Cambodia, Day 3

Day 3 was the reason we came to Cambodia in the first place: Angkor Wat. I remember reading someone’s travel blog years ago when I felt trapped in the US dying to get out to see the world. He had written about Angkor Wat and I had never heard of it. I left a comment asking him about it and for some reason I recall him telling me to look it up. Maybe he didn’t; maybe I was just too embarrassed that I didn’t know where it was so I remember it like that. I do remember looking it up on the internet though and wondering if I would ever get to travel somewhere so exotic. That day had come. (Excuse the extremely picture-heavy post! I just can’t help myself. Angkor Wat was that amazing!)

I had read that when visiting Angkor Wat you should go at sunrise to beat the heat and crowds. That was great advice but I also think that time was perfect because it was visually stunning. The grandness of the structure against the dark morning sky with a bright orange sun is a photographer’s dream. Even with my regular point and shoot I got some amazing shots. But you will have to wait to see the one that I plan to blow up and hang in my living room. I must account the events of the day in chronological order. 🙂

The day started bright and early with a 4:45am wake up call. Told you it was early! lol  We were picked up at our hotel by our driver (my friend J really wanted aircon to ride in afterwards) and headed off to the site. It was a nice morning, not terribly hot or humid. There weren’t many people there when we arrived so we got a good spot for photos. Here is one I snapped around 5:15am when it was still quite dark.IMG_6948Getting lighter. Waiting patiently.

IMG_6959As the sun rose, the crowds grew. They grew and they grew and they grew! You can’t tell from this photo though. It looks so peaceful and serene, right?

IMG_6981 But look! See? We were not alone! lolIMG_6986IMG_7014We pretty much thought that was it since it was light out IMG_7023so we went eat the picnic breakfast we had packed: croissants, apples and iced coffee (which, by the way was absolutely horrid! It’s a popular refrigerated brand that I used to like but it tasted so full of chemicals and fake. Ugh, had to toss it. Glad I also packed water!)

I had Coco pose by the rocks as we finished our breakfast. These are some of my favorites from the trip. Why I didn’t pack my better camera is beyond me. Well I do know–I don’t like lugging it around– but boy did I regret not having it!!!

IMG_7024As we were finishing up our breakfast we saw the golden-orange sun rising behind the temple making a stunning reflection on the water. We grabbed our cameras to get the shot. On the way I saw this cute scene. (Why didn’t I have my good camera like the smart man in the background?! :< )IMG_7043As annoyed as I was at myself, I was still rewarded with this amazing shot. I present to you the pièce de résistance: Angkor Wat at sunrise. Absolutely worth waking up for.

IMG_7053(I need to crop out that hat in the lower right hand corner, but still. Awesome isn’t it?!)

After we took a few 200 photos we went to explore the inside. Again, so many opportunities for framed art. I look forward to blowing some of these up and hanging them in my living room. Several years ago I was in someone’s ordinary living room but was blown away by the extraordinary photographs on the walls from her time in the Peace Corps. I vowed right then that when I got overseas again that I would try to take some pictures that were worthy of being framed and hung. Even without my DSLR I think Cambodia has done that for me. I know that photo above will look amazing framed.

Here are some shots from the interior.IMG_7081IMG_7115 IMG_7141 IMG_7116 IMG_7185IMG_7101 IMG_7156 IMG_7194 Coco had a great time climbing and jumping off of the rocks. I marveled at her energy and enjoyed watching her enthusiasm!

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The carvings in the stone were so intricate. I wonder how they got them to be so uniform?

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The top level was restricted to people over age 12 because it was an extremely steep climb up many, many steps.

J IMG_7161suggested we take turns watching Coco so we could both get the opportunity to go up. I thought that was a good idea. Coco wasn’t too happy that she wasn’t allowed to go though. Take a look at that face when she heard the news. LOL I’m glad she had her own camera to entertain herself though. She figured out the video format and spent about 45 minutes singing into it and playing it back. hahaha

The view from the top was beautiful as well. IMG_7234IMG_7195IMG_7235When I headed back down I couldn’t find J and Coco (that place is a maze I tell you!) and ended up circling around the entire complex in that 100 degree heat. After sweating out every ounce of water in me and dropping 20 pounds I found them. While lost, though, I saw some monks walking up the path. Not that they are supposed to be an attraction, but I couldn’t help but want to snap their picture–especially when they ended up climbing the steps and stopping to rest directly across from me! I wanted to take their picture close up but it seemed wrong somehow, disrespectful. But when someone else asked them and they obliged I decided I would too. I was embarrassed to be honest but they were gracious and even smiled.

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It was a long, hot morning and we were exhausted by 9:00! We headed back to the hotel to rest and order room service and hang out by the pool. There were some cold drinks in our mini fridge and Coco loved this winter melon drink. I thought it was too sweet.

IMG_7307IMG_7308I enjoyed the beverage to the left much more (but after dinner – not at 9am!). Kind of odd to see a temple on a can of beer though.

Later, we headed to a market to find try to find some long pants for the next day’s activity and Coco also got some ice cream. It was so hot I couldn’t even eat any ice cream and I love myself some ice cream! That’s saying something from someone greedy like me. 🙂 But venturing out was so much fun regardless. I really enjoyed all the sights from the open air tuk tuk. A great way to capture some candid shots.


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IMG_7304We went out to dinner that night and Coco fell asleep in the restaurant! I had to give that heavy girl a piggy back ride back to the hotel with J holding her up from the back. She is huge.. another time when having a strong husband would have been appreciated. (Why am I inserting husband-wanting whining in here? I don’t know. My bad. It was a great day.)

This entry was posted in firsts, single parenting, travel and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

5 Responses to Cambodia, Day 3

  1. Lizzy says:

    I was exactly the same – as soon as I saw someone else’s pictures I thought “I HAVE to go there!”

  2. Amazing place. I miss Angkor. If you have time I would recommend going to see Beng Mealea
    Exploring there is almost non stop climbing and so much fun.

  3. Great photos! I wish I had a camera when I was Coco’s age. But back in the days of film, that would be a very expensive toy.

    • Joy says:

      yes, that is so true! this one, if she doesn’t drop it or lose it, is a pretty inexpesive gift. it was my old camera and no film required!

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