, and the Eiffel Tower.
Poems and songs have tried to capture the glory and mystery of the sun. But, ultimately, it’s a thing beyond words. Maybe that explains our ongoing fascination with its rising and falling.