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“Something Spiritual”

Sunrise at Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Story of "Something Spiritual"

Few photos in Asia are more iconic than that of the ancient Angkor Wat temple in Siem Reap being reflected by a still pond while the sky ignites with the colors of sunrise.  But, as I always say, most things become iconic for a reason; find your spot in front of this very pond and you'll understand why there is a line by 5am.

I must say that my expectations were greatly exceeded by Angkor Wat and the other temples in the Archaeological Park.  As a landscape and nature-focused photographer, man-made relics rarely pique my interest.  I can't explain why, but the first time I laid eyes on Angkor Wat, it felt different... special.

We asked our driver what time we would need to be there to get a good spot at the water, and he told us we had to leave the hotel by 5am at the latest.  "If that's what you tell everyone," I said, "then pick us up at 4:30!"

Second in line by only minutes, we were able to get through the gates and have our tripod set up in absolute best location.  Within minutes, every inch of pond-front real estate was occupied.  Within an hour, thousands of tourists would find their place to watch the sunrise.

Few things can get this many people out of bed so early, and you're telling me a 1000 year-old structure has that power? Surely there must be something spiritual...

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