The next morning the plan was to get to the park in time to see the sunrise over Angkor Wat. However, because of an alarm malfunction, we didn’t arrive until 7 am. This proved to be a very beneficial accident. The sunrise crowd had dispersed and the others hadn’t quite crowded in yet.
It was stunning and amazing to be there up close in person. The long walkway leading to the complex over the water was a nice walk in the fresh early morning air not yet littered with scatter brained tourists trying to take photos as they rush towards it. The famous outline was reflected on the surrounding lake and there were some hot air balloons already in the sky.
I crossed into the main entrance onto a large expanse of grass, it was another 100 yards or so to the next wall and then inside to the temple. Once I walked around for a while and waited for the main temple to open so I could climb up.
The next temple we visited was Preah Khan. This was by far my favorite. Instead of following the small stream of tourists inside the ruin, I decided to take the small path around it. Trees with roots almost as big as the trunks were embedded in the stones. The main structure was sound, for the most part, but all the outlying monuments had been destroyed by nature over time.
After Preah Khan was Neak Pean were you had to walk on a long stretch of boardwalk through a wetlands like area with no shade. Neak Pean was surrounded by a little moat of water.
Then Ta Som. Pre Rup, and Neak Leang. By that time I was on temple overload and was grateful to leave.