Thursday, December 27, 2012

Cambodia's Blessing (12/27/2012)

Still Thursday, December 27, 2012
The ox carts were our transportation to a paved road and motorcoaches. The buses took us to Udong, an early capital of Cambodia where many of the royalty are buried. We did not go to see the temple of the Buddha relic, but instead went to the Vipassana Dhura Buddhist Meditation Center for a blessing from the monks.
The main sanctuary of the monastery:
The interior is filled with murals:
First we all put ourselves in the lotus position, or the closest we could get to it, for the blessing:
We sat for 12 minutes while the monks chanted and threw lotus petals and jasmine buds at us. You can imagine the groans upon having to stand up again!
The Buddha in the sanctuary was halo'ed by LED lighting:
Kent took note of the floor tiles:
A general view of the meditation center, which was built in 2003:
Unique pruning job:
The buildings were made with cast concrete:
The bougainvillea arbor:
Plumeria sp./Frangipani:
The pool of Mother Earth:
It seems the Thai version of the legend is that when the evil Mara tried to distract Buddha from reaching enlightenment, Buddha called on Mother Earth who became a woman with long hair, who twisted the water from her hair to wash away Mara and his demons:
An enhanced dragon topiary:
Cute child on motor scooter:
The mausoleum of the monk Sam Bunthoeun:
Sam Bunthoeun was assassinated in 2003 after encouraging monks to register and vote in the National Assembly elections. He lies in state for all to see.
Pavilion topiary:
Back in the motorcoaches, we headed back to the Tonle Sap River. We were dropped off in a village (Kã´h Chen?) near Preak Kdam:
A motorcycle trailer:
This village is known for silver and copper smithing.
Pressing sheets of copper:
Hammering in a design:
Corrugated metal house:
Village girl in clothing made with Angry Birds fabric:
Jewelry hustlers find Joan:
The walk through the village brought us to the shore of the Tonle Sap where we boarded the RV Indochina to continue down the river back to Phnom Penh.
Along the way we noticed these structures in the water:
The pairs of sampans hold the open ends of bagnets (horizontal cone-shaped fishing nets) which are anchored:
Further downstream are fishing boats anchored at the closed end of the nets:
The current of the river pushes the fish into the nets, and they are regularly lifted by the boats to be opened and emptied of their catch:
A net in the above photo is lifted, but we are not sure if it is being emptied or hosed clean.
The banks of the river are pretty well inhabited along this stretch:
Finally, docked in Phnom Penh:
Next, Phnom Penh 1 Walking Tour:

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