– ODO- 20042-20191km
– Location- Phnom Penh, Cambodia
– Weather- 28-32 high altitude cloud and haze
I woke up like clockwork at 4:30am even though this is my day off. Opened Grab and typed in Angkor Wat. The driver took me in pitch blackness to the ticket office and then up along the highway. Cars joined with scooters and other rickshaws all full of tourists heading for the same spot. We walk in a mumbling stream, following faint streetlights and each other’s feet. I crossed the moat and saw the temple walls but the sky was still jet black.
I’d read the night before that the top instagram photo spot was next to one of the ponds in front of the temple. “Get there an hour early to get in the front row for the temple reflected in the lake” the post told me. I made it with half an hour to spare and the lakes were surrounded five people deep with tripods and phones out and ready and clicking. Hawkers walked amoungst the tourists selling coffee and food. I looped back around and found a pair of smaller temple buildings still intact and silent.
For the next half an hour I sat alone in my own temple as the sun rose to silhouette the temple towers which inspired the Tom Raider scenery. Early in I learned to avoid the tourist spots but like the Taj Mahal nine months ago the awe of this fantastic structure overwhelmed me as I sat meditating while the sun rose. The intricate stone carvings were like the Elephanta caves in Mumbai, the space and presence like the cave temples in Malaysia. This trip connects me to them all.