Bayon Temple and Beatocello

muertemaria's picture

So I have written this post already once and I am at an internet cafe and right as I was finishing the computer restarted. So I am so pissed, this post will probably be shorter then my original one. ARRRGGHHH!

Anyway - More of my pictures have finally uploaded. My Bayon Temple photos have now uploaded. Bayon is part of the Angkor Wat park but more specifically part of the Angkor Thom set of temples.

Angkor Thom was built as a square, the sides of which run exactly north to south and east to west. Standing in the exact center of the walled city, Bayon Temple represents the intersection of heaven and earth. Built around 1190 AD by King Jayavarman VII, Bayon is a Buddhist temple but it incorporates elements of Hindu cosmology.

Bayon is known for its huge stone faces of the bodhisattva Avalokiteshvara, with one facing outward and keeping watch at each compass point. The curious smiling image, thought by many to be a portrait of Jayavarman himself, has been dubbed by some the "Mona Lisa of Southeast Asia." There are 51 smaller towers surrounding Bayon, each with four faces of its own.

Bayon Temple is surrounded by two long walls bearing an extraordinary collection of bas-relief scenes of legendary and historical events. In all, there are are total of more than 11,000 carved figures over 1.2km of wall. They were probably originally painted and gilded, but this has long since faded.

I think Bayon was my favorite temple. The faces are massive and even close up it is amazing how they are carved. Right into these bricks. All around the temple are these other carvings of Apsara dancers which are beautiful all over the temple. The traditional Khmer dancing is based after these dancers. The other long reliefs around the temple are in good shape, but it was scary to see all the tourist touch them becuase you know it can't handle that. hundreds of people touching these things will destroy them so quickly. They just don't do a good job of keeping people back. I totally know the temptation to touch them, but really, control yourself.

Every saturday at the children's hospital, the doctor who started the hospital Dr. Beat Richter gives a cello concert and a talk. We went last saturday. His hospital is one of 6 that he has set up since 1992. He was a peditrician in Cambodia before the Khmer Rouge took over and came back in 1992 to set up the first childrens hospital when foreigners were allowed back in 1992. The hospital does not charge for their services since no one could actually pay. They also do prenatal and deliveries, the only catch is that everyone who wants to deliver there must take an AIDS test becuase they have the ability to limit the passage to the child. The concert was really good and he is a fiesty man and very critical of a lot of things not only in Cambodia but the western world NGO's and how they give out money and turn a blind eye to the corruption. His back up band is called the "passive genocide of children". Some of the things I learned.

  • In 2007 the 6 hospitals admitted 24,000 children with Dengue Fever which if you do not treat it with blood transfusions you will die.
  • In 2004 during the SARS ëpidemic" 800+ people around the world got SARS and 10,000 children in Cambodia got Dengue Fever but no one knew about that epidemic.
  • The mosquito that carries dengue fever can only travel 100 meters so it should be a easy fix to kill the nest after one person gets the disease, but the money that is supposed to be going to eliminating the hatched mosquitos is never going to those programs it is going into people's pockets.
  • 65% of the cambodian population is a carrier of TB.
  • 10% of the population has HIV
  • 14% has hepititus
  • In the 16 years that the hospitals have been open they have seen more then 17 million outpatients.
  • Most drug in cambodia are fakes so you have to import from outside
  • After the Khmer Rouge Regime, only 50 doctors were left in the country.

Dr. Beat talked a lot about how some NGOs didn't like his hospitals because he has state of the art facilities so that the labs give correct results, the standard thinking is that a third world country should have third world care and not first world care. So he raises all the money for the hospitals from private donations. Here is his site.


That place looks better than

LC's picture
Angkor Watt. Thanks for the pictures! When do you head off for Thailand? Are you sure you can't bring back one of those kids? Maybe Dr. Beat could help you figure out how to sneak one in your suitcase.

great photos

who're your friends?

have you met any enlightened monks?  if so, did they have a beatific glow, as if they had transcended time and space?

I am off

muertemaria's picture

To thailand on monday so I am trying to get all my cambodian updates done before, but I don't think I am going to get them all finished here. At least I am going to try and get my photos uploaded. The two other people are Cassie and John they were the other two volunteers that were here with me. They are Jrs. At Wofford in South Carolina. That day their camera ran out of batteries so I am the official taker of the photos.

Next up - Ta Phrom - The tombraider temple.

how's the food?

do they have spciy morsels of crispy chicken?

It's going by so fast

Will you be back for book club?