Cambodia travel tip: Only early birds experience the real magic of Angkor

by KhmerLife on Mar 04, 2020

Cambodia travel tip: Only early birds experience the real magic of Angkor

I ran a 5k in Cambodia that started at sunrise. It was the perfect way to experience the real magic of Angkor, the largest religious structure ever built.

Many of us who live in cities tend to forget what night really looks like. But far from the glow of streetlights and buildings, I found nighttime truly was pitch-black on the outskirts of Siem Reap, Cambodia.

At least, that’s my excuse for how I came to be standing in front of one of the most famous sights in the world, the fabled Angkor Wat, without even knowing it.

I had always wanted to explore Angkor. When I saw that registrations for the December 8 race were open, it was a carpe diem moment for me - why not finally go, and for a worthy cause, too? So I booked my flight to Cambodia and signed up for the 5k run.

The race starts around sunrise - and that’s a good thing

It was 5:30 a.m., about an hour before sunrise, and night still shrouded the distance over the enormous moat that lay between me and Angkor Wat. The ancient edifice was silent and invisible in the darkness.

But I was not alone. Behind me were thousands of people. Floodlights illuminated the surreal scene and speakers thumped the latest chart hits. A DJ was warming up the crowd. From all corners of the world, runners had come to take part in the event.

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