Now then I remember I haven’t finish my Cambodia post after I realize I am going to visit another UNESCO world heritage soon. Ppppfftt. Synonym the post title, I lost my memories about some important facts that I gained during my visit to this lost city.
Ok, here we go. After my visit to Phnom Penh, Mike & I spent the rest of our Cambodian trip at Siem Reap and it is for one and only reason – Angkor Wat.
First of all, Mike refused to buy the tour from Travel Agency. He preferred to pay direct to the local TukTuk driver so at least it can help the local earning more for their hard work rather than giving to the commercial agent that pay peanut to the locals. So yes, we only had a TukTuk driver that droves us around without professional Tour Guide that can give us information about the site. But, if we read a lot, we do not need a Tour Guide for facts we already knew. Now we just need to see it with our own eyes.
That’s my boyfriend. Sometime he is a saint, to me.
Although Cambodia is still considered the poorest 3rd world country, no tall building and great shopping malls unlike Kuala Lumpur, but to me they have the most valuable list of monuments and relics which can’t be rebuild. Well, maybe it can with the latest technology, but, the historical sentimental can never be recreated and replicated.
By looking at the amount of people visiting this site, I can guarantee it is more than amount of people visiting our Petronas Twin Tower. These old monuments and its old bricks capable to generate income for the country and put Cambodia on the world map just being moldy and old.
When you buy a site tour to Angkor Wat, it will include the other small wats (Temples) surrounds it which are equally significant to the history of Angkor Wat. So, on that one tiring day, we visited Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Bayon, Preah Khan and Ta Phrom.
Go read more facts about Angkor Wat HERE. It’s very fascinating, you know. Just don’t fall asleep yet.
Mike and I took Sunrise Angkor Wat tour. (Here is a little tip for young traveler). We always figure it out that places like this should be experienced at magical hours, which is sunrise or sunset. And for high towers, we always choose sunset to the dark hours, so that we able to see the whole city glimmering with neon.
We had to be at hotel lobby as early as 5am. The tuk tuk guy drove us into the darkness with cold breeze while I still have taik mata bertempek in my eyes 🙁
After 30 minutes tuktuk ride, we arrived Angkor Wat. Surprisingly there were hundreds of people already queuing for the entrance pass which costs us USD20 for a one day pass, (if you have more time, you can take 2 or 3 days pass) complete with our picture taken and printed on the pass.
At first, I don’t understand why those souvenirs and hot drinks sellers along the entrance keep on telling me, “stand at the left of the lake”. I just nodded quickly and ran away from them or else they keep pushing me to purchase key chain, posters, postcards or a cup of coffee from their bag.
So Mike and I walked close to the entrance of central tower, took gazillion pictures in the dark and thought we got all the best shot already. Then when the sky starts to light up, I just realized it was too LATE.
No spot for me at the left lake!
And that point of time, I was starting to feel like an ultimate moron when I looked at those fancy big professional camera. BECAUSE I LEFT MINE AT THE HOTEL AND THOUGHT MY SAMSUNG S3 IS GOOD ENOUGH. FML.
To compensate my stupidity, my small body manage to slip in between the crowd and try to get the best spot to capture the complex shot complete with its reflection. THAT’S WHY YOU NEED TO STAY AT THE LEFT LAKE! At that moment, I totally lost Mike. I don’t know where he was and I don’t care. WTF?
So ALL of us waited patiently for the sun to come up. Sembahyang subuh pun kau tak gigih macam ni kannnn…
So, here, are the best shot I manage to take with my Samsung S3 and I was regret on every snap that I took because this is DAMN FUGLY.
As I heard the big cameras clicking on my left and right, I just keep on TAPPING my stupid android phone, praying the picture will turn out beautiful.
Trust me, I took more than 500 shot to and selected a few to put it on here and still, I hate the pictures and myself for it.
Look at how these people willing to get their feet soaked in the lake water just to capture the magical sunrise behind Angkor Wat.
So I gave up. I stopped at 501th picture, and when I turned back, Mike was already behind me, smiling. He got the sunrise recorded on video mode.
…and the sun is totally up, so my sleepy naked face without make up is revealed 🙁
Everything is still wet from the morning dew. It was the freshest sights I ever wake up to after so long staring at PC monitor for 20 hours a day, everyday, back at office and home.
So, all the pictures taken here are by my Samsung S3. I hate the pixel when you zoom it in.
Anyways, if you are a fan of Lara Croft, Angkor Wat is one of the shooting location for the “Tomb Raider” for one week. The conservation authority charging USD10,000 per day to the Paramount Picture for using the location and the money used to conserve the temple.
And I overheard ‘Angelina Jolie’ was mentioned over and over again by the tour guides to those tourists. In fact, Angelina Jolie was mentioned more than the real history fact of this sacred place. Man…
Although 40% of this building is in restoration progress, you still can feel the Ancient World in here. If you wanted to experience “The alignment of Nine Realms” like in latest Thor movie, you should come here. I felt like I was teleported into another, ancient world in a 12th century where Khmer Empire was at its peak.
Although it is very old, but it didn’t give the feel of ‘Haunted’ place at all.
If you pay attention closely, the white bricks are the new installation to the building in attempt to prolong the temple structures from being collapse.
A life size apsara finely carved on the wall. Apsara is not a God, but a celestial nymph, a dayang, pari-pari.
And now, some of the tower can’t be climbed anymore due to safety of you, structures.
Meet the ‘guardian’ of the temple 😀
This place is still use for the religious ceremony and you still can see the monks and the ‘sisters’ coming to this place and keeping it alive.
One thing I noticed about ‘the sisters’ of the temple. They shaved their head bald while Christian and Muslim and Jews covers their hair.
After 2-3 hours, still, we were unable to cover all 500 acres of Angkor Wat. We only managed to circle the first and second enclosure and headed back to our TukTuk driver for our packed breakfast and our next destination which is Angkor Thom.
To be continued.