Kbal Spean : The River Of A Thousand Lingas

Posted by : foongpc | Monday, August 29, 2011 | Published in

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I saw penises in Cambodia. I really did. Possibly a thousand of them.

But it's not what you think.

I was not at some nudist beach or anything like that.

I was at Kbal Spean - home of the thousand penises! Or if you prefer a more polite and "kamasutra" term - home of the thousand lingas.

Oh I spotted some yonis too, and if you don't have any idea what a yoni is, well that's another polite term for vagina.

Now don't worry. This is not an 18SX post. Not at all, in fact this post is utterly children-friendly. It's meant to be educational and that's what I got when I hiked up the Kulen Hills with Jam and his friend on our third day in Siem Reap.



That's Jam with his cowboy hat, hiking ahead of me.

After spending a wonderful morning at Banteay Srei, our driver Xiao He brought us to this place where we needed to hike up 1.5 km in the forest to reach Kbal Spean.



Located on the southwest slope of the Kulen Hills, Kbal Spean is about 12 km from Banteay Srei where we came from, and 25 km from the main Angkorian temples.

It was not a particularly difficult climb but there were several spots that were quite steep, so if you plan to visit Kbal Spean, you would definitely need a good pair of shoes!

We came upon funny looking roots of a tree.



And caught sight of a giant worm ...or is it a millipede?



What is this? Ant's nest?



Since I had walked the jungle trail in FRIM and Bukit Gasing back in Malaysia, this was not too much of a challenge for me.



Nice view along the way up.



400 metres more to go!



They said it would take an average of 45 minutes to hike up the hill. I wondered how long it would take the three of us.

Just 100 metres more and we would be able to see lingas!



Finally, we reached Kbal Spean in 35 minutes! Not bad right? So does that mean we were quite fit? I think we should be proud of ourselves! LOL!

In front of us was a river and there were possibly more than a thousand lingas carved on the riverbed! Can you see them?



Now before you start having any dirty thoughts, let me just say that these lingas are actually considered sacred by the Hindus. The linga is a representation of the Hindu God Shiva and is a symbol of male creative energy.



See the 5 lingas in a square above? That square is called yoni and it represents the Hindu Goddess Shakti and Devi. It is also considered as the origin of life. This linga-yoni structure represents the abstract form of creation.

Besides linga and yoni, there were also carvings of Hindu Gods on the rocks.



This is Lord Vishnu in a reclining repose lying on the serpent God Ananta, with Goddess Lakshmi at his feet and Lord Brahma on a lotus petal.



Kbal Spean is often described as "a spectacularly carved riverbed, set deep in the jungle to the northeast of Angkor." Now that we were there, we could see the truth to this description.

There were serious photographers with tripods taking pictures of the amazing carvings.



A word of caution : Always look where you are going to prevent falling into holes or openings on the ground!



We ventured deeper upstream.



We came across an amazing carvings of Lord Vishnu on the rocks.



The carvings of Lord Vishnu from another angle.



A big linga-yoni structure on the riverbed.



As we moved back downstream, we could see thousands of lingas carved in the riverbed! Can you make out that reclining Buddha pose at the bottom part of this photo?



It appears that the flow of the Kbal Spean river over these religious carvings and sculptures sanctifies the river, which then flows into the Siem Reap River passing through the Angkorian temples and eventually into Tonle Sap Lake and from there into the Mekong River.



A carving on the rock depicting battle scenes perhaps?



Soon we reached a waterfall. I felt like standing below the waterfall like this man, but there was no time for that unfortunately.



I touched the water though, and it was cooling and refreshing.

On the way down from Kbal Spean, we could see more carvings but I did not take pictures of all of them. Is this a carving of Lord Vishnu? I am not too sure!



There were several lookout points along the hiking trail on the way down. This is a view captured from one of the lookout points and being afraid of heights, I did not dare to stand too near the edge!



We also discovered an individual linga in a yoni carving almost hidden by tree roots.



As we reached the foothill, I began to realise that I was hungry. All those climbing and walking must have taken its toll. It's time for lunch!

Coming Up Next : The Ruins Of Beng Mealea

Steamboat Potluck Party 2011

Posted by : foongpc | Friday, August 26, 2011 | Published in

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Every year, without fail my friend would invite me to her house for steamboat potluck party. I blogged about it in 2009 and 2010. I guess the post about this year's steamboat potluck party is long overdue, so here it is!

My friend had prepared these all nicely skewered so that we could dip them into the boiling steamboat pot.



My bowl of yummy meatballs!



Besides steamboat, we also had spaghetti.



There were two types of sauce for the spaghetti. I could not remember the name of the sauce.



My bowl of spaghetti in yummy sauce!



We also had rojak - the Indian rojak, not the Chinese one.



And chicken! Look at the head!



The head magnified.



Snacks consisted of edamame beans - my favourite!



And desserts in the form of chocolates (not in the photo) and durian puffs!



Or course, no party is complete without a bottle or two of red wine.



I always enjoy potluck party! I am looking forward to next year's steamboat potluck party!

Random Notes 23

Posted by : foongpc | Wednesday, August 24, 2011 | Published in

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1. I am so looking forward to the coming weekend and the Hari Raya holidays next week! It will be a long holiday for me!
Happy holidays everyone!
Smiley

2. How many of you still do not have a smart phone? If you don't have one, do not worry. You don't need to have a smart phone cos it's smarter than you. What you really need is an iPhone! LOL! Smiley

3. I discovered something. Every time I eat a slice of pizza whether it's from Pizza Hut or Domino's, the slice of pizza will always turn into a fish! Look!



Does it happen to your slice of pizza too? Smiley

4. I think I have mentioned in my blog before that I don't really fancy McDonald's. That's why I love this T shirt which I bought from Bangkok last year!



Do you think it's appropriate for me to wear this T-shirt to McDonald's? Smiley

5. Talking about T-shirts, I have just ordered some T-shirts online at Threadless. I thought they were pretty Smiley !! You may want to check out their T-shirts HERE.

6. Still on the subject of T-shirts, and touching a little bit on marriage, are you married or still single? I am specifically asking this question to my male readers so female readers need not answer. Why's that? Cos if you are still single, let me give you a message from my T-shirt.



Get it? Haha!! This Graffitee T-shirt never fail to turn heads whenever I wear it! Smiley

7. Do you like guessing game? Here's something for you to guess. I think I have posted this on Twitter before so some of you who are following me on Twitter would know the answer already.

Anyway, look at this picture. Is it an orange or a lemon?



Scroll down to number 11 for the answer Free Matrix Smiley Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org

8. I love fried rice! Do you?

Although I only eat 1 small bowl of white rice for dinner, I can eat 3 big bowls of fried rice if no one stops me! Haha! Usually I love eating the fried rice wrapped in lettuce leaves!



Yummy! I am thinking of having fried rice for dinner tonight. They sure help to put on the pounds but I'll worry about that the next day! LOL! Smiley

9. Have you ever heard a nice song on radio or somewhere but you did not know the title of the song and who the singer was? You were dying to find out so that you could buy the album or at least search for the song on YouTube but the radio DJ failed to mention the name of the song?

Well, if you have an iPhone, your frustration is over! Just download this app!



This is such an amazing app! Whenever you hear a song you like but you don't know the title of the song or who sang it, just click on Shazam and it will sample the song and figure it out for you! Now you know why I must always carry my iPhone with me everywhere I go!

10. Last night, as I was biting into a tomato, I had the shock of my life! This was what I saw!



Can someone please tell me what the hell are those freaking things inside the tomato?! Smiley

At first I thought they were worms but on closer inspection, they actually looked like bean sprouts or taugeh. What the hell are the bean sprouts doing inside the tomato? Cross breeding? Mutation? Genetic engineering?

This tomato was bought from an organic vegetable supplier. I threw the whole tomato away and did not dare to eat any more tomatoes after that!

11. OK, here's the answer to the "Orange or Lemon" guessing game.



It's an orange! Did you get it right? Free Matrix Smiley Courtesy of www.FreeSmileys.org