Mystical Angkor: Day 4 – Part 1 – Sunrise at Angkor Wat & Exploring Preah Khan

It was late night on the 19th and we were still toying with the idea of catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat, but with S, we were not sure how to manage. Finally it was decided we will leave the hotel at 5 in the morning in the tuk tuk we had arranged from the hotel with S in tow. It was around 5 when we left, pretty dark and slightly chilly ( a total contrast to the climate during the day!) We reached at around 520 and walked inside, it was still quite dark but not pitch dark, there were people already streaming in slowly into the temple complex.

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Each of the tourists tries to find the perfect spot to catch the sunrise on his/her camera, we too find a place to sit. The sky starts to brighten up but there is no sign of the sun, sunrise was only expected to be around 5.55 am or after.

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There still was a lot of time, S was awake and playing in the sand. We were very glad she did not throw a tantrum about this early morning trip, a very supportive child she is. As we wait for Surya bhagawan to show us his face, we click pictures of the magnificent Angkor Wat from different angles, different filters and also be annoyed by the umpteen number of tourists, some of them taking selfies, some clicking pics with their DSLRs and their Iphones and androids… phew! Here you go, just taken before sunrise…

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And then all of a sudden we see an orange light in the puddle near the temple (it is supposed to be full during rainy season, since it was summer the water had reduced to a slushy puddle. And then the barrage of photographs start all over again as the sun rises up until it reaches the top… we took a few more pictures and after having absorbed the experience (this was the first time I watched the sun rise up) It was around 645 7 am when we left to explore Preah Khan.

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Preah Khan is located in Angkor Thom so you can see Bayon, the elephant terrace once again as you reach the temple. It was one of the last temples to be built in Angkor. It is such a wonderful feeling to be exploring when there is no crowd at all!

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The carvings and temples in Angkor literally make someone who is not interested in taking pictures to click, yes I am an example of that. I ended up clicking so many pictures and each carving and pillar seemed to call to me – hey click me! The temple reminded me of my great grandma’s home in Kerala – as you enter through the main door, you can actually see the backyard, the houses are built in such a way and this temple was no different. There is a stupa in the middle of the length and you can actually see the other end of the temple from the front door.

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Although it was written at the entrance that this temple was supposed to be buddhist, we did see some Hindu carvings and depictions all through. The entrance to the temple resembles the churning of the mighty ocean to bring out Amrit (elixir)… So to me it looked like it was intended to be a hindu temple but modified later to seem like a buddhist place of worship.

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There are ruins everywhere, trees growing from every place but maybe it was the tranquility I found due to the absence of noisy tourists, I loved this place more than the others….

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With this visit, we wound up our Cambodia trip, what a wonderful trip it was, we take back a huge truckload of wonderful memories back with us. So long Siem Reap, hope to come back some day!

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