Tuesday 28th is a national holiday, it is the Royal Ploughing Day. I had been staying home all morning until noon. I knew I needed something to cheer myself up. I knew I needed somewhere to escape the increasing heat of the so-called rainy season. I knew I had to embark on my quest to find my Holy Grail – Refreshment. 🙂
I set out at 12, had lunch, and went to a camera shop to get some supply for my gears. I knew of nowhere to go then, felt blurred. Where should I go, I asked myself. It should be somewhere nearby, my numb head told me. Somewhere which you could get back to PP before dark (it is never safe to drive when it is dark even I have driven in the dark more than twice).
I thought again and again until some little thing popped up, I needed somewhere with water and wind. It should be the dam, the Kob Srov dam (ទំនប់កប់ស្រូវ), 10 KM north of PP (if we set out from the 0 mark). I rushed there as I did not have much time, it was already 2 p.m. .
Arrived at the dam, I continued to go westward to the region of Phnom Baset (it is a corrupted from the word Brosethi = ប្រសិទ្ធី). Driving for sometime, I arrived at Wat Prasat (វត្តប្រាសាទ). Never been here before, I explored the whole area of the monastery. Well-built and carved statues, hundreds of them, big or small are on display.
Getting back to asphalt road, I drove pass Wat Sovann Dhammea (វត្តសុវណ្ណធម្មា) and Wat Phnom Reab (វត្តភ្នំរាប)before arriving at Wat Phnom Brosethi Trai Treng (វត្តភ្នំប្រសិទ្ធីត្រៃត្រិង្ស). There are two mountain with the same name, one is one the right and the other is on the left. I chose the right one and it was right. Driving on the concrete road up to the top of the 50 M high mountain, I arrived at a junction. I went up to the summit and asked some local kids for info as I have known that there is a pre-Angkorian temple somewhere on the mountain (I did not know which one, the left or the right), but I have came to the right place.
Going down to the junction, I parked my motor and walked down the steps to the flank of the mountain, and I came across a giant statue of the Reclining Buddha, 20 M long. Stepping down a few more steps, I finally saw what I had read on CEN(1). Spending sometime observing the overall of the temple, it is in a dilapidated state, I headed back to my motor. The temple is called Prasat Roung Srey Krop Leakh (ប្រាសាទរូងស្រីគ្រប់លក្ខណ៍). Descending the mountain, I dropped by the two Wat-s I have mentioned earlier. These two Wat-s’ main buildings were built by imitating the buildings from the Angkor era. Even the handicraft work can’t match its predecessor, it is indeed a very very nice attempt.
Driving back home, I chose the Hanoi road and it was a big mistake I had ever make during the whole quest of refreshment. For more than 5 KM, the road is polluted by sand and dirt, crowded by line of trucks carrying those substances. There was not a single plastic cover to prevent any spilling, it is far much worse than Veng Sreng road. Open your eyes, dear authority.
Photos from the quest of refreshment are included below: