(if I was a more superficial type, I could have been overawed by the fact that Angelina Jolie's hallowed feet had been here....LMAO)
My tuk Tuk drivers name is Sey Me....
( does anyone else ever think in song titles sometimes? Every time I said his name, the song "SayYou, Say Me" by Lionel Ritchie, kept playing in my head...LOL)
Anyway, he was the sweetest little man...he arrived with hot coffee & a pastry for me...how considerate is that?
There had just been an amazing thunder storm an hour before, so as we set off, the air was clean & everything was fresh...lovely!
As the sky turned pink with dawn we trundled through tiny villages waking up for the day, heading out to their fields ...oxcarts plodding along...everyone smiling & waving....all felt at peace with the world!
I chose to go so early to enjoy the tranquility & spirituality of this very ancient temple before the hordes of package tour tourists descended with their endless need to chatter loudly & endless photo selfies over every available surface....not that I was expecting there would be bus loads there as this temple was not in the huge famous Angkor Wat complex, that attracts the majority of tourists, but way more out of the way...I choose my sightseeing carefully...lol
I know I am sounding snobbish, but hey, so what?
When I am trying to soak up the antiquity of a 6000 yr old temple, the last thing I want is a loud whining American voice proclaiming "where is that (insert your own words) that Aunt Maude from Omaha saw when she was here?"....LMAO
As we went along I suddenly remembered something an aussie guy had told me in Saigon....he visited The Taj Mahal in India...something he had wanted to do all his life..
It was completely ruined by a guide who attached himself to him at the entrance....talking talking talking non stop...all he wanted to do was sit & reflect on the beauty of the place, but what he got was constant inconsequential noise!
With this in mind I asked Sey Me if this was going to be the case at Ta Phrom...he wasnt sure because it was so early in the morning, & the temple wasnt usually that busy then, but thought maybe...
I told him I do NOT want a guide & he was to make that clear to them...I know they are just trying to make a living, but I was willing to give them money NOT to follow me around!!!!
I dont need to know the history...I can read that up on the internet...
I just want to soak up the ambience of the place...ALONE!
As it happened we were in luck....when we got there, there was only one other Tuk Tuk sitting outside, & no guides or nagging sellers outside...SCORE!
We had passed through the huge Angkor Wat site on the way which is surrounded by pretty much manicured jungle (it has all been restored) & you could see the spires sitting up above the trees...as we got deeper in, it got very misty, because of the earlier rain....suddenly I could see this huge , bright orange ball in the sky...the sun rising through the ever thickening mist....awe inspiring, to say the least!
I am going to continue this in another post, as Ta Phrom deserves a section all of its own....