The remaining evidence
15.11.2010 - 15.11.2010 27 °C
My previous post ended with sunset at Pre Rup on day one of my Angkor visit. Day two was really only a half day, but one that began very, very early.
In order to secure a good spot from which to view sunrise at Angkor Wat, we had a 4:30am wakeup call. Yes, 4:30. This was to get us to the lily pond in front of Angkor Wat by about 5:30. Naturally at this time of day it is rather dark, but this only served to heighten the expectation. We knew the temple lay before us - we just couldn't see it.
Again, the actual sunrise was a bit of a fizzer, but the preceding 30-45 minutes, watching the sky gradually lighten - from black to indigo to all shades of a sombre sunrise - to reveal the details of the temple bit by bit, was worth every last yawn. For me, the silhouette at sunrise is the unique feature of Angkor Wat that I'm submitting as evidence for my theory/experiment (see previous post).
The next temple was Ta Prohm, lovingly known to the locals as 'Tomb Raider Temple' thanks to Angelina. I prefer the original name. Again this is one that you may know by sight rather than by name. It's the one overgrown with enormous banyan trees. There are other temples that have a bit of tree action going on, but nothing like Ta Prohm. Are the banyan trees the unique feature I'm going to use to recommend Ta Prohm? No. They certainly give the temple atmosphere, but so I thought does the lichen colouring the sandstone all shades of green from lime to verdigris. It gives you a real sense of the temple having been forgotten for all those hundreds of years. Imagine what it must have been like for the Western person who discovered the temple in recent times.
My last temple was Ta Keo. Like Pre Rup, Ta Keo is a temple mountain. I'm not sure whether it was simply a trick of perspective or the lack of adornment (or the lack of sleep) that made it appear an unconquerable monolith. Whatever the case, Ta Keo's unique feature is certainly its scale and the fact that the very idea of climbing it defeated my entire group.
Here concludes my evidence that there will always be something that makes an Angkor temple unique, and therefore you can never have too many.