Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A morning at Angkor Wat

The final morning of my guests' visit took in a sunrise (though the clouds hid the sun) over Angkor Wat, a temple-tour, a cooked breakfast alongside the moat surrounding the temple and then a blessing from the head monk at a pagoda nestled alongside The Bayon. They are packing ready for their flight as I type. There were quite a few people at Angkor Wat this morning, though not nearly as many as in the high season. After looking at where the sunrise would've been, from the two royal pools, we went inside the temple to get the low-down from Omnoth our guide as he walked us through the most important areas of Angkor Wat. The top level is still closed to tourists but the word is that it may re-open again at the end of this year, though numbers will be limited. Listening to Omnoth, on my first guided tour of Angkor Wat for over a decade, reminded me how important a knowledgeable guide is to ensure you get the full value from your visit to the temple. Its important to have someone bring it alive, and fill in all the small details, as well as giving the bigger picture stuff. And Omnoth is one of the very best at that. I bumped into Kim Rieng during my tour, he was guiding a couple of American tourists, and hope to catch up with him later this afternoon.

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