Above: Photo taken in 2004
Below: Photo taken in the same area in 2016
The site is remarkably different to 2004 when I last visited. I recall meeting and chatting with the temple’s old Cambodian caretaker, who featured on the cover of the Lonely Planet, sweeping the leaves from the floor of the temple with his broom. He still spoke French, a product of the colonial times.
In 2004, it was easy to wander the temple and lose oneself in another world. Sadly, the challenging work in keeping this important artefact intact for future generations has resulted in the temple losing much of that raw eerie charm.
Preservation is important. I understand the earlier decisions to leave the site untouched and the reasons for the reversal.
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