Having missed out on the sunrise at Angkor Wat on our second day, we made the effort of going on our last regardless of what the weather was like and when we got up, it was drizzling ever so slightly. We decided to risk it anyway, considering it was our last day, and met up with Thu at 4:30am.
We arrived at Angkor Wat and were surprised at the quantity of people there at that ungodly hour. As we walked through the main gate we realized the amount of people and how anxious people were to get a photo of the famed sunrise, so anxious that some were perfectly willing to shove you out of their way to get a perfect shot.
In all honesty, the cloudy weather made for a less than spectacular sunrise and not so great photos. However once again on this trip I was reminded of why sometimes tourists are idiots and are so intent to get their photo opportunity at the expense of other, tourists/travellers and locals alike.
After snapping some photos, Raquel decided to walk around Angkor Wat again, for the last time. It was actually a great idea as there fewer people around, so it gained a slightly more mythical feel to it.
We met up with Thu again, who take us to the last group of ruins we hadn’t seen, the Roulos group which was also another 20Km from Angkor Wat.
We arrived at this cluster of temples, and once again, we were left with a slightly disappointed feeling of “Eh… It’s impressive, but nothing like Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom”, which is a pity as on its own, these temple ruins would be a worthy attraction in any other place.
One thing that became synonymous with our temple visits were the amount of children you find either selling souvenirs or asking for money. At the Rolous we found a group of children who were asking for donations from tourists. We on other hand, were not their key audience, due to our disheveled appearance and well budget routine, so ended up just playing and chatting them and eventually taking photos of them, which they seemed to enjoy a lot.
After that we walked back to our tuk-tuk and decided to have our lunch there. Just as we left the temple, another group of children surrounded us trying to sell us souvenirs, but gave up soon enough and darted for a group of Chinese who had just arrived.
One of the girls, ended up sitting next to the tuk-tuk and we ended up chatting to her about her sales, which was quite an enlightening conversation. We asked her who were the best tourists in terms of sales, immediately asking if the Chinese were good, to which she quickly replied saying they buy a lot, but haggle so much that they barely get any profit, unlike the French, Germans and Americans, who she said, bought things without really haggling for price meaning that their profits increased accordingly.
With our lunch done with and our interesting conversation coming to an end as another busload of customers arrived, we packed up and asked Thu to take us back to the hotel.
After a long day, our exploration of the Angkor Temples was over and we were blown away with the experience. The amount of temples to visit is overwhelming, but every single one of them is worth every penny!
This post was based on our day of the 27th of September 2012.
Entrance Fee: Three day ticket for use of up to a week = $40
Transport: Tuk-tuk for a day for sunrise tour and Rolous group = $12