Thursday, January 03, 2008

More from Route 3

The newly-painted pagoda at Wat Kork Ksang
A story from the life of Buddha on the walls of the first floor at Wat Kork Ksang
4 of the pagoda's seima stones with intricate patterns
The demon Rahu is depicted eating the Moon on the ceiling of Wat Anlong Romead
The old vihara at Wat Anlong Romead
I had an afternoon to fill a couple of weeks ago, so a moto-ride out past Pochentong Airport and along Route 3 seemed like a good idea, and so it proved. Half an hour into my ride and having left the busy highway to investigate a pagoda surrounded by lush paddy fields well off the beaten track, I arrived at Wat Kork Ksang. This fifty year old two-storey pagoda, resplendent in a coat of fresh paint outside, was in dire need of renovation inside its first-floor interior, though its wall paintings remained in reasonable condition and it's seima stones looked to be very old. My next port of call was to meet Koah Nin, the head monk at Wat Teuk Khla, nestled alongside the Tumnap Prek Thnal river. Read about my meeting here. After a mini interrogation from a gang of children at an irrigation canal, I called into Wat Anlong Romead, another pagoda that I found at the end of a dusty track a few kilometres from the main highway. The older pagoda, built in 1961, sat behind a recently built vihara and was of considerably more interest, with its roosting bat population and still remarkably fresh wall and ceiling paintings. In the village next door, I joined in a game of football with a bunch of youngsters and called into a couple more pagodas before heading back to town, waving at the multitude of open-top trucks carrying girls back to the villages from the garment factories that abound on the edges of the city.
This young girl had been collecting grass in the fields

These cheerful youngsters were soon kicking lumps out of me on the football pitch

No comments: