Nation – Religion – King
So long Thailand and choum reap sor [hello] my long awaited Cambodia. You may recall that Cambodia was a country on the top of my list I was keen to visit [http://liveyouryellowbrickroad.com/lion-city/].
I’m sure when most people think of Cambodia, the infamous temples at Angkor in Siem Reap come to mind, and this is where I begin my Cambodian adventure.
Did you know that the flag of Cambodia symbolizes the country’s slogan: Nation, Religion, King. The two large blue stripes represent royalty and the center red stripe represents the nation. The image of the white temple stands for the nation’s religion. Source
There are a significant amount of temples throughout the Angkor complex. The book, Ancient Angkor, provides details on more than 40. So, in order not to put you to sleep, I will highlight just a couple here.
Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in Angkor and the world’s largest religious monument. It dates back to the early 12th century. It is over 400 acres [~200 hectares and surrounded by a moat].
Angkor was conceived as a symbolic universe structured according to the model provided by traditional Indian (Hindu) cosmology. Over time the architecture of Angkor Wat and other temples transitioned to Buddhism given the change of influence throughout Cambodia’s history. Source
[for the sake of quality, I’ve included just a few photos on this page along with a link to others at the bottom].
My two favorite temples are the Bayon and Ta Prohm.
The Bayon dates back to the late 12th century. This temple passed through various religious phases from Patheon of the Gods, Hindu worship and Buddhism. The structure currently has about 37 face towers, each tower can have 2,3 or 4 faces. It is thought to have originally had about 49 towers.
Ta Prohm is typically described as an Indiana Jones style monument given the trees currently growing grow out of this structure.
Angkor Archaeological Park and beyond has some of the most extensive temples and ruins. If you’re keen on seeing as much as possible, you’d need about three days.
I loved that most the temples were geographically spread out and surrounding area retains its nature beauty.
Given all this wonderful, ancient history and archaeology, I had not expected Siem Reap to have an area so developed for tourists, Pub Street, which reminded me of Cambodia meets New Orleans!
I think all the locals must travel with a hammock that can pop up or attach anywhere. Even the trishaw drivers used them within their vehicles.
driver resting in hammock inside tri-shaw
Like Myanmar, the trees are magnificent in Cambodia; they seem so ancient.
Look how deep the roots are visible here
I had heard about the Cambodian Circus and my initial impressions were not to go as I’d thought it would be quite ‘corny’. I’m glad I was convinced otherwise.
It reminded me of the shows that come to the Thames in London in tents. This was not an ‘animal’ circus. The show that was put on was well done and the theme was quite hilarious as it ‘took the mickey out of’ the interaction between tourists and the locals.
I’ve now had another fix of temples in Angkor, so it’s time for me to journey further.
Before I do, I previously mentioned I’d keep you posted any potential effects of my Reiki attunement clearing. So let me fill you in.
The day I left Thailand and upon arriving in Siem Reap, I had a constant knot and nauseous-like feeling in my stomach. At first, I thought it might be because I started my day with a delicious helping of homemade chocolate mousse for breakfast, and my diet for the remainder of the day had been ‘airport’ food. I wasn’t sick, it was just a constant nauseous knot, just sitting there.
That logic would have been fine if the feeling hadn’t taken several days to pass. This feeling was with me the entire time I was in Siem Reap. It only disappeared the day after I left Siem Reap. In hindsight, I realized I was still within my 21 day Reiki cleansing time-frame, but after having learnt more of Cambodia’s recent turbulent history, it’s possible I was more prone to feeling this energy. I’ll touch more on this energy as I journey through Cambodia.
Love & light,
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References and More Information:
Book: Ancient Angkor by M. Freeman & C. Jacques