Cambodia Travels: Buddha, Apsara & Hanuman Pt.1

After we settled in our hotel, our agenda for the afternoon + night was to walk around before our reserved trip to an Apsara dance show.

Our first stop, a modern temple. One of the oldest temples in Siem Reap town – and definitely one of the most gorgeous and colorful temples I’ve been to. Khmer people in Siem Reap are VERY used to bold tourists just walking into temples, snapping away and treating it like a museum. At first, we were very hesitant to go in but a young man walked out from the temple and motioned us to come in. Not knowing that I was going to be going in a temple, I was wearing shorts (Not the best thing to wear in Siem Reap since there are temples everywhere). Fortunately, I had a scarf with me so I tied that around my waist like a sarong (skirt) and it came to my knees. Remember to dress conservative. The people in the city usually don’t mind but it still is somewhat rude when you walk into prestigious places like temples where people are worshipping. It’s always good to have a scarf with you too – for sweat and to cover up when you need to. I guess the only thing to keep in mind is to be quiet and try not to snap away too much while people are praying – it’s cultural but also very religious and I get pretty sensitive when it comes to the subject of crossing the border between trying to capture all the fascinating things versus turning a lifestyle into a show for tourists. I know these are all stating the obvious but it’s definitely something that slips my mind sometimes and I don’t think about – something I need to constantly remind myself.

The story of the temple

From the entrance - people were praying and we were hesitant to go in.

People praying

This was on the back of a lion's head. I've seen lion statues before but never seen this pattern printed on them before.

Walking around the temple - there were painted murals all around each telling a story about Buddha

Telling a story

The lying Buddha. This was behind a sitting Buddha. I went around to see what was in the back and found this.

Lotus

Patterns & colors in the temple.

Patterns & colors in the temple. This was what the Buddha was sitting on.

Patterns & colors in the temple. This was what the Buddha was sitting on.

 

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2 thoughts on “Cambodia Travels: Buddha, Apsara & Hanuman Pt.1

  1. Oh look its me! :)

    Going to Wats is such an important aspect of understanding the culture of Cambodia. It might be advertised, and it can be quite intimidating intruding on other religions. But Cambodian Bhuddism is not only a religion it is also a way of viewing life and a lifestyle. So I would say to any tourist- please try and understand the way people live life before making any judgement and implanting your own views. Culture should be accepted and appreciated; not changed.

    This Wat in particular was very special as well, and I highly reccomend taking a look at it. The people are very welcoming and want foreigners to enjoy it.

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