We woke up for an early start today, catching the sunrise at Angkor Wat. It was a beautiful sunrise.
It is believed that Angkor Wat was originally built as a funerary temple to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. Since it was never abandoned, it is the best kept monument in Angkor.
Angkor Wat is surrounded by a 190m wide rectangular moat that stretches 1.5km by 1.3km. A large causeway crosses the moat on the Western side. Once inside the walls, another avenue 475m long leads to the central temple. We caught the sunrise from the pool on the right-hand side. On a calm day, you can see the temple reflected on the waters.
The main temple consists of 3 levels. You had to place your feet sideways and use your hands to climb your way up. The steps here were also eroding and uneven in both width and height, making it more exciting. Everything was fine till you got to the top and looked down. Then you wonder how you're going to get down without killing yourself!!!
There was a beautiful view from the top. Intricate stone carvings decorated the walls and the outsides of the towers. The central courtyard once held a statue of Vishnu and was a quiet place to chill out for a while.
After breakfast, we headed over to Ta Phrom, a temple where the restoration efforts had previously been abandoned. Left to fight off the jungle on its own, there are large trees, vines, and other vegetation growing in or even through the temple walls and towers. It was an incredible sight. The leaves and the trees let in slivers of light that made the whole place look and feel like we were in an Indiana Jones movie (more like in 'Tomb Raider' which was filmed here). Lots of rubble and crumbling towers everywhere too.
Just as the afternoon rain started, we headed back to town for a massage next to our hotel. The masseurs were all blind people. Feeling like putty an hour later, we went back to the hotel for a rest.
For sunset, we returned to The Bayon. The light at sunset casted shadows on the faces and made some of them look creepy.
It was a really good day today.