Monday, February 16, 2009

Sunset on Cambodia

The setting sun from the top of Phnom Bakheng, where the crowds make it a forgettable experience nowadays
No, don't worry I'm not leaving Cambodia... these are just some pictures taken on my recent trip to Siem Reap and a view of the end of the day at two very different locations, both looking out over the expanse of fields and water, so prevalent in this beautiful country. Above is the view, over the tree-tops, from Phnom Bakheng, looking out to the western baray on the far right. It was hard to take a photo without a horde of tourist heads in the shot, but I managed it. The top of the mountain is a magnet for sunset snappers and there were literally thousands of people taking up every available inch, and making a din that completely spoiled the moment. It may be the highest spot in the Angkor Park to take your sunset pictures, and it used to be the best, but it's become a victim of its own success. Avoid it at all costs unless you simply can't stay away.
On the other hand, the two pictures below were taken on another hill, south of Siem Reap at Phnom Krom. This was a totally different experience altogether. The views were just as good, actually they are better (in the rainy season they must be fantastic with the fields flooded with water) and I was practically alone. A couple of other tourists had the same idea as me, but they arrived, snapped and left me in silence as I watched the sun slip below the horizon. You need a temple-ticket for Phnom Krom and its a fair hike up the mountain but the weathered temple looks good in the late afternoon sun and the views across the fields and the northeast corner of the Tonle Sap lake are simply gorgeous. Go now before the hordes realize what they're missing.
A beautiful setting sun from Phnom Krom, minus the hordes
A patchwork of green fields and water await you from the top of Phnom Krom

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