Angkor Borei and Phnom Da

Nowadays a meaningless village close to the Vietnamese border, Angkor Borei was once among the first urban centers of Southeast Asia. Situated in the Mekong River delta, some suppose that Angkor Borei was the capital of Funan, Southeast Asia’s oldest civilization. Other historians rather think that Funan’s capital was situated at another ancient town, Vyadhapura, not far away down in the Mekong delta (of unknown exact location), but behind the closeby border to Vietnam. Another possible candidate for Funan’s capital was Oc Eo, also closeby in Vietnam. Might be that the capital changed over the time; might also be there was no capital of this civilization. The discussion about the site of the capital has an ideological implication; if the ancient Khmer had their center or origin in nowadays Cambodia or in nowadays south Vietnam.

Phom Da

Phnom Da is a twin hill, with two temple sites, three kilometers away from Angkor Borei. The bigger temple, a towerlike construction from the 7th century (according to other sources 6th century), is the main attraction. One has to walk up a stairway to reach the top of one of the hills, where it is placed. The building was, according to a Cambodian guide from Phnom Penh, originally built in brick. Later, in Angkorean times (10th / 11th century) it was overbuilt and extended. The used building material for the extension was laterite. The brick core is still to see from inside at the top. The roof of the building has been collapsed and is now open. The entrance door is facing to the north. As I heared it was the target for an American air raid in the Vietnam War.

Inside the building there is only one big room with the remains of a shrine in the middle of it. The floor is just a clay ground, the walls naked stone…

Know…

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