Wat Phnom



Wat Phnom

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Built in 1373 to house the Buddha statues found by Duan  Penh – who laid the found- ations of the shrine – on the  shores of the Tonlé Sap River, this temple, at a modest 89 ft (27 m), is the highest point in  the city. Today, it has some- thing of a carnivalesque atmosphere with flashing altar lights  and elephant rides.

Visitors enter this vibrant house of worship through an easterly naga stairway, passing beggars, hawkers, and a bunch of mischievous monkeys. The temple’s walls are adorned with Jataka (stories from the former lives of the Buddha) murals, although most of them have been blackened by smoke from the incense offerings. There is a shrine dedicated to Duan Penh behind the vihara (temple sanctuary). Nearby, a couple of shrines of Taoist god desses are popular with the locals, who make offerings of cooked chicken and raw eggs here.

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