Friday, February 21, 2014

[Day2] Sunrise at Angkor Wat

I'm staying up late last night. While Ain asleep, I hangout at the balcony with an instant coffee and a cigarette. It's pretty damn cold. Nothing happens in the alley and the view is far from breathtaking. But, the actual feeling of being abroad again is tremendously exhilarating. The positive energy rushed inside my body and the excitement consumed whatever unappealing and unbearable experience happened.And yeah... I'm in Siem Reap again after almost 10 years.

Surprisingly I woke up early, we hop on 'tuk tuk' at dawn towards Angkor Wat. There's a lot of vehicle passing through en route to Angkor Wat. Buses, Taxis, Cyclists, Motorcyclist and some even have the spirit to walk for the Sunrise. When arrived at the ticket counter, there's loads of people queueing for visit pass. Angkor sites are manage by a company called APRASA. They're responsible to preserve the sites and educate locals to be part of it. The ticket didn't change since my last visit, SD20 for a day pass, USD40 for 3 days pass and USD60 for 6 days pass. It's just the technology getting better and the counter increases to accommodate the visiting crowds.

Its still dark when we enter Angkor Wat moat causeway, or some may called it dikes. Crowded as I expected. Even though this is my second time, it really stunned me the capacity of this place. Venture my way among others to get a good Angkor Wat Sunrise pictures.

Angkor Wat causeway
Sheepy and Angkor Wat
As the day getting brighter, we walk towards the temple and try to look for entrance. There's a lot of preservation construction going on. The main door was shut, and we thought that we never going to enter the place. Fortunately we found a way in.

We are among the first people who discover the entrance. Even though, they're a huge crowd outside.. literally they're less than 7 people inside, including us. We roam all the alley and courtyard temples freely. As the temples getting crowded, we exit the temple and went to our tuk tuk driver.

Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
After a short breakfast, we continue our journey towards north east of Angkor, our next two hours tuk tuk ride destination is Kbal Spean. Kbal Spean is one of an unique sites among angkor ruins. It has spectacular riverbed carvings of Hindu gods. We hike around an hour or so to reached the carvings and rapids or small waterfalls. The track was dusty as December is dry season for Siem Reap.

Kbal Spean
Then we venture south, back to Angkor, but making a stop at Banteay Srei. Banteay Srei is a red sandstone temple. It looks like they carve everything on wood. A small site, but be made up of a very detail and beautiful carvings.

Banteay Srei
We spent less than an hour at Banteay Srei, then we headed to Ta Prohm.

The famous Ta Prohm was utterly crowded. Lots of tuk tuks at the entrance, it's like walking down KLCC in weekends or Public Holiday... can't blame them, it's Saturday anyway. Whether Ta Prohm is crowded or not, its still going to awe you with the magnificent architecture blends in with large vegetation. All the trees seems take revenge on the ruins, eating the building from inside out.

Ta Prohm
When effort to conserve and restore Angkor ruins in 21st century, Ta Prohm was single out from the program because of its picturesque nature merging with the forest. As I remember my visit on 2006, nothing have been done to Ta Prohm. No preservation, no construction... you can roam anywhere you want. But, now as the temple become older there's work being done to stabilized the ruins. So it is safe to enter the temple and not worrying it will collapse and falling down.

After spent the day traveling by tuk tuks, hiking and visiting all the temples. We headed back to our hotel tired. I wish have another day to visit Angkor Thom, it's just a kilometer away from Ta Prohm. But hey, maybe it was meant to be left out, so I have a reason to return back to Siem Reap.

Worn out by the day, Ain rest in the room while I walk towards our favorite small restaurant for a fried rice with fish source and fried morning glory.

I ended my day at the balcony again with a cigarette and a cup of coffee. 

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