We have been told that it is nearly blasphemous not to see it when you are here and we figured that we have more than used up our blasphemous cards so we better get up there.
We woke up to find a very clear day, so by noon we made up our minds that this was the day! We hired a car to pick us up at 2 pm and bring us back at 6:30. The air conditioned van was so comfortable compared to our usual songtheaw or tuk tuk!
Once we left the city proper the road became more and more windy as we reached the top. There were plenty of traffic going both ways, but our driver seemed to know every inch of the road.
Upon arrival we chose not to climb the 300 plus stairs to the top but to take the elevator which is more of an enclosed box on a track. After snapping a few pictures we found the highest overlook and were afforded with outstanding views.
The tall white building in the center is the Holiday Inn. Our condo next to it on the right.
Carved wooden pillars
The Chedi houses a relic of The Buddha and is covered in gold plating
Marble Buddha nearly 5 feet tall
As we staked out our spot to wait for the magical evening light we were surprised how many people were also waiting for sunset. But they didn't know the secret of getting amazing sunset pictures because just after the sun dipped behind the mountain 90% of the people left.
We were surprised and happy to catch one of just three fireworks
The time between the actual sunset and just before dark which is usually 20 to 30 minutes later is when the color will come out to do it's dance for you. It is truly magical and you won't be sorry you waited.
While Vince does have photo editing software he only uses it to sparingly to make pictures more crisp or lighten some shadows. The photos you see here have not been retouched. What you see is the natural colors we were privileged to see from the top of the mountain.
On the way out Vince got a shot of the Chedi as they light it at night. It can be seen glowing from the mountain for miles around.