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Bakeng Mountain&Temple
Bakeng Mountain
In the period before the end of the 9th century, the king Yashovarman transferred the capital of Hariharalaya (in the region of Roluos) to Yashodhara (in actuality 'Angkor') by choosing the small hill of Bakheng (some 60m in altitude), to be the symbolic centre. Phnom Bakheng, in effect was given the Khmer name 'Vnam Kandal', or the 'Central Mountain'.
                          
                          Bakeng Temple


Date:                                      Built in late ninth century

Religion:                               Hinduism

King:                                     Yasovarman I (889-900)

Posthumous name:             Paramasivaloka


On the summit a pyramid was built, comprising of five tiers, surmounted by a central sanctuary that sheltered a linga. This structure differs from all other similar Angkorian architectural models as the interior was not filled with fine compacted sand, but rather this monument is constructed directly on the rock.
An extremely complex study by a scholar has resulted in an understanding of the number of towers and their position in space that demonstrates the ensemble is a materialization of the Indian cosmic calendar.
The 16th century seems to have marked a period of renewal of this place and a conversion to Theravada Buddhism. The temple became a symbolic beacon for pilgrimages to the Angkor region with the quincunx of the highest towers almost completely engulfed within an immense seated stone Buddha (the lower part of this image was still partially visible in the early 1920.
A Middle Period inscription records the name 'Bakheng', or 'Virile' that suggests (despite the fact the central sanctuary was covered by this Buddhist image) the earlier concept of a linga was still present in the historic collective memory. It is curious but significant to note that Muslim pilgrims left an inscription at the monument in Arabic praising Allah. This stele was removed in the 20th century for preservation reasons.
Without doubt we could explain this by the well-known tolerance that characterizes religious history in Cambodia. At the same time, as this is an important pilgrimage site at Angkor, perhaps it was also considered so by others?

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I was introduced to phanith when I visited Siam Reap for my honeymoon in January 2010. This was my third trip and he was the best guide ever. 12 months later and my Son, his girlfriend and 2 friends were travelling to Siam Reap and I gave them Phaniths contact details as I knew he would look after thier every need...and he did. They came back and said he was wonderful. Guides can make or break a holiday destination, so if you want to be guaranteed an indepth experience with a wonderful guide you will not be dissapointed. Debra Melbourne Australia

Panith's knowledge of Cambodia was most impressive, the information he provided us with was outstanding. I would not hesitate in recommending Panith to anyone considering a tour on their trip to Cambodia.

Travel to Cambodia with friends on the year 2009.Panith, is a well qualified tour guide who served his customers with whole-hearted attitude. It was hard to miss any important info with his guide. He always do his best to satisfy us with his knowledge on the history & culture of Cambodia & some funny jokes that cheer us up for the whole trip. if there is a chance to go back Cambodia, sure will look for you once again...Thanks for your companion for the 3days guide.

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I had a great time at Siem Reap and Phanith was our tour guide for 3 days. He knows the place well and is always eager to tell us the histories and stories of the temples. Besides, I can still remember the mango and some local food that he introduced to us. Not forgetting his cheerful and playfulness especially when he knew you better. He is really passionate about his work and without a doubt, i would love to have him to guide me again on our next adventure at Siem Reap. Looking forward to go there again. By that time, I hope he would have time to entertain me!!!

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Phanith is one of the most patient and knowledgeable tour guide I've ever had! We are a bunch of crazy girls who loves to run around for photoshoots! He'll always guide us patiently with all his hearts, love his service and love his companion!

My friends and I had a good time with Cheab Panith. He's very polite, accomodating and I'm impressed with all his knowledge of all the information about cambodia. He brought us to some location that no other tour guide does, making our tour more adventurous. contact him now!

I went to Cambodia a couple of years ago and had the pleasure of having Phanith as a tourguide for my group. Not only is he knowledgeable about the history of each site in Siem Riep, he's also very attentive to our welfare. My sister had a sprained ankle and he took his time to stay behind with her to make sure she gets to enjoy the trip as much as the rest of us. For other perks, ask him to do a tarzan move when he's near a tree! It's definitely entertaining to have him as your tour guide :)

It was a good star who introduced me to Phanith when I visited Siem Reap 5 years ago for a teaching week at Kantha Bopha Children`s hospital. Since then I prolong my yearly courses by 3-4 days to visit with him remote temples and provinces and learn more about everyday life in Cambodia.Phanith is a highly qualified temple guide, an outstanding scout through rural Cambodia, where he has grown up and an exceptional personality.He speaks English fluently, carefully organizes his tours and passionately introduces you to the hidden secrets of his wonderful country.Next year I will bring my family and hope he will also show my boy how to catch crickets, produce palm sugar and find medicinal herbs in the jungle

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Panith is a real gentlemen, he is the perfect tour guide for visiting the archeological site of Angkor Wat. He has a perfect knowledge of Cambogia history and culture and is very interesting to listen to. I really recommend him for a full immersion in Cambogia culture and lifestyle.

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