Sunday, November 13, 2016

It pays to get up early: My best pre-dawn moments

I am not a morning person. 
Let me repeat: I detest waking up before 10:00am. 
Practically nothing but a paying job or a flight will get me out of bed before ten.
So why oh why would I eve wake up early on my beloved sabbatical, when I am the master of my schedule and can sleep in as late as I want every day?

Sunrises are a pretty good excuse. 

My first sunrise in SE Asia was in Bali. Our host asked if we wanted to go for a morning walk, and when we agreed, he said to be up at 5:00am. 5:00am????!!! So we left with him in the dark and I wondered why he was taking us on a "morning walk" before morning was even beginning. But by the time we reached the top of a tall hill near our house the sun was rising, and suddenly all the fields and rice paddies were illuminated in that morning light. That's the magic of waking up early: you get to see the sky in colors the reveal themselves at no other time. 

After that first experience, I went on to watch the sunrise dozens of times from windows, rooftops, and temples. A SE Asian sunrise, those pastel colors, the calm quiet air that pervades the morning are worth waking up for.
Morning walk in Ubud, Bali

Standard tourist sunrise shot at Angkor Wat, Siem Reap, Cambodia

My best sunrise in Bagan, Myanmar

Sunrise from my apartment window in Chiang Mai, Thailand

Sunrise from Phnom Bakheng, Siem Reap Cambodia

Sunrise from Pre Rup, Siem Reap Cambodia

Sunrise from the boat at HaLong Bay, Vietnam

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