I was surprised when we went to market street our first evening here and found a barrage of bars, shops, tons of people, basically a hopping little town much like Playa del Carmen in Mexico. I must of thought this would be more of a village built up around the temples. I get the feeling anything goes here in Siam Reap and the plethora of Europeans with three or more month homes and tourists makes that apparent, oh, and the young, beautiful prostitutes swaying up and down the streets. And, it seems like this is lucrative time right now in Siam Reap.
I was happy when our tuk tuk took us off that main drag as we started to see the expansive temple area. The webbing of forest and temples crawling, reaching out from every view. It is hard to fathom the amount of human energy it took to build these temples, carve the intricate stories and sculptures, everywhere, in every stone, around every corner within a 200 km range. And then, to feel and see how the forest keeps knitting through, on, in and around, both tearing these temples apart and sewing them together. Some of the bigger temples, like Angor Wat have been kept clear of the forests intermingling. And, the difference of styles of art from one temple to another...I also thought we may get templed out, but I just keep getting blown open. This has definitely been an opportunity to release the things I thought I knew, again and again. One of my favs is a temple called Neak Pean, or coiled serpent. This tiny island temple was obviously a sanctuary for the ladies! It was said to have risen out of a lotus flower. This little sanctuary was a breath of fresh air in comparison to these massive, mandala structures full of spires and lingham energy. This gem is surrounded by three round lakes, rising up out of the center lake, an orbesque temple crowned with lotus petals and the base, the coiled serpent with two tails entwined, or nagas(water gods), guarding as this temple rose up out of the water. The feminine energy celebrated, the elixir of mama. It felt really good to be here, a lightness and breath fullness, as this was our last stop after a long rich day of exploration.
From animism, to Buddhism to Hinduism to Buddhism, back to Hinduism...and representation of the merging of it all, so apparent through these temples, the amalgamation through the Khmer art. It is forever fascinating, the stories of religion and humans, how these stories can rip us apart causing wars and also unify us, deep source power. Here it All is.
Location:Siem Reap Cambodia