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Kampong Tralach

The Vihara dates back to early last century. It was probably built on an older site, as indicated by the laterite foundations, and is home to some outstanding mural paintings.

These, however, are starting to suffer from weathering. They remain one of the last survivors of cultural destruction that continues unabated due to widespread indifference.

Standing by itself in the middle of rice fields, it is a modest pagoda that receives very few visitors. Its isolation may well be its undoing, as was the case last May for Wat Tani Pagoda in the province of Kampot. Dating back to the same period, it was affected by the same problems of weathering and its demolition was ordered by the chief monk in order to make way for a more modern structure. There was no reaction at all from the Ministry of Culture. It is reported that the chief monk, unfamiliar with accounting, has found himself without any pagoda at all after the old one was destroyed because he didn't have enough money to build the new cream pie of his dreams.
Going upriver another 15 kilometers takes us to the very beautiful Vihara belonging to Wat Kompong Tralach Leu pagoda. To get to it, we cross Kompong Tralach Krom village and walk another couple of kilometers along a small road perpendicular to the river, crossing some gorgeous stretches of emerald rice paddy as we leave the river behind. It can also be reached from National Road No. 5.

The Vihara dates back to early last century. It was probably built on an older site, as indicated by the laterite foundations, and is home to some outstanding mural paintings.

These, however, are starting to suffer from weathering. They remain one of the last survivors of cultural destruction that continues unabated due to widespread indifference.

Standing by itself in the middle of rice fields, it is a modest pagoda that receives very few visitors. Its isolation may well be its undoing, as was the case last May for Wat Tani Pagoda in the province of Kampot. Dating back to the same period, it was affected by the same problems of weathering and its demolition was ordered by the chief monk in order to make way for a more modern structure. There was no reaction at all from the Ministry of Culture. It is reported that the chief monk, unfamiliar with accounting, has found himself without any pagoda at all after the old one was destroyed because he didn't have enough money to build the new cream pie of his dreams.
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