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Feedback from Cambodia No.6

2011.09.11

After checking the site, we moved on to the world heritage Preah Vihear Temple that originally inspires the Eco-village plan.
That is a Hindu temple built by the Khmer dynasty in the 9th century.
“Preah Vihear” is Cambodian name, meanwhile, it also has Thai name “Prasat Phra Wiharn,” that means same as Cambodian.
This is because of that the temple was built on somewhere by the border between Thailand and Cambodia, and for long time it had been with vague status about which country it had belonged.
In 1962, it internationally have recognized that it belongs to Cambodia, but there is still territorial dispute remained and it keep tensioning the border area
The world heritage, Angkor Wat, built in the 12th century, is the most popular sightseeing spot in Cambodia
Since rains and winds have been washing the sand-stoned architecture away, decorative structures on the surface have worn out.
Preah Vihear Temple, which was built in much before, got reputation of highly valuable archeologically and aesthetically.
Compared with other sightseeing spots, there are not so much people visiting the site since accessibility is poor from Cambodian border, but it definitely has distinct value for collecting many visitors even though it is also accessible from Thailand (it is closed now).

Visitors can perceive sublime feeling from the temple standing on top of the sheer cliff, and can spend a spiritual time away from mundanity.
It is said that the masterpiece “Laputa the castle in the sky” directed by Hayao Miyazaki referred to this temple.
Normally visitors would reach to the main hall by taking five hundred-meter-long stair approaches and passing through five gates from the border of Thailand, but as bad weather causing poor footing, national army escorted us to the site.
There was full of somber ambience because of lined-up sheds, where Cambodian soldiers get along, by the road to the main hall.
Guided by the soldier, we looked down a target site for eco-village from the tip of the cliff where the temple stood.
The tip of the cliff is truly just like a heavenly sky. There is no safety fence at all since the site is not developed for sightseeing.
That is somewhere that life and death get closer to reality.
That is why there is spirituality. The tip of the cliff on bedrock has a mentoring space down there.
That is most important space in the temple. There is nothing coming on to my mind in spite of praying by putting a fee for incense.

The temple had been damaged by the conflict between Cambodia and Thailand.
There were many scratches newly done. I have no clue for what degree it has to be renovated, but surly it is no more scars allowed on it.

Yukio Ohashi

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