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Published: June 20th 2005
Sunrise at the most famous of Cambodian temples.
I'm glad we waited a couple weeks instead of coming here first thing. The anticipation has been building and it was well worth the wait. Anisa suggested going to see sunrise over Angkor Wat, the main temple, which sounded like a wonderful idea to me. I didn't realize that if we watched the sunrise at 6am we would have to leave town in our tuk tuk at 5am, which meant waking up around 4"3O am. It was easier than I thought it would be and was a pleasure to be up at that hour since it's not swelteringly hot and humid at 5am. 7am is another matter. That sun is strong.
The temples. I'm not sure I can put them into words. I tried to write in my journal earlier and came up with lots of adjectives "overwhelming, extensive, pervasive, majestic, dominating, awesome, massive, towering, incredibe" It just doesn't give the feel of the place. It's a good thing I can attach photos to this, though unless they were several hundred feet tall, they can't really give you the whole idea either.
Since Anisa is a genius
The outer halls around all four sides of Angkor Wat are halls of bas reliefs carved in sandstone. Each wall tells a story from Hindu mythology with a little Buddhist influence in some.
we managed to avoid all the crowds and tour busses by following the opposite of the usual itinerary. The halls were silent. The courtyards were empty. The entirety of the experience invades you. The forest and the temples really are one, except for Angkor which was never abandoned to the jungle and has survived much better than Ta Prohm, which is where some scenes of Tomb Raider were filmed. . I have two more days of my 3 day pass left, so stay tuned.
Juab kh'nia th'ngay kroay
PS there are musicians on some forest paths and it's so nice to walk through the forest listening to traditional music. Most of the musicians are land mine victims and very talented musicians. Other notable, lots of biting ants.
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