August 19, 2008

Angkot Wat Archaelogical Complex – Part 1

Thursday, August 9

We woke up at 4.30am today, as we need to leave the hotel by 5.00am to head to Angkor Wat to catch the sunrise. By the way, Angkor actually means "city" in Khmer and Wat as most of us knows, means "temple" so Angkor Wat literally means city temple. When we reached Angkor Wat at about 5.30am, there were already scores of people there. Unfortunately again, it was cloudy and we didn't manage to see the supposedly spectacular spectacle. It was only slightly past 6.00am when everyone who gathered to watch the sunset began to leave. We made our way back to the van too, and wasn't quite sure what to do as our guide would only come at 8.30am. We decided to have a picnic near Angkor Wat, as the hotel had packed our breakfast. We had two packets each of fried rice and fried noodles with omelette. When we opened up the container, we were surprised by the extra large servings so we gave one packet to the driver and another packet to a little boy who was hawking some books by the road side. We shared the other two packets among the four of us and we were still stuffed!

When the sky got brighter after we had breakfast, we decided to explore Angkor Wat on our own instead of hanging around till 8.30am. Angkor is the heart and soul of the Cambodia, a source of inspiration and pride to all Khmers as they struggle to rebuild their lives after years of terror and trauma. As we cross the outer causeway to its inner confines, the seven-headed naga (multiheaded serpents) along the causeway become an emblematic rainbow-bridge for man to reach the abode of the gods. Angkor Wat was built by Suryavarman II (1112 – 1152) to honour Vishnu, his patron deity.

Most photos of Angkor Wat reveals three towers, but there's actually five. The two towers on each side are parallel so it appears as if there's only a central tower surrounded by two lesser towers.

Spectacular as it is, it didn't send a tingle down my spine, didn't inspire in me that WOW feeling. Returning to the van, we found our guide had already arrived. As we were already tired out from our own exploration, we declined his offer to take us into Angkor Wat again. The 5-minute ride to Angkor Thom was a welcome relief for our sore feet.

(to be continued…)


Anonymous said...

Thanks for the Siam Rep post. I will be there this coming Friday and you posts certainly is useful to me now. hahaha

A Mom's Diary said...

Thanks for dropping by Sue. Read a lot about you from other blogs. Will drop by more often to pick up from skills from you. Enjoy your trip to Siem Reap.