Sunrise at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap (Timeline)
Breathtaking sunrise over Angkor Wat, the capital temple of Angkor.
So I had a great deal of drink the night before, with little or no sleep afterwards. There really wasn't any explanation needed as to why I woke up grouchy the next day, knowing that I have to be ready to leave the hotel at 5a.m. sharp to catch a ride to Angkor Wat.
I couldn't manage, and I was ten minutes late. Instead of being displeased, my guide was smiling from ear to ear when he saw me exiting the hotel lobby. I thought this guy must be crazy. Who the hell smiles before 8a.m.?!
"What time did you sleep?" he asked, totally bewildered by the fixed sullen face I had on the entire morning.
"At 3," I replied, while getting even more irritated when I realized that there wasn't a helmet for me.
"Oh! I slept at 9!"
Ah, that explained the permanent grin he had on. He was more excited for the tour than I was!
The journey from Siem Reap town to the Angkor Archaeological Park took about 20 minutes on a motorbike (longer for those going by cars or tuk tuks) (the perks of traveling solo). Before entering the site, we stopped by the ticket booths located right at the checkpoint to buy the temple pass, which is necessary to enter most major temples there.
Got to the temple at 5.45a.m., and it was still pitch-dark, moonless, but very crowded. A further five minutes of aimless and sightless walk is needed before you can get to the lake, where every single tourist from Siem Reap and their mothers gather. Be cautious when you walk, and try not to trip over tree roots, rocks, or someone's baby.
At approximately 6.15a.m., the faintest light beamed in the background, giving the monuments a majestic silhouette against the gleaming sky.
And then it was 7a.m., but still no sign of the sun. I decided to take a walk instead because I was standing beside the same group of people for more than an hour and I got to know all their dramatic family problems already. I figured it was better I leave before I start offering them relationship advices.
"Should have just come at 7," thought everyone.
And finally at 7.30p.m., the flaming star decided to uncloak. About damn time.
It was so exciting, seeing it soar to the sky from beneath the horizon.
Put on my earphones to stamp out the voices of yapping tourists and I instantly felt calm and soothed. It was almost as though I was being blessed!
It was a divine experience. Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world, was built in the 12th century and is a proof of deep-seated spiritual devotion and the sovereign Khmer supremacy. It is an honor that we are still able to witness this august masterwork.
No nude pictures allowed, please.
I sincerely hope that all those women who took pictures naked on these respectable religious sites will die in the most painful way possible (not a very nice thing to say but still...). Some people really need to learn how to respect the country that they are traveling to and show consideration for its people and history. Imbeciles!
Till we meet again!