Angkor the Right Way: The East Wing at Sunrise
Without question the most important thing to see and experience in Cambodia is the magnificent Angkor temples just outside of Seam Reap. The awe-inspiring temples are now synonymous with Cambodia’s national identity. They are the highlight of many people’s trips in Cambodia and, indeed, Southeast Asia.
It is no secret that Angkor Wat and the surrounding temples have no shortage of tourists, (especially during the day and in the afternoon). Remarks about the temples being overcrowded are common.
You always find the main tourist groups assembled outside the front of Angkor Wat ready to take pictures of the temples across the left side of the lotus pond. A great way of escaping these tourists and experiencing Angkor in peace is by getting up early and going to the east gate of Angkor Wat to see the sunrise. By doing so, you can enjoy the serenity of the sunrise at the temples in relative peace. Then later continue around the temples before the heat of the day really kicks in. We walk a small path which takes you to the backdoor on the east to find that you have the temples more or less to yourselves.
If we are fortunate, the cloud covers just right and the sky is dark blue. It then changes to crimson, pink and red as the sun rises over the temples. After the sunrise we make our way around the temple complex in the cool morning air. We enjoy the soft morning light and the perspectives that are formed as the sun warms the ancient pillars.
The sunrise is around 06.20 am. But it’s an early rise that is so worth it. After the tour we return to the hotel for a late breakfast.
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