Thanks to some extraordinary friends, I got the chance to take a drive to Udong Pagoda just north of Phnom Penh by about 40km. The festival, which you can read about here, brings a Buddhist remembrance of the dead together with a time of merriment and happy hangouts. The drive was long, but well worth it: everything from the donation of food and prayer to the pagoda visit to the food-eating and card-game-playing was incredibly enjoyable. Judging from the lack of any other white people in the crowds of Cambodians, I feel like I gained insight into a cultural corner that many do not get to see. The journey begins with images the traveling out of Phnom Penh and through Kandal Province, all the way up to Kampong Speu and Udong.
Bong Phally drove:
A Cham mosque:
Soknea and her friend led the way:
Udong in the distance
Playing cards . . . seemed similar to Bridge . . .
A pretty good panorama, actually:
Eyeing some food for lunch:
The Pchum Ben rituals: