It is still dark outside as we approach the temple. Save for the thin light of my guide’s torch we are enshrouded in darkness and the sound of the forest. It is five in the morning and I can already feel the sweat trickling down my back. The gravel crunches under my feet and around us I can hear the sound of the crickets rubbing their legs together to cool themselves. I point this out to my excellent guide and in reply he gives me a quick run down of the best way to eat crickets, which apparently is quite normal in Cambodia.
And then suddenly, seemingly out of nowhere, the temple of Angkor Wat rises before me. I can barely make out its silhouette in the darkness. We ascend the steep steps to the top level of the temple, from where you have a breath taking view of the sun rising in the east. At this time of morning it is just us up here – us and a small lizard clinging to the outer wall, eyeing us suspiciously. Gradually the light increases to reveal the imposing magnitude of Angkor Wat and I become aware of just how privileged I am to have the chance to visit this magnificent place.