The best thing about traveling is the unexpected emotions that a certain place can have an impact on you. The euphoria of freedom and discovery is like a happy pill for most travelers.
I had a chance to see for myself what I only read before in books and online about the ruins of a once great Khmer Empire in Cambodia which baffled historians to what was the exact reason of its mysterious downfall.
I went to Siem Reap, Cambodia in April, it was in the middle of summer. Siem Reap has its own beauty when you get to the airport. The ambiance is different like there is something for its visitors to experience or discover for themselves, not the same as the busy streets of Thailand or the well managed traffic in Singapore.
I stayed for 2 days in Siem Reap and I saved the best for last.I went to the lesser known ruins in Siem Reap before experiencing the incredibly stunning sunrise in the quintessential Angkor Wat.
The hotel where I stayed had a tuk-tuk available and I paid 10$ for the rent. The currency used in Cambodia is US Dollars and the Cambodian Riel. We left the hotel at 4:30am and was in Angkor Wat as early as 4:45am. Since the sunrise was expected to be around half past 5. I had a chance to observe and take pictures of tourists excited to see the beautiful Angkor Wat sunrise which has been worth witnessing since the 9th century AD.
I was too excited myself that I was stunned when the sun slowly rose from behind the ruins. The sun, a ball of fire was colored reddish orange, huge and spherical. The sun turned the gloomy lifeless looking gray sky into a beautiful, lively morning with birds chirping while the ruins came to life. I couldn’t describe its beauty enough. The pictures that I got might look beautiful, but believe me, it was more stunning when you are watching it with your own eyes.
One of the once majestic edifice in the temple grounds. It’s is now empty, but the walls of this structure hides the history of the place.
It was dry season when I went to visit Cambodia. The tuk-tuk driver said that during rainy season, these pools in front of the temple are filled with beautiful lotus plants.
Lotus flowers fill the ponds during rainy season.
I didn’t miss the opportunity of taking some photos with the monks too. I don’t see monks in the Philippines, we don’t have them there. I ran after this boy just to get a picture of him. And yes, the feeling was satisfying.
Angkor Wat Sunrise Travel Tips:
1.Purchase an entrance ticket a day before your scheduled sunrise tour. You can ask your tuk-tuk driver to take you to the ticket office. Tickets available are per day. Aside from Angkor Wat, you can visit other temple ruins using the ticket.
1 day pass – $ 20
3 days pass – $ 40 (can visit 3 days or times in one week period)
7 days pass – $ 60 (can visit 7 days or times in one month period)
Free for children under 12 years old,
2. Your tuk-tuk driver will be waiting for you outside, make sure to get your driver’s phone number since the entrance / exit of Angkor Wat will be crowded.