Gallery: 11 superb sunset spots around the world
Dusk is that magical time of day, favored by painters, photographers and postcard manufacturers.
But where can you see the best sunsets in the world?
We've picked a few that we think stand up to that claim.
We'd love to hear about your own favorite sunset spots too, in the comments section below.
1. U Bein Bridge, Mandalay, Myanmar
When sun sets on the world’s longest teak bridge, one of the world's most picturesque sunset views begins.
U Bein Bridge, named after former Mayor U Bein, is a 1.2-kilometer wooden bridge across Taungthaman Lake.
The bridge, busy by day with Buddhist monks and locals, seems to relax when the sun goes down.
Daily flights connect Mandalay with other major cities in Myanmar. For more info: website
2. Maasai Mara National Reserve, Kenya
The word "magnificent" could have been defined in Maasai Mara.
The expanse of savannah appears to be stained red, and the bewitching sunsets complement the land perfectly.
The best time to come is from July to October, when the annual migration of zebra, Thomson’s gazelle and wildebeest come to the Mara from the Serengeti.
Lodges, camps and balloon safaris are available inside the reserve.
It takes 45 minutes to fly to Maasai Mara from Nairobi and two hours from Mombasa, Diani Beach or Malindi. For more info, visit: www.maasaimara.com/the-mara/getting-here
3. Aci Trezza, Catania, Italy
Aci Trezza is a small fishing village on the east coast of Sicily. It's the town where Giovanni Verga set his 1881 novel "I Malavoglia" ("The House by the Medlar Tree").
The Islands of the Cyclops -- three column-shaped basalt rocks -- are the main attraction for visitors. According to legend, these rocks were thrown by Polyphemus at Ulysses.
The Mediterranean spot sparkles with golden sunlight at dusk.
Aci Trezza is about 10 kilometers from Catania. Daily shuttle buses and trains from Catania to Aci Trezza are available. For more on how to get there, visit www.ictmp.ct.cnr.it
4. Dubai, United Arab Emirates
For something truly dramatic, try a desert sunset atop a camel in Dubai.
The sand dunes, the lolloping gait and the distant Dubai skyline all add up to create a classic Arabian sunset.
Failing that, you can consider a view from the 1,000-meter-long Jumeirah Beach, a white sandy stretch along the Arabian Gulf with private beaches and top-notch facilities belonging to luxury hotels like The Ritz-Carlton -- open to the public for a small fee.
Dubai is a global air hub, attracting numerous international airlines from such major cities as Beijing, Hong Kong and Washington.
5. Grand Canyon, Arizona, United States
“I believe in evolution. But I also believe, when I hike the Grand Canyon and see it at sunset, that the hand of God is there also,” said U.S. senator John McCain.
Millions of people visit the the 445-kilometer long, 29-kilometer Grand Canyon to catch the sunset every year.
Hopi Point, where you can see the varying layers of rock, has been recommended as the best place to view it.
Daily flights, buses and trains to Grand Canyon National Park run from Phoenix, Flagstaff and Las Vegas daily. For more on how to get there, visit: www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit
6. Guanshan, Kenting, Taiwan
This Guanshan Sunset is one of the great attractions of Southern Taiwan.
Guanshan is a 152-meter-high mountain inside Kenting National Park and offers the best viewpoint to see the Hengchun Peninsula, a popular tourist spot in the south of the island.
The peninsula has no train or highway, making it a natural paradise. Here you can find beuatiful hot springs and forests.
The pavilion adjacent to Fude Temple (Gaoshanyen) on Guanshan Trail offers the best viewing point for sunsets.
Kenting National Park, open 11 a.m.–7 p.m.; daily flights and trains to Kenting are available from major cities in Taiwan. For more on how to get there, visit www.ktnp.gov.tw/eng/important
7. Miami Beach, Florida, United States
Famous for its bikini girls and surfers, this barrier island is also one of the best places to scout out sunsets.
You can track the sun from the beach resorts along the 12-kilometer beach or from the sand itself.
Daily flights to Miami Beach are available from major U.S. cities; www.miamibeachfl.gov/visitors
8. Oia, Santorini, Greece
Romance is the key word here. And the hilltop town of Oia is now a well-known sunset destination.
The porous volcanic rock and white and blue houses backed by a crystal Aegean Sea make for a startling scene.
People flow into every restaurant, nook and cranny along the cliffs in the afternoon to witness the sunsets.
Daily flights to Santorini are available from Athens; www.santoriniairport.com
9. Phnom Bakheng, Angkor, Cambodia
Known as “Sunset on the Hill," Phnom Bakheng is a popular place for a Cambodian-style sunset.
The Hindu temple built at the end of ninth century is on top of a hill, giving great views of its more famous sibling, Angkor Wat.
Take an elephant ride and you can avoid climbing those steep steps yourself.
It’s better to get there early to get a good spot. The temple closes at 6.30 p.m.
Phnom Bakheng is 1,500 meters away from Angkor Wat. Daily flights to Angkor Wat, Siem Reap are available from major cities, including Bangkok, Shanghai and Singapore. For more on how to get there, visit: www.tourismcambodia.org/company
10. Uluru and Kata Tjuta, Northern Territory, Australia
The domed rock rises 348 meters above the desert plain, extends five kilometers beneath it and has a circumference of 9.4 kilometers.
Kata Tjuta, aka The Olgas, is a range of 36 variously-sized rock domes 36 kilometers to the west of Uluru.
Thanks to these two giant wonders, the national park is a UNESCO World Heritage area.
The Uluru rock appears to change its colors as the sun beams over the desert landscape, hitting Kata Tjuta in the background too.
Daily flights to Northern Territory are available from major cities in Australia. For more on how to get there, visit: www.environment.gov.au/parks/uluru/visitor-information
11. West Lake, Hangzhou, China
West Lake boasts an exquisite sunset scene -- Leifeng Xizhao meaning Leifeng Pagoda in the sunset.
The pagoda became famous with the spread of the legend of Madam White Snake, said to have been jailed in the pagoda for decades.
The original Leifeng Pagoda was built in 975 to celebrate the birth of Wu Kingdom’s prince. It collapsed in 1924.
What we see by the lake is a five-sided, eight-floor pagoda rebuilt at the same place in 2002.
15 Nanshan Lu, Xihu District, Hangzhou; Daily flights and trains to Hangzhou are available from major cities in China, jing.leifengta.com/web
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First published August 2012, updated February 2013