Our Adventure To Siem Reap Part III : Big Buddha Wat, Kulen Mountain, and The Lingams In The Water

On our fourth day in Siem Reap, we visited the Big Buddha Wat or pagoda, to ask for blessing and wishing for good health and of course, to see the giant Buddha statue on top of the mountain. I could not believe how big it was, it has to be at least 15 ft long. I was sadden to see the back of the statue with names written all over it, these names were written before the statue was preserved. After we lit incenses and prayed for our family and friends, we continued our schedule for the day and head to Kulen Mountain. we drove through a narrow dirt road up to the mountain, on the way we passed through two giant boulders on both side of the road. It was so small that only one car could squeeze through them at a time. As we arrived on top of the mountain, we went close to stream of water flowing down, underneath the water you can see the lingam carvings onto the stones as a symbol of Shiva, one of the main Hindu Gods. The lingam was ordered to carve into the stones by Jayavarman II, liberator of Khmer nation from the Kingdom of Java and the founder of the Khmer Empire in 803 AD. Jayvarman II was kidnapped as a child to the Kingdom of Java when Javanese invaders attacked the Kingdom of Chenla. He was raised in Java and eventually escaped and returned back to his homeland. He started to united the clans under his rule and built an army that equipped with advanced weaponry and built a stronger navy than the Javanese navy. His strength in naval command gave him the victory over his enemies, and to pay respect to it, he ordered the carving to be done. The water that flows through the stream covering the lingams is considered to be holy water. Every Angkorian King used the water during his coronation as he took the crown. Jayvarman II was the founder of the Khmer empire that ruled over the mainland Southeast Asia for over 600 years. After learning the history of the beginning of Khmer empire, we made our way down to the waterfall. The view was breath-taking and scenic, from the top of the fall to the bottom is 15 meters high. We took a swim in the water underneath the waterfall. The steam, blowing off from the waterfall, keeps us cool, even it was 90 degrees at 2 PM, we could not feel any heat from the sun beaming down on us. There are also fishes in the water that eat away the dead skin on our feet, just relax, sit back and enjoy the steam and the view.