|Started out early this morning by visiting a monestary and presenting alms to monks. We presented food, drinks, incense and money to 2 young monks. We had to remove our shoes sit in a specific position, fold hands and touch the mat 3 times. When we put rice from our bowls into their bowls we could not touch the side of their bowls. We each had to give half from our bowls to each monk. We then took position on the mat while they gave a blessing and we repeated the fold d hands and mat touching 3 times.
We then left for Angkor Wat and saw the last temple that was built.ma Hindu temple with the most beautiful and intricate carvings in the sandstone walls. 500 thousand people worked on this temple for 30 years during the 11 th century.which was never completed. It is huge and 3 levels. It is the largest sacred building.We enter from the east and climbed to the top and exited to the west. Our guide explained the myths behind all of the carvings. They are amazing and to think they were done 900 years ago! We also visited Angkor Thom,a Hindu temple with many carvings and several large Buddhas. There are 54 stone figures on each side, gods on the left and demons on the right.
BayonTemple had 54 towers, only 37 remain. They all have 4 Buddah faces carved. Amazing craftsmanship!
Baphuon Temple was one of the two mountain temples. These are built on several levels but there is nothing inside except for the room at the top!
We also saw the 350 meter long Terrace of the Elephants, wall with 200 elephant carvings. It was used as a viewing platform for public ceremonies and the base for the king's grand audience hall. The Leper terrace has carvings of the king and his 2 wives. The name comes from the carvings are without hands and feet and the skin looks like that of persons with leperosy. It was actually used as a crematorium.
After lunch we visited Treak, one of 3 villages that make up the community served by the temple we visited this morning. There is also a primary school; they must travel to the city for secondary school. Public school is attended 4 hours per day, 6 days a week. Because of lack of teachers and class rooms some children attend in morning and some in the afternoon. There are 45-50 students in one class room start first grade at each 6 and attend for 12 years. If they want to learn a language other than the native language they must attend a private school. Our guide's children attend public school in morning and private in afternoon, learning English and Chinese.
Treak is under an Australian organization called HUSK which is helping to improve living conditions in Cambodia. A percentage of tours goes to the village. HUSK has installed pump wells on everyone's property. The water still must be boiled. They have also started trash pickup. A few homes have a water filtering system, but I wonder how much bacteria is filtered through the sand and gravel. They have also built new homes for the poorest residents. They are on cement stilts with a tin roof and walls made of bamboo frames with palm leaves weaved within. On stilts to keep area cooler. If stilts are wooden they are on a cement support as the termites are bad.
Some of the houses in the village are made of wood. The rich people sell property in city for $100,000, buy a piece of property and build a house for $25,000. These homes were very nice, cement, windows and doors and often found behind a fence and gate. Io was an interesting outlook. Population 2500, 400 families.