Friday 22 and Saturday 23rd. At Ankor Wat.

Written by Jack van Ommen on January 23rd, 2010

Saturday morning: The city is waking up. It is 6.45 a.m. Four Saffron robed monks are striding past me. People are doing their early morning calisthenics on the river front. Our 3 hour river boat trip to Siem Reap takes off at 7.30. Friday we visited the “Russian” market, the main market for souvenirs and handicrafts, silk, etc. Next we visited the temples in the Royal palace compound. I had done this on my earlier visit, two weeks ago, but this time we used a guide and that made the visit much more interesting. Particularly being explained the relationship of the religion and the royal family. The picture below shows the flower and the fruit of the Buddha Tree. The flower of this tree only blooms for one day and then it drops it’s bright purple petals, which are gathered and used everywhere as offerings in the temples and the small home altars together with the incense sticks. The botanical name of the Buddha Tree is Shorea Robusta Roxb. This makes it a relative of the very common commercial woods like Meranti and Serayah; this to remind you that I am on a retired bus man/lumberman’s holiday. We stopped at one other pagoda complex, this is the headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism, founded in 1443. I need to do a lot more study on the many variations of the Asian religions, so many mixtures of Hinduism and Buddhism, Taoism, etc., are manifested in the symbolisms in the art work of the temples and in the way of worship and daily life. We ran into Phil and Leilani Roberts after dinner. akes off at 7.30. Friday we visited the “Russian” market, the main market for souvenirs and handicrafts, silk, etc. Next we visited the temples in the Royal palace compound. I had done this on my earlier visit, two weeks ago, but this time we used a guide and that made the visit much more interesting. Particularly being explained the relationship of the religion and the royal family. The picture below shows the flower and the fruit of the Buddha Tree. The flower of this tree only blooms for one day and then it drops it’s bright purple petals, which are gathered and used everywhere as offerings in the temples and the small home altars together with the incense sticks. The botanical name of the Buddha Tree is Shorea Robusta Roxb. This makes it a relative of the very common commercial woods like Meranti and Serayah; this to remind you that I am on a retired busman/lumberman’s holiday. We stopped at one other pagoda complex, this is the headquarters of Cambodian Buddhism, founded in 1443. I need to do a lot more study on the many variations of the Asian religions, so many mixtures of Hinduism and Buddhism, Taoism, etc., are manifested in the symbolisms in the art work of the temples and in the way of worship and daily life. We ran into Phil and Leilani Robson after dinner.

Saturday: we have arrived in Siem Reap. It was a fast ride in a jet boat. The scenery was similar to the ride from the Vietnam border to P.P. but the weather was better. We will spend two days visiting the whole of the Ankor Wat ruins compound. This evening we went to see the sunset from one of the highest point on one of the ruins. I was disappointed. I had expected that the silhouette of the ruins would be in the picture but it were the flat Mekong delta lands and the enormous lake. There were droves of tourists all following the highly touted claims.

 

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