Posts Tagged temple

Cambodia

Never did I think I’d be traveling in Cambodia… but here I am sitting in a hot internet cafe on a dusty street in Siem Reap.

Sticky.  That’s how I describe this place.  It is not Rainy Season at the moment and so the weather remains hot and sticky.  My body is constantly covered in a layer of slimy sweat.

Why did I come here?

That’s easy.  I wanted to see Angkor Wat.

Angkor WatAngkor Wat Tree

The border crossing was awful, the relentless calls for ‘tuk tuk’ are annoying, the scorching sun burns my white pasty skin, and the sad little children playing in the dirt just break your heart, but none of this mattered once I caught a glimpse of these amazing temples.

Angkor means ‘Holy City’ and Wat means ‘temple’… so Angkor Wat is the City of Temples.  It is an ancient capital city that was populated between the 9th and 12th centuries AD.  More than a million people lived in and around this city.

Everyone can feel the abundance of power this place holds.

Watching the Earth trying to reclaim its land is my favorite site to see around these ancient temples.  Trees grow right through brick and stone, shoving dirt, moving walls, making way for their roots.  I saw temples like this in Mexico too.

It is awe inspiring.

Nature Always Wins In The End

There are many temples in the Siem Reap area.  We rented bicycles one day and did a 27km loop that took us to 6 different ancient temple sites.  We also hired a tuk tuk driver one day to take us out to the Roluos Group of temples because they were too far away to bike in this heat.

People can buy 1, 3 or 7 day passes to the Angkor area.  It is a bit like getting a visa for a different country.  They take your picture and it is only good for a certain amount of time.  Once you have your pass, you are admitted into any of the temples as many times as  you want.

I recommend seeing the sunset while sitting in front of Angkor Wat.  This temple is the only temple, in this area, that faces West.  So if you’re sitting in front, you’ll be facing the beautiful orange, pink and purple sunset.  Watching the sun go down over a jungle, with only a few temple buildings and palm trees in the skyline, gave me the most serene sense of being I have had in a long time.

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Temple of Heaven

Beijing, China

The Temple of Heaven was built around the same time as the Forbidden City, dating back to 1420.  It was used by the Chinese Emperors to pray for a good harvest and well-being for the people of China.  He prayed for Heaven and Earth with sacred ceremonies.  In ancient times, only the Emperor was permitted to pray directly to the heavens, so his times of worship were highly celebrated.  Commoners were not even allowed through the Temple of Heaven gates.

Today, for a small fee, anyone can enjoy this beautiful temple complex.  Chinese people still use this area for personal and group worship.  On special days of the year, the entire complex can still be found full with people chanting and practicing various kinds of worship.

Right now, the inside of the Temple is lined with stone cow statues.  In days past, the Temple was lined with live cattle.  I thought it was because they worshiped cows, but I was wrong.  The statues are there to represent sacrificial cows.  The Emperor would look at the 25+ cows and choose the best one to sacrifice.  Lucky cow.

Colors vibrant and the atmosphere bursting with positive energy.  The Temple of Heaven complex was beautiful and I felt a very peaceful vibe as I walked around the sacred ground.

The Gate to the Temple of Heaven <– This is the gate to the Temple of Heaven

The Temple of Heaven is one of four important temples located in Beijing.  Other prominent temples include The Temple of Sun, The Temple of Earth and The Temple of Moon.

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Happy Birthday Buddha

In Korea the birthday of Buddha is celebrated according to the Lunisolar calendar. This day is called Seokga tansinil, meaning “the day of Buddha’s birthday” or Bucheonim osin nal meaning “the day when Buddha arrived”. Lotus lanterns cover temples throughout the month which are often flooded down the street (As they are in Sanbon).

His birth  was in 623BC.  The date varies from year to year, as to when the birthday is celebrated. This year in Korea it is celebrated on May 2.

Lanterns at Jogyesa Shine on

Downtown Sanbon

Downtown Sanbon

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