Sep 13, 2010



  • Sep 13, 2010
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  • Siem Reap is a remarkable tourist destination across Cambodia, where a majority of tourists visit. Based on the statistics of the Ministry of Tourism during the Tourism Stocktaking conference in 1st semester and direction setting for the 2nd semester of 2010 on August 09, 2010, for the first half of 2010, a total of 1, 221, 156 foreign tourists came to Cambodia. 640, 944 of them visited Siem Reap, which was up from 503, 026, and 27. 41 percent increased in comparison with the same period of 2009.

    When compared with the other three different poles of tourism in the Cambodia, capital city Phnom Penh, Northeast eco-tourism site and coastal site, the cultural and historical site Siem Reap province becomes the most target tourist site. Many great things, especially the ancient temples make SIEM Reap province an inspiring tourist destination. 

    There are hundreds of temples in the province. Neak Poan is one of the wonderful temples located in Angkor complex. The temple is situated on a one main structure and has two Nagas surrounding it and it was built during Jayavarman VII’s reign in 1191 in order to dedicate it to Mahayana Buddhism.  

    Some historians believe that Neak Poan represents lake Anavatapta, a sacred pond on the top of Himalayas mountain, where a hospital was also built by king Jayavarman VII. The pond water became an effective tool to cure illness. Moreover, surrounding Neak Poan Temple, there are four ponds filled the water from an upper pond and from the pond Anvatapta. Through some people’s opinions, the four ponds represent the four elements of humankind-water, earth, fire and wind.

    On the west, there is a wall carving of a horse’s head that helps cure those who lack the air element, on the north; there is a wall carving of an elephant’s head which is able to cure those who lack the water element. During the time, if patients lacked any of the four elements, to be able to recover they prayed by placing both palms together below the mouth of Vishnu, whose head is like a human head, or below the lion’s head or the horse’s mouth or the elephant’s hooves. Then the doctor got the water from the ponds, and put into the holes and flowing to the patient’s heads. Then it is believed the patients would recover soon. Neak Poan Temple has one tower and two nagas surrounding it. In front of the Naga, there is a wall carving of a horse, which represents the Lokesvara Bodhisattva who had saved people’s lives from a sinking ship carried out by an ogress (Yakhiney) There was a story saying that there was a group of people sailing across the great sea. They met a powerful ogress and she caused a big storm. The ship was caused a big storm. The ship was sunk. The ship capain semaha prayed to the God to help save passengers’ lives. At that time, when his confidant to disguise himself as a horse called Bahala in order to help those who were drowning. They were rescued and put on the horse’s tail to a safe place. Therefore, this wall carving of the horse is a symbol in front of the temple. 

    Neak Poan Temple contains three false doors decorated with large image of Avalokeshavara. The fronton depicts episodes of the life of the Buddha – shaving the hair (east), the departure of Siddhatha (north), and Buddha in meditation protected by a naga (west).

    Neak Poan Temple is situated on the main circuit of the Angkor complex and is 350 square metres in size, 18 kilometres from the centre of Siem Reap province. The special feature of Neak Poan Temple is that it was built as a dedication to Buddhism and as one of the hospitals built by Jayavarman VII.


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