Shortly after starting on my last Vietnam day I passed a pretty unique temple in Tay Ninh – I made a point of stopping, not just because of the impressive building, but the religion itself is quite unique. Cao Dai (click here) takes from several religions and is less than 100 years old.In the picture you can see steps leading up towards a huge sphere . These steps represent the 9 steps to heaven. I was only allowed up to the 5th step. A man was standing on the 8th step, cleaning the 9th with a duster – I’m not so sure what made him so special that he was allowed up that high!!
I managed to get over the border to Cambodia without any bribes which I was pretty surprised about. The border control on the Cambodian side was particularly relaxed, though they asked for an extra $5 bribe to which I denied them. He almost apologetically asked for an extra couple of dollars instead, but his boss came over so he handed back my passport pretty quickly. The Cambodian side of the border has turned into a bit of a mini Las Vagas – full of Casinos. I’m guessing gambling is illegal in Vietnam.
I instantly took a liking to Cambodia after the madness in Vietnam. I found the people genuinely friendly as opposed to the aggressively friendly people (if that makes sense), I met in Vietnam. There were exceptions of course. Kampong Cham is a large town by Cambodian standards, with the only sizable bridge crossing the Mekong river in the entire country. It has a very photogenic bamboo bridge crossing to a small island which gets washed away every wet season and rebuilt every dry season. I have to say though that cycling over it felt like cycling on a large, soft mattress. Apparently trucks have even crossed it.
Later in the day when the sun was lower I visited Nokor Wat, chatted to a couple of monks and visited an orphanage attached to the temple. Picture tend to speak louder than words, so here are a couple more pictures…