Monday, August 22, 2011

Angkor What?

Ankgor Wat. The world's largest religious building and the most famous temple in all of Cambodia - and that's saying a lot; this country is practically made of temples.

We went there for sunset on our first day here - I was hoping to get to the Eastern side and watch the sun set over the temple, but it closes at 5.30pm so there was no getting across. The enterprising guards let us climb up to the very top to watch the sunset for $5 each, and even let us climb out onto the edge where reconstructions are taking place. The sunset was unspectacular, probably because there was just too much cloud. The view wasn't that great either. But we sat atop the great Angkor Wat for sunset, and that is special in itself.

We also came back for sunrise and jostled for position near the "left pond" within the walls. The sky looked lovely as we were arriving (see sunrise photo below), but then the clouds made another appearance and the sun sneakily rose up without anyone noticing.

We got lucky tonight ... for a while it looked like there might be too much cloud for a nice sunset, but then some magic happened and we had the most beautiful view of the sunset over the Western Gate from within Angkor Wat. Perfect!

Angkor Wat isn't looking very nice at the moment due to huge sheets of green shadecloth which are covering areas of reconstruction. On one hand, I was very disappointed that it was covered with ugly green. My photos look terrible. On the other hand - how great, they are looking after the place! Maybe next time I come back, I'll be able to see it in all its glory ...

Angkor Wat covered in green shadecloth

Crowd at the "left pond" for sunrise

Sunrise at the Western Gate

Western Gate in daylight
Finally - a nice sunset!

Sunset over the Western Gate from within the walls

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