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Malaysia and Cambodia


This is about my upcoming trip to Malaysia and Cambodia. The first part is pre-trip - information about flights, itineraries, accommodation and all the things that you need to do to plan an overseas holiday. This is my first trip to Asia and I hope it may help others. Comments are very welcome and anyone who has travelled to Malaysia and/or Cambodia, please feel free to comment and offer any advice or tips that you think would be helpful. As of today ( 28th February) , in exactly 11 days (minus 30 minutes) I will be in Kuala Lumpur.

I had the most amazing time and hope you enjoy reading about my trip. Each post is numbered and I'm doing them in order from start to finish - a little like a diary.



64. Banteay Srei - 3

The Hindu yoni represents the feminine genitilia and a Hindu ligham (phallic stone) sits in the centre, representing the masculine aspects. The so called Ying and Yang of a balanced universe.

Above: Yoni
As you can see from this photo, the lingham has been removed and replaced by the Buddhist lotus symbol. Presumably, this would have occurred when the Khmers turned away from Hinduism and embraced Buddhism. Many of the structures of Angkor were originally Hindu orientated.

Above: Nandi
This is a statue of Nandi, the white bull which Siva rides.

Above: Yoni

Above: Yoni
The above two photos are the same representation of the yoni, again the lingham has been removed.
Hindus usually annointed the lingham with gee (clarified butter) during and as part of their worshipping their deity, in this case most likely Siva. The grooves and channels you see in the base are to recollect the gee, after annointing the godhead and thus becomes blessed and is used in further religious practice.

In the outer courtyard are there are many broken pieces in the process of being found, put together in their correct place and being restored.

Above: Fallen pillar

Above: Restoration in progress

Above: Numbers represent restorer's family

Above: Banteay Srei

When I walked out of the temple, I spoke again with the chap and told him I felt a sense of peace. He looked at me and nodded, I asked him is that what I'm supposed to feel. He replied, "Yes."

Banteay Srei is a wonder and marvel of meticulous work and of all the temples I saw, I liked this the best. True, Angkor Wat is majestic and awesome, but the small Lady Temple remains my favourite.

Awesome wonder
I remember being disappointed after I came home because when I was researching information about various photos I took, I realised I hadn't taken photos of intricate and specific carvings and railed that I took photos of the unimportant things. But, as I was selecting photos and preparing these posts today, suddenly I wasn't disappointed at all. It isn't the brilliant photos, or the angle or light or juxtaposition that are important, but something more - being there.

The really best thing is not photos that everybody oohs and aahs over - it is having been there. I was there, or rather here, I stood in front of the temples of Angkor and was filled with a wondrous awe that left me spellbound and breathless. This is what visiting Angkor is about - it's about being there and being able to witness the magnificance of thousand year old temples that have stood the test of time and remain solid and proud, a credit to their creators and all who helped build them.

Floor plan of Banteay Srei

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