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Tuesday, November 12: Day 204 – Bow Wow

Today we walk up 303 steps to a Buddhist colony. At the base is the Naga snake with multiple heads with the snake body as a handrail.

We will witness a water blessing ceremony. We are to sit on the floor and cross our legs being careful not to point our toes toward the monks. For this, we are told to wear pants. Also, no v-necks or your bow could turn into a wow.

Cambodia used to require young boys to be a monk before 18. This was especially good for the poor and orphaned to receive an education and food.

Wat Hanchey is an 8th century hilltop Buddhist temple. I am sure that to a Buddhist it is very special. It was interesting to note similarities to the Christian faith…pictures in the walls depicting the life of Buddha (scenes from the Bible depicting the life of Christ), notables of the faith (like apostles and saints) adorn the walls.

To me, all religions have man desperately trying to reach God. Followers of Jesus stand alone as God is desperately reaching out to us through the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Followers of any religion will come to realize that one cannot reach God by human effort, only by God’s effort. That makes Christ the only way to God. Several times we have been told that Buddhism is a philosophy not a religion, but there sure are a lot of temples and prayers to Buddha.

Angkor Ban consisted of four villages with a combined population of 10,000. This was a Khmer Rouge stronghold and was bombed, but the ancient Hindu temple from the late 6th century was not destroyed. Currently, the rebuilt population is 8,000.

Local people cannot build on the mountaintop because that is the holiest place set aside for the temple.

One of the precepts of Buddhism is that life leads to suffering by way of age, sickness and death.

A beautiful face ages; a beautiful soul lasts forever. Amen to that.

Here are some rules of Buddhism. Do not kill any creatures. Don’t slander, no adultery, no stealing and don’t drink…a lot. I thought that it seemed like a loophole that they are allowed to eat meat; they just can’t kill it in this sect of Buddhism.

Those that participated in the water blessing were asked to say “satub” three times. Sean commented that it is like saying Amen. (This is much different than when I am in a Christian Church on Sunday where I don’t speak the language. I am very comfortable saying Amen because we are worshipping Jesus. Here I am NOT worshipping and none of us have any idea what is being said.)

The monks use an archaic language that is only for the temple chanting. The two young men flicked water on the group with a handful of sticks.

They seem to love to display giant fruit at this temple.

Why? Sean said so that they would know what these fruits look like. Really? Do they have to be THAT big? Isn’t that misleading for a banana to be eight feet long?

There is a fruit called durian that “smells like hell and tastes like heaven”. One hotel stated if you brought durian into the room, there would be an extra charge.

The monks only eat breakfast and lunch. When they eat lunch, each portion is shared equally, and one is not allowed to pick out favorite pieces. The local village prepares the meal and all must be eaten. No leftovers!

There were a lot of people watching us get off and on the boat. Khanh told us that to have a boat stop at your village is a big deal. I guess that it is like the circus has come to town.

Next we walked around Angkor Ban. Here are few things that we saw.

A system for catching rainwater.

Harvesting coconuts.

An ongoing volleyball practice.

We ended up at a school where a local teacher who knows English volunteers to teach children. He asks English visitors to stop by to help with pronunciation. We were to sit with two students. One girl rides her bike 40 minutes to get to the English class.

This was a real highlight. In addition to speaking 2:1, the teacher wanted a person from each country to come up and show on a large classroom map where you live. One lady said that she was from Sydney. I told the girl next to me that it was the capital of Australia. She said, “No, it’s Canberra.” Oh yeah. Here is where the student teaches the teacher. She may not be able to pronounce the word “teeth” but she knows her capitals…unlike me! We shared a big laugh.

Cambodian Scarves

The scarf is uniquely Cambodian and is used from baby to old man. It is a symbol of Cambodia. Cotton is preferred.

It can be used for a skirt/sarong, as underwear, hammock for a baby, floor mat, tissue, Ninja, scarf like rabbit ears, billfold, sling, apron, make a private bathroom, cushion for carrying items on your head, bookbag, towel, and hat.


What is greater than God, more evil than the devil, the poor have it, the rich don’t need it, and if you eat it, you’ll die. Answer below.

The houses are on stilts as this aids in air-conditioning in addition to flooding. Everything is stored in the stilt area.

The life expectancy for a Cambodian is 69 years. One boy met an 84-year-old woman and when he learned her age, he said, “You should be dead.” Only 3.5 percent of the population are over 65.

There is a culture of thanks and respect and 🙏 is a greeting much like shaking hands.

  • Under chin is thank you.
  • On the chin is respect for an elder.
  • On the mouth and under the nose is respect for a parent.
  • On the forehead is respect for the king.
  • Above your head is respect for Buddha

Fruit Carving

I attended a fruit carving demonstration given by the head chef. Here is a carrot rose.

I think the trick is having the right type of knife. It was small, and he held it a certain way. He is carving a representation of a water hyacinth from a round watermelon.

Here is a cute little tomato duck with clove eyes, pineapple leaf wings and carrot bill.

Here is an easy doily that I could make from a banana leaf…if I knew where to find one at home.

When I was working, I had certain clothes that I would wear to work. I had my Monday green pants, my Tuesday blue pants, and so on. It really liked this because I didn’t have to think about it.
I didn’t realize that Cambodians do this.

Sunday : Red
Monday : Dark yellow (Loeung Tom)
Tuesday : Purple
Wednesday : Light green (Sileap)
Thursday : Dark green
Friday : Blue
Saturday : Dark purple (Burgundy)

Purple is worn on coronation day. Also, there are special colors for wedding or birthday. They don’t celebrate birthdays, only long life day which is 64. I am going to have to celebrate this in a big way, God willing, when I reach 64.

When I return home and most certainly will buy new clothes, I will consider purchasing these colors. But wait…I’m a winter. I don’t look good in orange. I guess some days I will look better than on other days.

When we returned to the boat, we were askeded to remove our shoes so they could wash them. We received the shoes back in about 15 minutes. Here is Rob’s boot.

We are on the move again!!

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