5am was kick off time this morning for us....off we went to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat. When we arrived it was still dark and we just followed everyone into the site of Angkor Wat. I set myself down by the lake in front of the site and watched Angkor Wat appear before me as the sun rose. Awesome! Ya gotta do it! It is as breathtaking as you read about it and then some! Angkor Wat is a massive 3 tiered pyramid crowned by 5 beehive-like towers which rise 65 metres from ground level. It is surrounded by a moat and the temple itself is 1km square! Huge!
After sunrise we approached the site.....its size only then becomes really apparent. There are 1000's of bas reliefs and carvings on all the walls inside and out. It is just in amazement that you wonder how and who constructed this site and carvings. I gotta tell ya about the steps tho'.......the steps on all sides of Angkor Wat going up are so steep....the steps are tiny in width and literally go straight up. It actually is a bit nervy...just don't look down going up and by Jaysus take it easy coming down!!! But once I came down the first set of steps it wasn't so bad for the rest!
At one stage we ended up behind a guide who was telling his group the reason for rectangular pieces missing from some of the walls.....the French were restoring the roof of this section and cut out these holes so as to put the scaffolding in place! In fairness lads...Angkor Wat and it's monstrosity was built mid 12th Century (goodness only knows how!)and in this century an ole bit of scaffolding cannot be erected freestanding without causing damage...??????
Our next stop was Bayon...this is so cool! The main feature of the Bayon are the huge carved faces on all the standing towers. These giant faces are what are most connected to classic Kymer art. So cool looking at these huge stone faces!
Ah...Lara Croft time.....Ta Prohm! This is a monastic complex which has only been partially cleared of the jungle growth surrounding it. This is where the huge fig and silk-cotton trees have actually intertwined and grown in the temples. Here we felt was the most touritic but that was only because it was of a smaller scale so we were on top of each other....bleedin' tourists! This place gave the most eerie yet inquisitive feeling all day...for me anyway!
At this stage it was midday and we were wrecked...we were getting to feel templed out after 7 hours so we took a few hours break and headed back into town. At 4.30 we then set off again to see the sunset. We get to the top and there are 100's of people (bleedin' tourists!) waiting in anticipation for this sunset......we waited but gave up as it was cloudy and you couldn't even see the sun ....I hope they all enjoyed the sunset!! It was a fantastic day but long and I am templed out!