The Tourist Sights Worth Waking Up Early For
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The Tourist Sights Worth Waking Up Early For

Flickr/Sharilyn Neidhardt

We know, we know, rolling out of bed early after a night out is the last thing you want to do while on vacation. Isn't not getting up early one of the reasons you're on vacation in the first place? Wrong! 

Well, mostly right, but it turns out there are a few tourist sights around the world so spectacular when viewed at the crack of dawn that you're absolutely gonna want to set the alarm clock, no matter how hard you went the night before. Trust us, these are those sights.

Ganges Boat Ride

Varanasi, India
When you're waking up: 5 a.m.
Why you're letting tomorrow morning ruin tonight: Seeing the busy riverbanks in the morning glow is like stepping straight into the pages of Nat Geo.

With the first signs of the sun, pilgrims from all over India flock to the shores of the Ganges in Varanasi to bathe, pray, do laundry, and cremate their loved ones (but not all in the same spot!) before the heat of the day sets in. A one-hour rowboat ride—which can be arranged in advance at your hotel—up and down the bathing ghats offers the best view of the action. Whatever you do, though... do not touch that water.

More from Thrillist: The World's 9 Most Disappointingly Small Tourist Attractions

Giving Morning Alms

Luang Prabang, Laos
When you’re waking up: 5 a.m.
Why you’re letting tomorrow morning ruin tonight: The monks parade through town every morning to collect their daily food from devout villagers and onlookers.

The collecting of alms in Luang Prabang has become one of Laos’ most iconic sights. The silent, single-file line of orange-cloaked Buddhist monks winds through town and tourists are invited to take part by placing morsels of rice into their collection bowls. Things are less crowded in the town’s backstreets, where there’s also a fascinating local morning market where they sell everything from eggplants and crabs, to catfish and live frogs.

Feeding the Dolphins

Monkey Mia, Australia
When you’re waking up: 6:30 a.m.
Why you’re letting tomorrow morning ruin tonight: Daily dolphin interactions at Monkey Mia begin at 7:30am.

Jostling for a chance to feed a fish to a wild dolphin may sound gimmicky, but hey, SeaWorld stays in business for a reason, right? Western Australia’s Monkey Mia beach is much cooler than SeaWorld, though, and allows guests hang up close and personal with Flipper in his natural environment. Just don’t be THAT guy running down the beach trying to catch up with the dolphins as they swim away. Also, watch out for the emus—they’re scary.

Borobudur Temple

Java, Indonesia
When you’re waking up: 3:30 a.m. (ooof)
Why you’re letting tomorrow morning ruin tonight: Seeing the ancient temple at sunrise is nice, but real talk: this is Indonesia—try to go places in a car during the day and you’ll be stuck in traffic for hours. So you really have no other choice.

Borobudur is one of the world’s most impressive ancient Buddhist sites that you’ve never heard of. Others have, though, and the place is heaving with tourists during the day. So, if you’re staying in Jogjakarta as most visitors do, the hour-long drive is best started before sunrise when the roads are clear (still, rock that seatbelt HARD) and the temple grounds are empty. That sunrise photo op and the sweet tie-dye temple T-shirts sold in the parking lot are just added perks.

For more early morning sights, see the full list on Thrillist.com.

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