The Angkor Wat Sunrise
06 December, 2009
Our first day in Siem Reap and we opted to see the famous UNESCO temples by first taking a sunrise visit to Angkor Wat. We met our tuk-tuk driver at 5am to travel in darkness, first to get our three-day passes to the temple complexes, then onto Angkor Wat, where he dropped us off outside to make our own way in.
That early in the morning, riding in an open tuk-tuk was freezing cold, so luckily we had some warmer clothes with us - not needed in the tropical heat of the day.
When we arrived at the entrance to Ankor Wat, we of course, hadn't seen any ruins so far, so didn't know what to expect. I was initially unsure about whether we'd find our way, but surprisingly, there were scores of people up and visiting this early in the morning, and we had no problem following the torch lights that people carried.
Passing through the outer wall, we found a load of people who had settled themselves just inside the wall.
The towers of Angkor Wat are still some distance away. I caught this shot of a tourist having his picture taken with a flash.
We decided to get a bit closer, at least because scores of people were still walking onwards.
And that's where we found even more tourists who were crowded along one of the two ponds just in front of the towers and the inner walls.
On the one hand, I found it hilarious that there were so many tourists, all there to do the same thing. But then, I guess that's just the way it goes. It's an experience in itself to be there.
In front of the lakes, with a reflection, was the spot to take a photo. This one above was from the pond on the right, which is the clearer of the two. Most people were crowded in front of the pond on the left, which was covered with water lilies.
When the sun rose behind the towers, it was clear why that was the better vantage point. It was just a shame for us that there was some distracting, green construction net there too.
With hindsight, that there were so many people shouldn't be surprising really, since December is in the middle of the peak season, and the ruins, of which Angkor Wat is probably the most famous, is the major reason tourists come to visit.
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Attractions. Cambodia. Tourism.
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