Derick Alli

Watchful eye in a dynamic world.

royal city of oudong, cambodia

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… notice the biker in red shirt reflected on the mirror…
he is one of the kids who suddenly appeared upon arriving at the place.
all were on bicycles offering their services of a tour.
most held on to the tuktuk and kept on asking to be taken…
with more kids around -
it sounded like buzzing bees suddenly descended from out of nowhere…
i focused on my photo taking…


… the start of the five hundred steps to the hilltop…
it would be a physical challenge although there are stops where you could rest those heavy legs…


in one of the stops, there is a pool occupied by monkeys… he is the ‘leader’ of the group…


a close-up of the bannister of the stairs going up… or down.. whichever…


a few meters before reaching the end of the stairs,
one can be awed by the enormous imposing structure of the stupa…


the vista on one side of the stupa – overlooking entrance to the site and the temples in the area…


taken from another side of the stupa – notice the newly built temple complex below…

i have heard of this place since i got here five years ago. in some occasion, colleagues would point it out to me while on a work trip. This time, with two friends, i finally am able to visit the place. it is located west of phnom penh off route 5 and is called Oudong – the royal capital city of cambodia from the early 17th century until 1866 when the capital was moved to the current capital city, phnom penh.

as can be read from guide books, this place is the final resting place of several of the kingdom’s kings. The oldest structure in this place is from the 13th century and it is one of the sites of Khmer rouge last stand against the invading vietnamese in 1979.

i have always wondered what the old capital would look like. i was anticipating old structures and relics but from the horizon while on the way there, i could already discern a glistening white structure – newly built stupa – atop the hill. Upon reaching the place, i noticed that there are intermingling old and new structures or should i say – lined structures differing in elevation. i could only guess that the old stupas contain the remains of previous kings.

another thing that is striking with this place is the location of the stupas with the newly built stupa dominating the rest. it is overlooking the plains and what a site to behold. it is strategically located that while viewing the surrounding vista, one could almost feel that he / she at the center of the world .

i should say, this is a ‘must’ place to visit when in cambodia.

info: we took a tuktuk ride (25 usd). i won’t advice to take this kind of transport – it takes at least more than an hour each way. it would be a lot faster renting a taxi although riding a tuktuk gives one a glimpse of the rural scenery along the way and gives one ample time to take photos without stopping the ride. 090415

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