If you want to experience and know more about the
lives of buddhist monks you can visit one of the pagodas in Siem
The monks will welcome you and you may even be invited to watch
their shanting during a ceremony. Usually, buddhist monks are
really open-minded to other cultures and will be happy to tell you
their life story or show you around at the pagoda.
These are the most important pagodas in Siem Reap:
Wat Damnak is the biggest Pagoda in Siem Reap.
Wat Damnak means palace which it also was during the reign of King
Sisowath. Many Buddhist Monks live in this Pagoda. It is located
almost opposite the old Market, on the other side of the river. In
Wat Damnak you will also find a primary public school and
Life and Hope Association
(lifeandhopeangkor.org) has here its office.
You can just walk in and look around. Don't hesitate to speak to
the monks when you see them. Just be polite and they will be happy
to show you around in their pagoda and to explain their living
conditions. Most of them are well educated and will also be able to
tell you more about the Buddhist rules and way of living. For women
there are a few rules to respect when meeting a monk: don't dress
to sexy, cover your shoulders and don't touch the monk.
Wat Bo pagoda was built in the 18th century and
is therefore the oldest pagoda in town. The wall paintings in the
Vihear are very special because they don't only present religieus
scenes but also scenes of Cambodians daily living. It is only a
pitty that the wall painting aren't in such a good condition. To
keep them for many more years they should be restored.
In Wat Bo you have also like in Wat Damnak a public school.
Around lunch time and late afternoon you see the children running
out of the school when the bell rings. Wat Bo has also it's own
radiostation and Buddhist highschool where the monks can complete
Wat Preah Prom Rath is one of most beautiful
pagodas in Siem Reap. It is located on the river side near the old
Market. The monestry has many fine, colourful wall paintings and
you will find many modern statues inside. The pagoda was
establisched in 1915 and is therefore one of the youngest pagodas
in Siem Reap.
Inside you will see often many monks in the early morning or
late afternoon. They follow Boeddhist courses and English classes
in this pagoda.
The small stupa at Wat Thmei contains mortal
remains of the Khmer Rouge. The stupa contains skulls and bones of
the victims that died during Pol Pot regime. It is not a nice sight
but it gives you an idea of how cruel this regime was.
We listed the most important pagodas in Siem Reap but there are
also others that could be of interest to you. Wat
Kesararam has also beautiful, coloured wall paintings
inside. Wat Po Lanka, Wat Athvea
and Wat Preah Inkosei are also worth visiting if
you want to get inspired by the Buddhist religion.
© siemreap.net 2011 - 2013