rise and shine world
It was early morning when Monette literally pulled me out of the bed. We need to rush to Srah Srang in time for the break of dawn to witness the rumored “best place to see the sunrise.” According to most tourists: the most popular place during sunrise is Angkor Wat. So that means everyone is expected to flood the temple, and to avoid the crowd, we took the other path, a crowd like that of Phnom Bahkeng during sunset will defeat the purpose of watching the sunrise.
TIP: Most tuk tuk driver will be familiar with Srah Srang. If you are on a packaged tour, your tour coach may also stop by here for you to have a look. However, you are likely to see it somewhere in the day time, not the perfect time for shutterbugs. Some may charge an additional $5-$10 if you want to go there before sunrise. If you’re traveling independently from Siem Reap, the fastest way to reach Srah Srang is to take the road from Siem Reap to Angkor Wat. When you see the moat of Angkor Wat, turn right (turning left takes you to Angkor Thom). After a short distance, you will pass Prasat Kravan on your right. After another distance you will see Banteay Kdei on the left, and Srah Srang on the right.
Srah Srang is right in front of Banteay Kdei (Dancers’ Hall)
It was our third day in Siem Reap. Misty-humid (relatively clean) air of summer night penetrated every single alveolar sac of my lungs. Upon waking-up and after a quick shower, I grabbed my sling bag, passport, wallet, a bottle of water and my camera. I jumped off Prohm Roth Hotel in my mismatched outfit, Piron (our Tuktuk driver) was waiting outside flashing a big smile as usual.
Two blocks away after hitting the road, we realized that the ascaris lumbricoides’ in our guts were already begging for food. So we stopped at the town center to grab something to eat, early morning vendors are selling freshly baked baguettes and French bread. I suddenly missed our pan de sal in Sampaloc (darn).
Still sluggish and half awake, Monette and I tried covering our faces with towel to prevent ingesting flying insects hitting our faces as we run 90 kph across the highway in the middle of the lush forest. In no time, we reached the 900 year old man made lake, around 10-15 tourists (and an army of vendors, mostly kids) were already in the site, excited first timers like us were either setting-up cameras or choosing a good spot for meditation. I stood at the edge of the flatform landing facing the glassy water of the baray—a good vantage point to watch and take pictures of the sunrise.
Then we waited…
When the sun starts peeking out the horizon, everyone froze, speechless and jaws dropped on the floor. In a matter of minutes, we saw the color of the sky changed seamlessly.
From jet black to prussian to palatinate to crimsons to salmon to vermilion to chartreuse
It was truly the best sunrise that I witnessed to date.
It’s very timely to post this at the eve of the turn of the decade. The experience at Srah Srang was revitalizing, a metaphor of rebirth and fresh start. Like the sun kissing the new day ahead, anticipating the arrival of the morning light made me reflect not only on the recent days but the year that was.
I felt brand new.
The second decade of the 21st century is here.
HAPPY NEW DECADE EVERYONE!
oooh, 2010—so Jetsons! love it!