There we were, on our second day at Siem Reap. And for the first time in my life, I experienced true magnificence.

That Missing Piece

It was our first out-of-country trip and we were expecting a magical one. We chose Cambodia to see the greatness of ancient Khmerian architecture. And we weren't wrong. We saw Angkor Wat's perfect architecture during our first day. There were a lot of tourists and it felt like we were in a big convention. And it was understandable, of course, it's Angkor Wat for F's sake -- The Eighth Wonder of the World! But honestly, it took away a little bit of the magic. We immediately knew that a piece of the puzzle was missing.


We were actually anticipating for it to happen. That's why we really put our hopes high on the start of our second day: Sunrise at Angkor Wat.

We woke up at 4:30am like what both our tuk-tuk driver, Sang and we agreed upon. We didn't eat breakfast. At 5am, we left... I remember the early cool breeze touching our skin. We were trembling both in coldness and in excitement.

It was a quick ride. Then we finally arrived. It was very dark. The only lights are other people's headlamps and mobile phones. So we followed the crowd hoping that we still have a place to sit and witness Angkor Wat in sunrise and we were lucky that we landed on second row within the crowd. We set up my tripod and camera and overheard a lot of stories from our fellow travelers. Everybody was delighted.

We all patiently waited for the sun to peek behind the Eighth Wonder. I was nervous that I might not be able to get a decent shot. Nene and I were not even talking and I saw her a bit disappointed. Then I realized that the shot should only come second. The point was to experience that moment with Nene. And it was magical. The sun finally kissed our skins and there we were, witnessing Angkor Wat's magnificence. It was the missing piece of the puzzle! We were happy.

The sun rising behind Angkor Wat

Loving the sunrise

After taking photographs of Angkor Wat, we took advantage of the early morning sunlight and took our couple selfie. :)

I love this shot!
Of course, my favorite subject
A local tour guide smiling for me :)

Two inspiring women

After having fun with the sunlight, we were already famished. So we walked back to meet up with Sang and let him take us to our hotel for breakfast. Then while walking, I saw something inspiring.

While all the tourists were on the other side capturing Angkor Wat, there were these two amazing women, (probably bestfriends doing their bucketlist) contemplating about shooting something that is out of the norm.

Masters of their own craft

So I got closer to them and looked at their point of view. Then, I was dumbfounded with what they were trying to capture.

That majestic view

There, I realized that beauty isn't always what everyone loves to look at. Sometimes it's just around the corner waiting to be appreciated. You just have to stop and look around. Only then, you can see true beauty.

I learned that they're from China and I can't wait to see how beautiful their country is -- like what they said about the Philippines. :)

And so Nene and I headed back with a smile on our faces. :)

PS: Checkout more of our sunrise photoset at Aia's Flickr! And stay tuned for our next Cambodia chronicles posts! This is just the first!