Saturday, January 22, 2011

Day 2 - Sunrise at Angkor Wat

Again only a few hours sleep, 5 hours max I would say and we were up and being transported to the Ancient Angkor site - Angkor Wat for sunrise.

It was really really dark when we arrive at the ticket counter. Here they will take a photo of you and it will appear in your pass. We bought the 3 days pass. It's either 1 day or 3 days, no option for 2 days pass.

The walk into Angkor Wat itself was quite long. The long causeway is surrounded by manmade moat. On the way in to the temple, we passby the libraby where they used to store their documents. Of course we cant see anything since it was pitch black at that time. Tips : bring a torchlight and extra clothes/scarf. It's quite cold.

After some time, we reached the area where everyone was either sitting, squatting or standing around rooted to the ground. This is the area where each one of us is waiting for the sunrise that will rise right behind Angkor Wat. The area is packed!!

When I say it was packed, I'm not joking. Check out the picture above. Packed to the brim!! We went further up towards to the side to find a spot for ourselves. While waiting, you can hear clicks here and there and occasional flashes of light. Aahh...everyone is adjusting the settings on their camera and testing shots. We did the same :) and grew more and more frustrated as the seconds tock by. It's not easy capturing sunrise.

The sky begins to clear.......

Clearer and spotted the sun rising.....

Closer shot of Angkor Wat

There's a lot of gwailos, Koreans, Japanese and Chinese (mainland China) there. Sad to say the Chinese is rather rude, very rude I would say. They don't say excuse me if you happened to be in their view or if they want some space to capture pics. They will just shove and push you rather roughly (quite hard)!! How rude! No basic courtesy. Ooh well, this could only represent the small minority of them but still we were not happy. Unfortunately, 3 of us encountered them and received the same treatment.

After seems likes eternity at the sunrise spot, we proceeded into Angkor Wat itself. Angkor Wat is the world's largest religious monument. It is the microcosm of the Hindu universe and the 5 peaks that you see represents Mount Meru.

Once I step foot into the temple ground, I spoted balusters. Lots of em. I loike!! :) I call them the olden "grilles".

the many balusters

There were many bas-reliefs, one of the famous creations in Khmer art which cover the exterior walls of Angkor Wat. These bas-reliefts depicts stories from battles, processions, judgement to the famous Churning of the Sea Milk.

the long wall of bas-reliefs

bas-relief depicting King Suryavarman II on his throne before the procession

We climbed one of the towers assisted by man-made stairs. Although there's staircase, the walk up is rather steep. Heard from one of our friend that previously a tourist's wife fell to her death while climbing the tower steps. After the incident, the tourist sponsored some monies so that staircase is built to avoid any such incidence.

It was learnt that olden times, the narrow steps are built so that devotees to the temple takes their time to climb up to offer their offerings as a mark of respect to their God. It just wonders me how they can up such steep steps! The picture of one balancing some offering on one's head or holding it with both hands while walking (should I say climbing) always flashes across my mind while keeping a straight back. How to walk/climb?

man-made staircase built on top of the original steps.
some parts were rather shaky!!

one of the towers beautifully crafted,
every inch and corner even the steps are crafted with fine details

We ended up at the other side of Angkor Wat where we took some group photos before heading to our next destination.

Next ~ Angkor Thom (Elephant Terrace, Phimeanakas, Bapuon and Bayon)


Anonymous said...

very nice photos and write up - SandyG

Merryn said...

ish.. i wont dare to go up those shaky stairs! scared! :D

Henry Tan said...

niceee info abt angkor wat! learn abt it during the sejarah class in secondary school! haha yeah wey the steps so scary!

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