Saturday, 30 August 2008

And Just Around the Corner

From the not-so-dreaded post office, it wasn't far to Wat Phnom park and the famous temple, so we strolled over in the burning sun and had a look around.

With its hilltop location, it is hard to miss Wat Phnom, sitting 27 metres above the surrounding flatness of the Cambodian capital.

*Dating back to 1372, the original pagoda is a popular place for locals to come and pray for good fortune and also to try their luck at getting tourists to part with a few Riel. Accessible by a main central staircase that is guarded by statues of dragons and seven headed serpents (naga), it looks both daunting yet very impressive.

Not worth the dollar entrance fee when you reach the top, it was still nonetheless worth traipsing to the pinnacle just for the panoramic view. The temple was a bit disappointing, because despite interesting murals on the wooden walls and a large, central Golden Buddha with the scent of joss stick ever present, the main area was crammed solid with statuettes and gifts.

It looked more like a storage hall than a place of worship.

A few photos next...

*The hill and a small temple were reputedly built by Lady Penh in 1372 after she found a floating Koki tree in the river. Inside the tree were 4 Buddha statues and she built the temple in their honour. The current temple was rebuilt in 1926.

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