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16 June 2015

Tuesday, 16 June 2015: Angkor Wat Sunrise and More Temples

4:30am. That was my scheduled departure time. I was scheduled to be taken by a tuk tuk driver from my guesthouse/hostel to Angkor Wat to see the "can't miss" sunrise over the ancient and famous temple. So I somehow responded to my phone's alarm and made it downstairs to be picked up.

I had the same driver as yesterday, Van (or Vaughn?). He knew exactly where to take me, but thanks to language difficulties, we didn't get to talk much.

It was a 15-minute ride. Because I had bought the 3-day ticket, we skipped the ticket office, merely stopping to get my ticket validated. The first streaks of sunlight were piercing the stratosphere as I arrived at Angkor Wat.

I wasn't alone. A steady stream of tourists poured out of tuk-tuks and buses. A row of 7 Cambodian employees used flashlights to check each person's ticket as they rushed, on uneven stones, across the moat into the sprawling temple complex.

Through the entry gate and into the pre-temple yard. Two ponds (more like giant puddles) lay there; a solid mass of people crowded around the left puddle.

The right pond, however, was open. So there I went. The view was similar. The water was equally invested with insects buzzing from the water. The sky slowly transformed as dawn broke.