The road was full of small potholes and every so often we would hit one giving me a jolt that went right up through my spine. Sunrise was still more than 20 minutes away, but already I could see the horizon; a pale gold line as fine as a thread that hung in the distance, broken up by the outline of trees. I would not normally wake up this early for anything, but we were here for a special event, to see sunrise at Angkor Wat.
After a further five minutes we arrived beside the large moat that surrounds the Angkor Wat complex. The driver cut the engine of the tuk tuk and we got down, stretching our limbs and rubbing our eyes. There was already a small crowd of tourists waiting on the waters edge waiting to see sunrise at Angkor Wat. The red glowing tips of cigarettes broke up the silhouettes of the smokers. Others were sitting around in ones and twos, chatting or setting up their camera equipment.
The first rays of dawn broke over the horizon and as it rose, the silhouette of Angkor Wat temple became clearer and clearer. As the sun rose from behind the temple, the sunlight reflected on the waters of the lake, mirroring the clouds in the sky above. For the first few minutes, all conversation seemed to stop and was replaced by the sound of camera shutters clicking away. The sound blended into the background noise made by the toads and cicadas.
Sunrise at Angkor Wat is a truly amazing sight to see. It was so good that I returned the following two days. The slight variation in the scene caused by changes of light or cloud cover, made the experience rewarding each time I returned. After I had finished watching the sunrise I would go to one of the small stalls by the temple to have a breakfast baguette and think about how lucky I was to be on holiday in such a beautiful place.