One of the mandatory shot for every visitors to Angkor Wat.
Almost everyone who visited Angkor Wat has one common goal in mind, and that is to watch the sunrise in front the temple. People leaves their hotel/guest house as early as 4:30am and make their way to temple via tuk tuk or car which has been arranged a day before. The journey from the city to Angkor Wat is about 7km and takes about 15 minutes. Most of them are armed with touch light, camera, tripod, mini stools, ground sheet and even breakfast. Once the gate open at 5am, the crowd begin to make their way in the dark towards the pond in front of the temple. It is the perfect spot to view the sunrise, almost 80% of the Angkor Wat sunrise pictures are taken right there. During dry season, the water level in the pond can be quite low. People step into the mud just to get as close to the water in order to get a good reflection of the temple in their pictures. By 5:15am, the front of the pond are almost filled. Those who came after that will have to be contented with standing on the vast grass patch behind.
As the expected time of the sunrise approach, you can feel the anxiety of the people, wandering if they will see the sunrise especially when clouds and fog are quite common. On my first morning, luck wasn’t on my side. The sky was enshrouded with heavy fog and the sun was nowhere to be seen. When the sky has completely brighten up, you can see the disappointed expression and hear the sigh of sadness from the crowd.
I decided to try again on the 2nd morning and while on the road the temple, I notice the stars can be seen quite clearly. This is a good sign indicating there was no heavy cloud so the chances of seeing the sunrise is higher. Again when it reach the expected time, the sun was no where to be seen and the sky has turn brighter as each minute passed. Some people around me begin to pack up and leave while a few of the “hardcore” photographer like me insist on staying back a little longer. To our surprise, the sun suddenly rise up from behind one of the pagoda. Many of those who were already packing up quickly setup their tripod and camera again. From then on, everybody glued their eye firmly on the direction of the sun. You can hear people cheering and the non-stop clicking sounds of camera and handphone. What a breathtaking view and an unforgettable experience!