Ayuthaya was the former capital of Thailand, then the kingdom of Siam. It was named after the city of Ayodhya in India, the birthplace of Rama according to the Ramayana. but no Hindu culture here: apart from the ruined city it’s mainly buddhist stupa’s and statues and relics that rule the surroundings.
The Giza plateau sits just outside of Caïro and, while still in the outskirts amidst the hustle and bustle, the first glimpse I catch stirs a deep sense of familiarity.
Right upon arrival I am stunned by touring buses, one after the other coming and going and I spend a good part of my first day here observing the mass tourist behavior, which has been intriguing me for many a year.
It’s on my second day that I feel ready to plunge deeper into Giza and its wonders. I approach the Sphinx from all possible angles and I stumble upon the entrance to the great pyramid. It turns out to be officially closed, but a friendly guard takes me aside and tells me smilingly to pay him no more than the normal entrance fee so I have the whole big pyramid pretty much all to myself it seems.
I ascend the steps first leading to the Queen’s chamber and then way further up I enter the legendary King’s chamber. It is said that even Jesus the Christ received an initiation in here, as it was customary among the Essenes at the time. The thought moves me along with the notion that the chamber could not have been much different than 2000 years ago. And even though we were taught at school that the pyramids were burial monuments, a mummy or remains of one, have never been found.
There is growing evidence concerning the multi-purposed function of the pyramids being generators of energy and the sarcophagi being devices for vibrational healing through sound. As I impulsively get into the sarcophagus, I already hear people approaching–some VIP’s who are allowed in after the regular hours. In order to avoid scaring someone off, I climb out again and soon commence my descent.
I arrive in a similar fashion at the entrance of the ‘second’ pyramid (the one with the little ‘rooftop’, the rest of the marble was taken off by Muslims to decorate their mosques)
This time the guard sticks to me, quite literally, and I actually give him tips to have him at a little more distance. I realize my time has become limited now and I sense the atmosphere here is VERY special so what to do but give him a few Egyptian pounds…
he follows me to the inner core. I ask him to take a few pictures of me while I lay down humming in the sarcophagus; I spend the remaining time in meditation, as much as I can stay present.
what strikes me here is I get exactly the same feeling as in some Shiva temples in India where the energy is very powerful. The same energy field is very much present here in the same juicy way. Later someone would explain to me that in this culture the name ‘Osiris’ would be more appropriate, two names possibly hinting at the same cosmic constellation or alignment.
Bokor hill station was a resort built in the early twenties of last century for the French colonial settlers in Cambodia. It was conveniently located to escape the heat and humidity of the capital Phnom Penh.
In 9 months 900 lives were lost while building the place. The centerpiece was the grand palace hotel and casino, complemented by shops, a post office (now demolished), a church and the Royal Apartments.
In the early seventies the place was abandoned as the Khmer rouge took over the area and it remained one of their last strongholds. Now it’s a ghosttown that is covered in clouds for most part of the day.
Bokor Hill station can best be visited by renting a motorbike in Kampot heading west over NH3 then continue the very decripit road (it’s an adventure) uphill.
Angkor, in Cambodia’s northern province of Siem Reap, is one of the most important archaeological sites of Southeast Asia. A Unesco world heritage site, it extends over 400 square kilometres and contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century. They include the famous Temple of Angkor Wat and, at Angkor Thom, the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations.
With over two million visitors each year, what strikes me most is that Angkor can still give the traveler a true explorer’s feel. Of course taking your time and going well off the main trails helps a lot. I rented a bike for three days to explore the huge area. To get kinda lost and be fully alone amidst ruins peeping from underneath the centuries old trees. immersed in the mystical atmosphere…
Angkor, the largest religious monument in the world was recently in the news because people regularly lower their pants for nude pictures. They might very well have confused Angkor with the temples of Khajuraho in India, where the sexual practices at the time are depicted rather vividly.