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Entries in Cambodia (17)


Pre Rup

Impromptu soccer game in front of the ruins of Pre Rup in Angkor, Cambodia. Notice the slight breeze moving the leaves around on the tree at the end of the clip (0:19). Real hot the day we visited the ruins, and the little bit of shade was a welcome respite.


Buddha and Palms


It was scorching hot the morning we went to the Royal Palace (see Call Me By My True Name and Ganesha II) in Phnom Penh. To find a little bit of shade, we climbed the stairs to Phnom Mondap and encountered exquisite Buddha statues wrapped in golden silk, a peaceful glen of palms, and a cool breeze. [NOTE: Phnom Mondap (library) used to house an extensive collection of sutra books written on palm leaves. The palm books are now archived in an air-conditioned facility].


Banteay Srei

Banteay Srei is considered by many to be the artistic jewel of Angkor Wat. It is a relatively small temple, but it contains some of the finest examples of stone carving anywhere on earth. Almost every surface is covered in elaborate decoration.

There are women with lotus flowers and flowing skirts, stern temple guards, toothy monsters, and complicated and delicate renditions of scenes from the Ramayana.

[NOTE: Banteay Srei means "Citadel of Women", probably owing to the many devatas carved into the red sandstone walls].



The temple of Bayon in the Angkor Thom complex was built by Buddhist King Jayavarman VII in the late 12th century. The temple feature 54 towers decorated with enormous, smiling faces of Avalokiteshvara, the Bodhisattva of Compassion.

There are a total of 216 faces of Avalokiteshvara at Bayon, and at least a dozen of them are visible at any time as you walk through the ruins. Unlike the more typical representations of the Bodhisattva of Compassion (see Avalokiteshvara and Quan Âm), the faces at Bayon look - understandably - very much like Jayavarman VII himself. 


Monks at Angkor

Weather in Siem Reap was perfect.  We had a little shower the first day at Angkor Wat, but fortunately we had umbrellas. As did many of the other visitors to the ruin complex. [NOTE: Last post from Cambodia. We start the 17 hour trek home this afternoon]. 


Ta Prohm

Spent the first week of my 60th year climbing around the ruins of Angkor Wat in Cambodia - with my oldest son Case (see Steal Yourself and Ganesha (with Coffee). Took many pictures of this incredible monument to human ingenuity and artistic expression, and will surely be posting some in the weeks to come. For now, the classic Angkor Wat image of the strangler figs (Ficus gibosa Blume) reclaiming Ta Prohm, the Buddhist temple dedicated to the mother of Jayarvarman VII, is shown above. [NOTE: This place is amazing}.


Cambodia and Laos

The rattan shown above is Calamus solitarius T.Evans, K. Sengdala, O. Viengkam, B. Thammvong & J. Dransf., an important commercial cane in Laos and Cambodia. I leave this weekend for Laos and Cambodia to give several training workshops on the sustainable management of C. solitarius in community forests. [NOTE: In spite of its commerical importance, this rattan was unnamed until 2000 (see Field Herbarium). Go here for original species description].

Image below shows a size-specific growth curve for C. solitarius based on 4 years of data collected from wild populations near Ban Sobphuan in Laos (see Thin Red Line and Lunch at Ban Sobphuan). The coefficient of determination could be better, but given the total lack of reliable growth data from wild rattan, the basic importance of these data for defining a sustainable harvest level, and the fact that these data were collected by local staff in Laos, this is a priceless scatterplot (and regression equation). [NOTE: Data are, as yet, unpublished, so please don't touch. Thx]. 

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