This was shot outside the defensive gatehouse of Angkor Wat with a backdrop of the moat in the distance. I also used the new technique here that I will be detailing in an upcoming tutorial. This is an HDR shot, which you can read about in my previous tutorial here.
The picture I posted yesterday was not of the real Mount Everest… it was of Disneyworld. I thought someone would notice but I guess it was too tricky! I’ve never been to Everest… I bet the pictures would hardly ever be that clear.
Below is a picture of the main temple at Angkor Wat just after sunrise:
I think they always tell people it is the rainy season, but it certainly was the rainy season while I was there. The locals claim that it really cooled things off, but what is the difference between 98 degrees and 96 degrees, I asked?
It was so hot that my Nikon was sweating, so when the rain actually dropped, my camera became more dry.
There may be a place hotter than Cambodia, but it’s guarded by the river Styx.
Speaking of supernatural post-life hangouts, the extreme heat of Cambodia made me contemplate that the cold apres-ruin shower is closer to Nirvana than my Buddhist friend here will ever achieve.
That is Sokhoun there wearing a fetching summer ensemble of dark red robes. He has 6 different color robes that he wears on different occasions. I assume these occasions are more or less dictated by whichever robe is the least sweaty.
I spent the entire day from with Sokhoun, a Theravada Buddhist monk and now a good friend (and email buddy!). It’s a long story I will tell later.
But at the end of the day, we went into Angkor Wat for sunset. The guards made everyone else leave, but Sokhoun and I went around the backside of temple to watch the sunset by ourselves. The local security guards lets the monks do whatever they want, of course.
As we were walking around the temple grounds, we came across this old library just as the sun was dipping below the evening storm clouds.
Here we are at the heart of a wonder of the world (in my book).
I sat in the corner of the temple for a long time, just chilling out and listening to my ipod. Dozens of monks from all over Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, Tibet, and places even further away came streaming through the temple complex to meditate.
The monks from the local wats are allowed to choose from six different color robes, and you can see two of them below.
Daily Photo – Swallowing the Ruins
I made it to the heart of Ta Prohm, an undisturbed Bayon ruin out the outskirts of Angkor Wat.Â It was late in the day and there was a break in the afternoon summer showers.
To me, the best thing about these temples and ruins is that you can go anywhere, high or low, safe or not.Â There are hundreds of tiny nooks, old broken stone doors, lost hallways, and mysterious carvings peeking out of the overgrowth.Â There are no tort-related legal signs barring you from going anywhere… explorer beware.Â Besides, if you got injured, the jungle and insects would eat you alive before the night was over.
As soon as I walked into Ta Prohm, the thunder started rumbling around and dappled clouds rolled in.Â The thunder was extra eerie and chest-thumping inside all the mossy and vegetated old tombs. The rain started and stopped several times, so I would take refuge in crumbling crypts and hallways until the rain let up.Â I took some wrong turns, but I eventually ended up here with a break in the storm.Â I popped out with the 10 mm get this shot.
The temple was built in 1181 AD and was the home to 18 high priests, 615 dancers, and 12,500 people.Â I don’t know why the dancer stats are so important, but there you go.
I now fully fit the role of a British explorer with khakis and a safari hat, surrounded by my cadre of Cambodians at $18 a day. They drive me around, carry my tripod, bring me water when I am thirsty, and seem anxious for me to colonize the area. A member of my cadre woke me up early this morning at 5 AM. I emerged from the jungle netting to walk around the angles of the ruins of Angkor Wat to find something to start the morning.
Also, I just launched www.treyratcliff.com – let me know if you dig it… also, let me know if you like Song 1 or Song 2… I get mixed reviews on which one is the best for the opening song! I trust your aesthetic taste so, I’d like to hear what you think!
Thanks… and I’ll be out searching the ruins all day… trying to find interesting things and beautiful things for y’all! 🙂