This was where we started meeting and feeling the heat of the tourist crowd, and this was also the time when the sun was starting to get higher and higher… Hence the experience wasn’t as peaceful and quiet as we had hoped for. Nevertheless, Angkor Thom and Bayon Temple were intriguing enough, with the story of the Churning of Milk and the 216 faces of Buddha.
As we made our way to Angkor Wat, bathed in the dim early-morning light, I thought: This is it. This is the reason why we came here in the first place – to experience the wondrous Temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat.
Waking up at 4AM and leaving the hotel at 5AM was totally worth it. Though we did not get the ideal sunrise, we managed to beat the crowds which started coming in hoards after 8AM.
I loved the freshness of the early morning air, the slanted sun’s rays through the ancient pillars, and just the general feeling of mystery and secrecy, while walking around the temple grounds, admiring stories and sights from long ago, hidden within the temple walls. If only all the temples we visited had remained like that – quiet and pensive, without tourists spoiling the atmosphere with camera clicks (ok I’m guilty of that too), extravagant poses, and louder-than-necessary voices.
I miss you, Angkor Wat, and if there was a reason why I’d want to visit Siem Reap again, it would be YOU!