Cambodia's Former Capital of Oundong
Oudong Tramoung Travel Blog› entry 4 of 78 › view all entries
October 21st, 2006 – by: droonsta
Oudong is a tiny attraction compared to Angkor, and predominately just houses some large Buddhist stupa's that contain ashes of former Cambodian Kings. The scenery around the temple is breathtaking and requires a fit pair of legs to hike up the mountain!
The area is still very basic and doesn't really cater for an influx of foreign tourists, however many locals enjoy visiting this area during weekends and public holidays as a nice little retreat from the capital city.
Only my cousin and I hiked up the mountain while the in-laws relaxed and chilled out at the base. Upon hiking up the steps we were greeted by many little kids who offered to be our tour guides. I declined the offer as I already knew about the history of the mountain and also came here on my previous trip in 2002. However the kids persisted on walking along with us anyways and offered to carry our shoes, as shoes were not allowed at certain locations.
The reason why I decided to hike up this time round was because on my last trip here I missed out on wandering around the brand new stupa which was erected in 2002. I was not allowed to walk and tour around it until the cutting of the ribbon ceremony the following day, how unlucky I was! hahah.
Anyways along the whole journey up, I witnessed the same tragic thing... countless beggers. I really hate the site as it's very depressing, and I'm not saying this in a bad way in terms of image, but in terms of feeling sorry for the locals and the state they have to put themselves in. DAMN GOVERNMENT, DAMN WAR, DAMN GENOCIDE, DAMN KHMER ROUGE, DAMN NIXON & KISSINGER. I donated some small change that I had for good merit and continued my journey to the top.
When we reached a certain point, one of the kid guides pointed out in the distance and said "look, look tour buses, the Chinese are coming" I laughed and one of them shouted out "I'm running back down". After talking with one of the kids, I realised that the kids made a decent living on certain days when the Chinese, Koreans and/or Japanese visited.
After wandering around the mountain visiting the countless stupas and witnessing the progressive reconstruction/restoration work being made at one of the temples on top, we continued back down to the base of the mountain for lunch. We offered some food to my kid guides and I tipped them a few dollars each, which was too much in general as 2000 Riel (50cents) would be sufficient. However they didn't ask for money and I found them to be good company and I wanted to help them as much as I can, without ruining future tourists experiences. [NOTE: If I were to start tipping dollars and dollars to every single guide, begger, local in general, then future backpackers and travellers would be faced with high expectations of large tips.
We also popped into an area near Phnom Basit, to visit some Angkor style Wats which were recently constructed out of concrete. Other than the appearance from the distance, there's not much to admire in terms of carvings as its all cement and have not been carved, but mass produced. There are currently 2 such Angkor styled Wats in the immediate vicinity and if your lucky enough you might fall upon some Cambodian Stars, as it is a popular place to shoot local Karoake videos and Movies.
Phnom Basit, houses the largest in shape statue of the Buddha lying down.
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