Wednesday, March 26, 2008

Angkor Wat at Sunrise is already swarmed by people. Nimol said we have to leave at 5:30am and that is exactly what we did. No matter how hungry i felt, we were there at the appointed time, before sunrise! Marlowe and I thought we will be there among the firsts, but a lot of them were ahead of us. Majority of the tourists are French because they are said to have discovered the ruins which were camouflaged by the forests for centuries when the French found them. The big Angkor Wat temple is far from the main temple gate, and reached through an elevated old walkway, flanking the two dams. However, this time of the year the right side is dry and only the left pool is filled with water.

I think everybody has a camera, whether a point and shooter or a professional. Some even have very long lenses and maybe there to shoot for a book or a magazine. The atmosphere is pleasant and exciting for everyone, leisurely waiting for the sun to change the color of the horizon. When it is not good anymore to get nice shots everyone started to explore the temple. Inside the ruins is more awesome, the major details of the artworks in the long galleries are still there, but some parts at the back are already destroyed. It is good that some Japanese projects in coordination with UNESCO and the Cambodian government have ongoing work on restoration. The stone blocks are heavy and really large, we wonder how they will be able to restore it to approximate the real thing.

I saw a couple from a Manila TV network also leisurely enjoying the area. We talked a bit and they left off to the ruins. Later the following day we passed by the Angkor Wat again to see the difference at sunset. It is still amazing and incredible. I told Marlowe and Nimol that maybe the Petronas Tower in Malaysia took inspiration from the towers of Angkor Wat at night. The five major towers seem to glisten in white splendor, as in the two towers of Petronas at night.

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