I had an amazing introduction to Angkor Wat... and it's a bit of a long description, too ;)
I aimed to be at Angkor Wat for sunrise, but even an hour before the sun rose, there were probably a good hundred people in front of the lake, all bending over backward to get a shot of the sun rising behind the temple complex - the postcard shot, but insanely beautiful.
Even without a tripod, I could see this wasn't for me, so I went for a wander through the still-dark corridors and bumped into a security guard.
He shooed everyone away, but asked me if i'd like to see the sunrise from 'a really nice spot'. The price? Five bucks.
It seemed like blatant extortion, so I went back outside and looking at the sea of tripods, expensive cameras and L-series lenses, it only took a second to find the security guard and say "lets go".
So with my backpack, camera and torch, we scampered over barriers, up dramatic flights of stairs and around little platforms. We moved quickly, and I had no idea where we were going.
We arrived at a beautiful area, which only had four other people. We were right in the center of the Angkor Wat complex - the representation of Mt Meru, the Hindu/Buddhist center of all spirituality. A place where God's reside.
After the sunrise, the others went back down and I was left on my own to wander around the area. I found the huge buddha in the center and just sat within my own thoughts for half an hour.
It's the beauty of travel, when all the little unexpected things occur. The things you'll remember until you're old, re-telling them again and again with the same glow in your eyes.
It felt appropriate to take a similarly mystical exposure to capture this experience - a 10 shot HDR.
Large on black is always nicer.