This morning, we got up at 4am. On purpose. See, our tuk tuk driver had told us the day before that if we wanted to see the sunrise at Angkor Wat, he'd pick us up at 4:30. This seemed early, given that the internet said sunrise would be at 6:25, but we didn't argue.
Of course, he was perfectly correct. We walked through the temple in the dark to get to the best sunrise viewing area and claimed one of the last remaining seats (rocks) at the edge of the water. Slowly the area got more and more packed full of tourists.
Despite the crowd, it was quiet thanks to the early hour. Then two guys walked over in between the temple and the hundreds of people who got out of bed at 4am for an unobstructed photo. One walked around shining a flashlight on the temple. The other, a guy in a red shirt, plunked down across the water from us and played on his phone.
The crowd did not stay quiet. There were people speaking several different languages, but all saying the same things about the same people in the same tone of voice.
Those assholes really brought us all together.
Later, after sunrise (photos to come once I'm home and not posting from my phone) and seeing the temple, we had breakfast at one of the stands out front. At every tourist site here, children approach selling magnets, post cards and sequined fans. This time we were approached by a boy and girl, who were apparently not working together.
Girl: One magnet for one dollar.
Boy: Three magnets for one dollar.
Girl: Five magnets for one dollar.
Boy: Ten magnets for one dollar.
Girl: Hundred magnets for one dollar.
Boy: Million magnets for one dollar.
You may wonder how we could turn down such an incredible offer, but A) we don't have that kind of backpack space and B) by the time they'd gotten to ten, they'd clearly given up on us and we're just trying to irritate one another. They looked to be about six years old.
And that's your Angkor Wat color commentary. Join us next time for...somewhere else...