Maya and I decided to go to Agkor Wat at sunset to try to avoid the crowd. I think it was a good decision as the lighting was so fantastic. The ancient stone was soft with yellows and oranges from the setting rays. It was also cooler as the evening approached, but we were still sweating. You are always sweating in Cambodia. We were able to wander the temple freely and it was such a wonderful experience. There were a few workers outside the temple trying to make a living selling things. There are also children begging for candy or you to buy a postcard. You have to just ignore them because when you give them money it only encourages them to not go to school.
At one point I prayed and meditated for a short bit. The sun was almost down so it was placid and there were not many tourists. I need to remember to channel that essence as I continue my back packing trip. Everything around me is so consistently chaotic and I have lost my center. A sacred temple like Angkor Wat is a good place to quietly reflect.
A ticket to the temple area is $40 for three days. It is highly recommended to do this as there are many temples in the area, including Angkor Thom. We woke up very early the next day to explore more of the surrounding temples. We opted out of watching sunrise at Angkor Wat though because the amount of tourists seemed unreasonable. Angkor Thom was so absolutely beautiful in the soft morning light.
It was so amazing to see the roots of the trees growing around the temple, breaking and consuming the stone in a time frame I can’t conceive. It was also cooler and there were some light breezes that swept leaves down from above, glimmering in the morning light. I believe it is important to try to be quiet in these sacred spaces, but others tend to not realize that. Luckily at this time of the day, there were not many tourists so we could enjoy it in it’s tranquility.