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October 4, 2009

I explored the Angkor Wat at night

Imagine walking under the stars into the almost a 1000-year-old Angkor Wat. Listen to the howling wind beside your ears, and walk like a blind man through the half kilometre causeway over the moat into the ancient temple. If you've been to Angkor Wat, you'd know how bad is the causeway condition. If you haven't been, give some imagination from the picture below. That was during day time.

After coming back from Siem Reap, I only realized that we're among the first batch of people to explore Angkor Wat at night!!! Read this.

After dinner at Angkor Cafe somewhere opposite Angkor Wat, we then walked to the historical site for a night time adventure. See the half kilometre causeway you need to walk before entering the main temple?We walked across it under the stars.

Yes indeed. Now we're stepping into the night adventure. A 800-year-old relic was just right beside us at the entrance.

After passing by the entrance temple, the light source is only from Angkor Wat itself.

Zooming in to the towers.

Angkor Wat combines two major features of Khmer architecture - pyramid and concentric galleries.

Somewhere on the right hand side of the causeway across the moat.

I doubt if this is the N 'library' of the outer enclosure. Too dark...can't be sure.

They even prepared a night cultural performance. But...the distance was so far away.

I like the reflection.

This causeway was built more than a century later than the temple. It's the W (west) entrance gopura with the remains of three towers.

Heading up to the W Gallery.

Performers welcomed us with the traditional music.

To the left - Battle of Lanka.

To the right - Battle of Kurukshetra.

Apsaras on the wall.

Entrance of the W Gallery.

Felt a little spooky to walk in the ancient temple at night.

Dance in the ancient temple.

Finally we're in the gallery.

The Khmers, beautifully dressed up and welcoming us.

The dance went on.

My temporary 'ah sei' helped me carry my handbag while I was busy taking photo... =p

Battle of Kurukshetra (W Gallery, S section)

The Kaurava army advances into the Battle of Kurukshetra.

Lots more of the battle legends. These are all hand carved. Cut by cut they illustrate all the stories and legends onto the temple's walls. If I got it right, they spent at least 40 years to get all done!! 40 YEARS!!

Suddenly it started to rain!!?! Very heavily.

Gosh...how to walk all the way back across the causeway without umbrella??!

Our guide kept telling the tales of the ancient Angkor kingdom, and the battles that the Khmers had gone through to protect their kingdom.

On the wall - Khmer foot soldiers. And the light, that's our PLLC LED torch, single LED.

Too much of stories at the same time, I couldn't digest... Luckily I bought some books about Angkor in the afternoon, then I can read and understand more later on.

Apsaras on the inner wall of the W entrance gopura.

Would you dare to walk alone? Besides the rainfall and howling wind, there were shadows everywhere!

Live performance. I don't know what was the dance called. Apsara dance maybe.

Princess and the performers.

Sincere smile of the Khmers.

Worse...the rain got heavier.

And we're stucked beneath the leaking walls...water dripping.

While waiting for the rain to stop, we talked to them, and of course not forgetting to take photos.

For a memory in my life, I walked with the Khmers in Angkor Wat at night! I'm not sure when will the Cambodia government open this place for tourist visit at night. It's a great experience.

Rain drops were still as big as pearls when we left. However, thank God that the organizers did brought along a few umbrellas!

3 people shared 1 umbrella, and by the time we got into the coach, my shoes were flooded. These holes were as deep as 3-4 inches and full of water, and the ground was super slippery after it rained for a while. Moreover it's a raining night.

And never forgetting, when you walk the opposite side away from Angkor Wat there was no light at all!!! It was really a challenge that we gotta make sure we did not walk in zigzag into the moat. WHAT AN EXPERIENCE.

Check out my adventures in Siem Reap under the tags of *Siem Reap.


spectacular view at night :)

what is nice to explore it at night is that when u took a picture of the angkor wat, u cant see the many tourists around it..hahah...

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The feeling was a bit spooky...
Because nobody enter Angkor Wat at night except us. It's specially arranged for us. Maybe the government will open it to tourist at night someday.

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