Double Duty: Post 1 of our Cambodia adventure and my contribution to the Early Bird photo challenge.
When we organized our tours of the temples in Siem Reap, we paid an extra $5 to add a sunrise excursion to our tour the first day. We thought starting our temple visit at sunrise would be a good way to maximize our time, and also add a special moment right at the beginning.
Our driver picked us up at our hotel at 4:30am, when it was pitch black outside, and drove us to the front of Angkor Wat. We couldn’t see a thing, so really we just assumed we were at Angkor Wat; he could have dropped us off anywhere. There were other people starting to get there, and he just told us to follow them. There was no ambient light, at all, so we could have been in front of the temple, behind the temple, next to the temple, across the street from the temple…we really had no idea. We hoped we were headed towards a good spot, because by the time it got light enough to see anything it would be too late to move somewhere else.
We really lucked out. We had to wait an hour or something for there to be any kind of light to see something, but it was a really surreal experience for our first view of this major piece of world history. As the sky got lighter, the temple basically emerged out of the darkness. It was truly breathtaking.
After the sky was light, we thought the “show” was over and we were ready to go explore the temple. But we heard someone say, “Wait about 15 more minutes, you won’t regret it.” They weren’t talking to us, but we decided we could wait 15 more minutes after standing there for 2 hours. Sure enough, in about 15 minutes we saw the bright, red orb of the sun start to peak around the temple towers. It was well worth the wait to see the actual sun come up behind the temple.
P.S. See Micah’s submission to the photo challenge HERE!