Friday, October 31, 2008


Prasat Chrey or N18 at Sambor Prei Kuk - host to a spreading strangler fig
One of the most evocative temples at Sambor Prei Kuk is N18, also known as Prasat Chrey, which is on the opposite side of the main road into the complex from the northern group of temples that surround Prasat Sambor. The sight of the brick-built 7th century structure being literally squeezed to death by the strangler fig tree that embraces it and sprouts high above its eastern entrance, makes for a great photo composition. The strangler fig is known for its seeds which are often bird-dispersed and which germinate in crevices, growing their roots downwards and enveloping the host, in this case a brick tower, while growing upwards to reach into the sunlight above the forest canopy. There are over 900 species of fig tree, or Ficus, around the world, and it's another member of the fig tree family, the banyan, which is famous for its roots that engulf the Angkor temple of Ta Prohm. Prasat Chrey, in addition to its tree overcoat also has an inscribed doorway in ancient Khmer script and false doors with their own version of a flying palace, but minus the royalty looking out. You'd be a fool to miss this picture on your visit to Sambor Prei Kuk.
The eastern doorway at Prasat Chrey
Ancient Khmer script on the doorjamb of the entranceway to Prasat Chrey
This is the false door and stone carving on the north wall of Prasat Chrey
The northern and western walls of Prasat Chrey can't escape the firm embrace
Up close and personal with the Ficus of Prasat Chrey
This is the southern view of Prasat Chrey and its photogenic overcoat
I didn't want to hang around too long in case I was next on the strangler fig's menu


Anonymous Anonymous said...

1 of yr best pics to date, certainly deserved to be posted twice.
You once remarked you were leaving England for Cambodia out of disenchantment, among other reasons... Why not elaborate? I think I and your readers wd be interested in knowing a bit more about yr "previous existence", though it's not a day-to-day, "immediate interface" like Cambodia.
Struggling with the English language today, yrs faithfully --- ANON-ENTITY

November 1, 2008 at 6:42 PM  
Blogger Andy Brouwer said...

The past is the past. I had 48 years in England and that was enough. Things didn't work out for me as I'd anticipated so I needed a new plan. Cambodia is that plan, and its for keeps.

November 2, 2008 at 2:43 AM  

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