Bayon Cambodia

 

 

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Eyal hails from Israel  where he works hard half the year, saving to spend the other half of the year using Thailand as a base to travel throughout South East Asia.  Eyal has had a strong interest insubmission writing and photography and has corresponded with me for years, asking questions, taking notes, and working up to this submission.  Writing in a second language is never easy, and often it's very difficult.  For some of us impossible.  To keep such good records and document the trip so well, and then to put the work in to share with the readers is very much appreciated.  I hope to see more ofhis work grace future columns.  You can contact Eyal via email at lotfaifa@yahoo.com

 

 

 

Bayon Cambodia

 

There is much to write about Bayon.  Bayon is an ancient Khmer temple of the Angkor in Cambodia.  There are so many pictures I will share here today.  I choose to write about one aspect only, conservation and restoration.  Often when we visit an archeological site we don't have any idea about what kind of effort was invested in the site, not to mention the expenses, time, and love.

 

There is much to write about Bayon.  Bayon is an ancient Khmer temple of the Angkor in Cambodia.  There are so many pictures I will share here today.  I choose to write about one aspect only, conservation and restoration.  Often when we visit an archeological site we don't have any idea about what kind of effort was invested in the site, not to mention the expenses, time, and love.

 

Bayon Cambodia

Bayon Cambodia

Bayon Cambodia

Bayon Cambodia

 

This is the kind of work you do because you really love what you are doing.  You endure the hot weather, dust, sand, and the work can be personally dangerous and risky.  Working around cranes and ancient buildings which can collapse without warning.

 

This is the kind of work you do because you really love what you are doing.

You endure the hot weather, dust, sand, and the work can be personally dangerous and risky.

Working around cranes and ancient buildings which can collapse without warning.

Bayon Cambodia

 

When tourists come to visit these sites they have no concept of what it took to complete the restoration of such a venue.  Just imagine what it was like during the period when these buildings were first constructed.  We can imagine, but we just can’t fully appreciate the effort.

 

When tourists come to visit these sites they have no concept of what it took to complete the restoration of such a venue.

Just imagine what it was like during the period when these buildings were first constructed.

We can imagine, but we just can’t fully appreciate the effort.

Bayon Cambodia

 

The people involved in these restorations deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication.  Work which takes years to complete, years away from home, years away from family, and years most often spent in tents and the poorest conditions.

 

The people involved in these restorations deserve recognition for their hard work and dedication.

Work which takes years to complete, years away from home, years away from family, and years most often spent in tents and the poorest conditions.

Bayon Cambodia

Bayon Cambodia

 

Bayon site is unique, a special place like this was built for a king.  King Gavaraman the seventh of the ancient kingdom of Cambodia, back when the kingdom was at its peak.  The face of King Gavaraman the seventh can be seen from every tower, to the other towers, in Bayon.  There are 54 towers, each tower has four faces, and each tower represents a province.  54 provinces, 216 times the face of King Gavaraman the seventh is represented.

 

Bayon site is unique, a special place like this was built for a king.

King Gavaraman the seventh of the ancient kingdom of Cambodia, back when the kingdom was at its peak.

There are 54 towers, each tower has four faces, and each tower represents a province.

 54 provinces, 216 times the face of King Gavaraman the seventh is represented.

 

On Eyal’s last piece I asked him some questions about his observations on Preah Vihear Temple.   He answers them below.

You asked me questions in the submission.  I can answer you here:

How recent are these signs and the such are?  Is it possible the Khmer government is running a public campaign to publically support their political stance?

I don’t know how recent are these signs, and of course the Khmer Government runs a public campaign.  They believe the country is under attack for no reason.

 

Eyal, I notice all these bills are dated since this conflict has been going on. Do you know if the previous dated bills have the temple on them as well?

I mentioned that 6 years ago I visited Cambodia and there was no 2000 bill at all.  Preah Vihear was not on the bank 6 years ago.  This means only 2007-2008 the Government here started printing the 2000 note bills.

Eyal, are you saying Thailand has no history in the Khmer culture?  There must be some reasoning other than it’s theirs.

The Thai history in Khmer culture is something the Thai’s don’t want to remember.  The Khmer army smashed the Thai army completely and they ruled Thailand for quite some time.  Until the unexpected happened.  The Khmer Kingdom faced serious problems, and it started with extreme weather changes which affected their entire infrastructure system.

This left the Khmer Kingdom in a weakened state.  There were floods followed by drought.  After a few years the Khmer civilization which was primarily an agricultural civilization couldn’t produce crops or feed its people.  This resulted in famine and political unrest and an unstable Government.

Siam Kingdom was based on trade (from the past to present little has changed). This was an advantage compared to the Khmer Kingdom.  During this stage the Siam Kingdom had more money and power and the motivation for revenge.

Siam was able to take over large swathes of land from Siam and the capital Ayutthaya all the way to the Khmer capital-Angkor Vat.  All this area then belonged to Siam.  This situation existed for quite some time, until the Khmer Kingdom made recovery and was able to repel Thai forces from the Angkor Vat area.

As a matter of fact when you mention culture, the Thai’s took/adapted many aspects of Khmer culture and mentioned it like it was Thai culture.  There is a long submission about this subject on stickmanbangkok.com somewhere in the readers submission.

The reason is no secret that there are many important people in Thailand who don’t want the next coming election.  To keep their politics surviving they try something smart, by involving the country in a war situation to distract the public from normal politics.

Thank you for these answers Eyal.  Very interesting.  I hope to hear more from you and anyone else knowledgeable on this subject.

Steve