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Moon over Angor Wat.

Moon over Angor Wat.

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One of my best traits is the ability to go all day, with boundless energy. It sort of reminds me of Shasta, who recently passed away. She would chase a ball or a stick until the person throwing it would get tired. However, Shasta would also collapse upon returning home from the park, hike, or whatever activity we were doing. Same deal with me. When I am done, I shut down. I’m out. So, this bit of information segues with my sunrise visit of Angor Wat. In other words, I had a blast at this mysterious site – exploring each temple with enthusiasm, curiousity, awe, and unbelievable gratefulness that I was able to see such a beautiful historical landmark . . . Upon returning to my hotel room later that day, like Shasta – I collapsed and slept the rest of the day and night. 

This shot was taken at around 4:45am with my Moto X Smart Phone.

This shot was taken at around 4:45am with my Moto X Smart Phone.

I must have been crazy scheduling a 4:45am sunrise visit of Angor Wat the day after I crossed the Pacific ocean on a 27 hour plus flight! After scheduling this tour, I had no idea that jet lag would cause me to wake up in the middle of the night and not be able to return to sleep. In short, I was up from 2am until departing for Angor Wat at 4:30am. Hilarious. So much for planning on going to bed at 11pm and waking up at 4am. Pfffttt!

Anywho, I was told this is the best time to visit Angor wat. Why? To beat the heat primarily. Essentially, you’re able to visit 4 separate sites – Angor Wat, Preah Khan, Bayon and West Prasat in one visit and relative comfort. More specifically, you should be able to complete your visit before noon, whereby you don’t die of heat stroke. Ha. Seriously, the heat and humidity is unbelievable. I drank 5 large bottles of water and ONLY PEED ONCE the entire day. As fast as you take it in, it evaporates from your body! Wow! By the by, this time of year is relatively cool. Only 32C (89F). The hotel clerk told me during April it gets to 40C and above. Yikes!  With humidity, the real temperature is off the charts. So, going in the morning makes sense boys and girls.

OK, so I am not going to BS you and expound upon what I know about the mysterious Angor Wat temple complex, except to say, “Angkor Wat (Khmerអង្គរវត្ត) was first a Hindu, then subsequently a Buddhist, temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century in Yaśodharapura (Khmerយសោធរបុរៈ, present-dayAngkor), the capital of the Khmer Empire, as his state temple and eventual mausoleum. Breaking from the Shaiva tradition of previous kings, Angkor Wat was instead dedicated toVishnu. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious center since its foundation. The temple is at the top of the high classical style of Khmer architecture. It has become a symbol ofCambodia, appearing on its national flag, and it is the country’s prime attraction for visitors.” Yes, I stole that from Wikipedia . . . Want to read more, go here: 

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Angkor_Wat

Here on my humble blog, I will let the photos tell the story . . . Some have captions, some do not. Enjoy!

 

Hundreds of other insomniacs waiting for sunrise. I am guessing that the spot where they are located is optimum for taking photographs of the sun rising above the 3 spires. Me? I decided to venture elsewhere and get my photos where the crowd wasn't.

Hundreds of other insomniacs waiting for sunrise. I am guessing that the spot where they are located is optimum for taking photographs of the sun rising above the 3 spires. Me? I decided to venture elsewhere and get my photos where the crowd wasn’t.

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Sun rising over Angor Wat.

Sun rising over Angor Wat.

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Moat which surrounds the main temple complex.

Moat which surrounds the main temple complex.

Sok, my tuk tuk driver. He took me to the 3 main areas where the 4 primary temple complexes are. He also picked me up at the airport when I arrived in Siem Reap. Dude looks like a baby Buddha - he's much bigger then the typical Cambodian man. Very stout. Good guy to have watching your back.

Sok, my tuk tuk driver. He took me to the 3 main areas where the 4 primary temple complexes are. He also picked me up at the airport when I arrived in Siem Reap. Dude looks like a baby Buddha – he’s much bigger then the typical Cambodian man. Very stout. Good guy to have watching your back.

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On the way to the next cluster of temples. Still relatively pleasant walking around, with the heat being kept in check by cloud cover. I can't say the same for the humidity.

On the way to the next cluster of temples. Still relatively pleasant walking around, with the heat being kept in check by cloud cover. I can’t say the same for the humidity.

Well, this ends part I of my Angor Wat tour. My next post will provide photos and comment regarding Angor Thom and the Bayon Temples (large faces which some people think portray deities and others think are images of Kings). I will also have photos of Ta Prohm, where Banyan trees seem to be “strangling” or growing out of the temples. At this last stop, we also had a monsoon rain. Oh joy!

Until then . . . 🙂

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