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The Khmers temples in Thailand

The Khmers temples in Thailand

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March 22 th, on my way to Nang Rong for visiting three other XI century Khmer temples : the Phanom Rung, the Muang Tam and the Ta Muen Thom. “Landing” by bus in a very friendly guest house in Nang Rong, this is the meeting day with Eric and Annie. Eric is a 46 old French guy, he left his Paris suburban area, where he was an auto mechanic , five years ago. He is not really integrated into Thai life and talk using  few English words. He is actually here with Annie, his Thai girlfriend.  Annie is coming from Pattaya, a seaside city, not far from Bangkok, a world-famous prostitution place. His other girlfriend, “the official one”, who lives in Nang Rong, has now escaped for some days, with another guy, in Phuket, another place of debauchery … 🙂

Eric hardly say anything and do not seem to do anything, he “expects” to open a shop and buy some land to cultivate vegetables and selling them at the market, he is highly suspicious towards the Thai people. On the other hand, Annie speaks every second of the being, fully blended of life’s energy, she is 45 years old and has a mature daughter. Eric is always pleased to encounter a French person here, even if he does not show it the first ten minutes. Upon his arrival in Thailand, he aims to Phuket and certainly drown in gogo bar night life and girls, avoiding to learn Thai culture and other basic cultural stuffs to adapt himself in a new way of life. Now, he is accompanied by girls, for around 1000 or 2000 Baths a day (25-50 €). It is not really satisfied with his new host country, but does not wish to return to France, even if “life in Thailand is as hell”.

Together, we rented a car to visit these three temples: mystical atmosphere at 6am, in the Phanom Rung’s huge stone pathway, lined with Naga’s statues, the five headed snake, eternal keepers of this area. The majestic and huge temple dominate the site on a hill, every day, at sunrise and sunset, the sunbeams cross his whole structure, by its western and eastern entrances connected by a long corridor inside. It was not possible to observe this phenomenon this time, the sky is so cloudy these days!

The Prasat Muang Tam’s structure is in pretty good health for his old age, this temple is lined with large pools, generously planted with waterlilies, vivid pink aquatic meadows, contrasting with the austerity of  the ancients lava rocks.

The third temple, the Ta Muen Thom, is nothing more than a pile of stones, you can call it ruins! It is located at just some meters from the Cambodian border, the Thai army is watching over there day and night, some conflicts persist with Cambodians for the temple ownership , same story as the gloomy Preah Vihear, which I was unable to reach two days before.

As Annie knows perfeclty Pattaya, I asked her assistance to do a reportage about the prostitution next week, to be continued …

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The Khmers temples in Thailand

par Stéphane Bidouze time to read: 3 min