A pilgrimage to Phnom Kulen
Siem Reap Travel Blog› entry 8 of 10 › view all entries
May 16th, 2009 – by: CinnamonCookie
I went there with a Cambodian friend, who knew how to get there and could drive the moto up the mountain. A problem is that tax is raised for the road. The Lonely Planet reported that cheaper tickets for foreigners could be bought at the Angkor City Hotel or something and since my friend confirmed this, we went there to get a ticket.
Then the road goes quickly up the mountain and into the forest, but still you don't get the idea that your $20 dollars are spend on this. Probably just another money grab. On the foot of the Wat are a collection of stalls selling food and souvenir products, though not the kind you find a lot in Siem Reap. At that point we had a group of ten children running around our motobike, yelling things. It wasn't untill later I found out that they were applying for the job as shoe guard. After parking the motobike, my friend chose the smallest of all, a very sweet 4 year old, to guard our shoes. So we had a very tough-looking fellow with us to walk up the stairs. A lot of beggars on the stairs though. The area around the wat was very crowded with people praying, but a very serene place. We left our shoes with our shoe guard, and climbed the stairs to the reclining buddha.
After handing out some money to the beggars, we went to the river to watch the 1000 linga's. I don't know if there were 1000 for a fact, but there were many. It's a very beautiful, serene and quiet place. Too bad that the locals just walk on the carvings. Tell that to someone from Unesco and they will probably start crying. For the true local experience, we also visited the waterfalls, where a lot of Khmer seemed to be gathered to go swimming and enjoying their days off. Because it is still dry season here, the waterfalls were not that impressive, but still very nice. I went for a swim, neatly with my clothes on offcourse and this was very cool! There was even this woman where you could borrow swimming pants.
Pictures will follow!
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