Sunrise and Sunset at the beautiful Angkor Wat.... Plus a Bolton away win!
Angkor Wat, Cambodia
It's 7:14am and I have just watched sunrise over the stunning Angkor Wat.
This morning our alarms went off at 4:10am and we made our way in our Tuk Tuk to one of the Wonders of the World. After getting the tickets our driver, Tam, dropped us off and we joined hundreds of others in front of the temple just as the sun appeared. I managed to find a spot in front of the small lake and enjoyed taking pictures of the spectacular sunrise with the temple reflecting in the water! The sky turned a light orange as the sun appeared and I felt incredibly lucky to be witnessing such a beautiful sight, even more so after my experiences in Phnom Penh.
As it became lighter Martin and I enjoyed our take away breakfast from the hotel before bumping into a local guide named Tear. We have just completed an hour long tour from the grounds outside to the top floor inside actual Angkor Wat. As I type we are queuing for the final staircase to take us up to the Kings 'penthouse' and to see a view across the whole city.
Tear told us lots of interesting things and it was well worth the extra $15 to know more about this incredible place I am in.
It is now 4:37pm and I am sat at the top of the Phnom Bakheng Temple after walking up the mountain in preparation for sunset. The sky is a little cloudy but at the moment the sun in beating down on this beautiful part of the world and it looks like it will be a stunning sunset, fingers crossed.
Our sunrise tour earlier was lovely and I really enjoyed walking around the different temples, all of which were similar but also different in many ways. Angkor Wat itself was amazing and to watch the sunrise over the lake as I wrote about earlier was great!
Dating back thousands of years it is regarded as the largest religious site in the world. The original use, according to Tear, was as a holiday home for the King. From the top of Angkor he would enjoy his lavish lifestyle and jacuzzi pools surrounded by hundreds of topless women! When the King failed to have a son to carry on his Kingdom the end of his empire followed pretty quickly as a result. Civil War and a mass drought led to the city of Angkor and the Kingdom coming to a drastic end. Angkor lay dormant for hundreds of years and it wasn't until a group of French butterfly hunters stumbled across it that it became known as the Angkor we know today. After this the country of Cambodia turned to Buddhism, instead of Hinduism, and the beautiful setting of Angkor was turned into a place of religion and became home to many statues of Budda. It was at this time that Angkor became 'Angkor Wat'.
This is the story of Angkor Wat and I am sure I have maybe made a mistake or gotten some of it in the wrong order. I'll have to have a read later to double check the facts but in a nut shell it was something like that.
After walking around Angkor Wat we returned to our Tuk Tuk and went on to a number of other temples. None of them were quite as impressive as Angkor itself but all had very beautiful and intricate carvings into their stone walls.
One of the most famous temples in this area is the temple used in the filming of Tomb Raider! This temple is untouched and only has one or two areas that have been restored. All around there were ginormous trees with even bigger routes crawling across, up and out of the stone walls. In many places the roof had collapsed resulting in huge pieces of stone on the ground blocking paths and corridors.
After all of our sight seeing Martin and I were both shattered. We returned to our hotel, via a beautiful lake for a picture, and went straight to bed. By 11:30am we had already done 7 hours of sightseeing!
I woke up at around 2:30pm and decided to change my plans for the evening. To access Angkor you need a ticket costing $20 per day and because of this I decided that if I wanted to see a sunset here it had to be tonight. Tomorrow we won't do the temples again as we have seen enough so therefore I won't have my $20 ticket...
I changed my massage to tomorrow and had a quick meal before getting the Tuk Tuk back out of the city towards the temples. Like I said I have just walked up the hill to the temple known as Phnom Bakheng and look forward to the sunset.
As I sit here willing the clouds and thunder to stay away I am looking down on the incredible Angkor Wat. The 5 main points rise into the sky majestically and it really is a great sight!
Now I'm going to enjoy walking and exploring this time and then find a spot for sunset. It's one week today until I go home and Tara and I can finally share the stories of our amazing summers. The next Wonder if the World that I visit will be with her and this is something I cannot wait to share, 1 week to go!!
Bye for now x
It's now 12:36am and I'm in bed. Bolton have just won their first away game for 495 days with a 2-1 victory against Wimbledon!! That's 2 wins in 2 for the new season and things are looking good! However, the last time i visited a 'Wonder of the World', on 14th August 2011, as I walked around the Taj Ma Hal Bolton were top of the League, the Premier League! How times have changed!!
The sunset wasn't the best I have ever seen but I did throughly enjoy sitting in peace waiting patiently for it to go down in a beautiful place. While waiting I continued to work on a little something for my girl... :)
After the sun had finally disappeared I walked back down the hill and got the Tuk Tuk back to my hotel. I met up with Martin and we both went to join the 3 lads we had travelled with last week and also Mitch who we had travelled with in Laos! Together we all enjoyed an evening of sport as the new Premier League season got off to a flying start! Martin and I again listened to Bolton with one ear each and we're delighted with the win!
After this we called it a night as we're both still pretty tired and since then we have been sorting our pictures out etc and just chilling.
I'm off to sleep now after a fantastic day in an unforgettable place! Thank you for reading!
Good night x