Today was a fun one! We visited Banon Temple. This temple was built in 1180 AD, about 50 years after Angkor Wat. Since King Jayavarman could not build yet another temple using the same resources Angor Wat had required, he decided to use basically scraps and leftover from the construction of the other sites. This is most evident in the smaller bricks used to put the pillars and walls together.

Banon Temple has 54 towers with 200 smiling faces of the Bodhisattva. A Bodhisattva is one who reaches enlightenment but refuses to move on to nirvana until all sentient beings can move on with them. Bodhisattvas are generally very selfless people who care for all those around them, hence the smiling compassionate faces in every direction in the temple.

Walking around the temple was quite nice knowing no matter where you looked there was at least one smiling face looking back at you!

But, single handedly, the best part of this temple visit was the elephant ride to get there. I have a shaky video of the elephant ride that I will try and post up sometime tomorrow (when this hotel internet isn’t so slow!!). I have to say the elephants could maneuver extremely well given their massive size. I also got to feed a small banana to one. Really fun! I am kind of thinking of getting one as a pet… just need the space for it…

Overall, new experiences and tons of fun!

Pete Marcano @marcano