Today is the International Day of Women and in Cambodia they celebrate it so much that it is a national holiday. We go to the centre to finish setting the exhibition up, but the party got over us and, without even realizing it, first, we appear sat at one of the twenty-something tables full of typical Khmer food and, later, we are dancing yesterday’s Khmer songs and today’s international hits surrounded by young and elder people. A surprise invitation we cannot reject has taken place. It is eleven in the morning and we have already had breakfast, worked, had lunch, chatted after lunch and gone partying. In order to follow the rhythm, we go on a trip to Beng Mealea temple.
A great discovery this Beng Mealea temple. It is far from the Angkor complex in the same direction as Bantei Srey and, really, it is worth to go there specifically to visit it. The merge of nature and temple remind one of Ta Prohm, but the experience is completely different: vines and roots appear, twist, hang, sprout and disappear among the libraries, galleries and ponds of one of the biggest temples in Angkor. The curious thing about the visit is that it is done through platforms over the ruins of the temple, so the traditional approach absolutely changes. One can observe how the beauty of the temple is multiplied when it is looked from high, which includes allowing one to watch the detailed and original bas-relieves at the natural height of the eyes.
Among all these ramps, ruins, plants and platforms it is very difficult not to feel adventurous; once you pass the threshold, your body asks for more and the only pity that you have is not knowing how to translate and interpret the inscriptions which haven’t suffered the erosion of time yet.