One of the few things I was willing to wake up at an ungodly hour for was to watch the sun rise over Cambodia's greatest treasure: Angkor Wat, the City of Temples.
First a Hindu then a Buddhist temple complex, Angkor Wat was built in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II.
It is the largest religious monument in the world and its perfect symmetry is a wonder to behold.
The main temple of Angkor Wat is composed of three rectangular galleries, each higher than the next.
Every inch of the walls of each gallery is covered in elaborate bas-relief scenes from Hindu mythology and literature.
Angkor Wat's Temple Mountain, its central and uppermost sanctuary, is an architectural representation of Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hindu mythology.
From the uppermost terrace, one can see across the lower galleries to the bridge which crosses the moat around Angkor Wat, and all the way to the outer wall.
The image of Buddha in the uppermost sanctuary depicts him seated on the coils of a Naga. Legend says that Buddha was so deep in meditation, he did not notice the storm that began raging around him. So the Naga coiled itself under Buddha to raise him from the muddy waters and bent its seven heads (one of which is broken here) over him to protect him from the rain. Of all the temples in the Angkor district of Siem Reap, only Angkor Wat was never abandoned and it is still an active Buddhist temple today.