12 Friday Oct 2012

Pchum Ben Day – The Day of Spirit in Cambodia

All cultures honor their dead ancestors, but Cambodia makes it an art form. It is called Bon Pchum Ben Day. Every year,  15 days are devoted to honor the family that is no longer here. Tradition dictates that every year, around September or October, depending on the Buddhist calendar, must be devoted to making the family of previous generations happy.

Every Cambodian visits at least 2 pagodas to bring food, money and other favorite things of the dead. If there is no evidence of a visit from the previous year, many fear that the spirits will put a curse on them because the family has forgotten them.

For many, visiting at least 7 pagodas within the 15 day period is the great. As the pagodas in the big cities get most of the donations, rich people try to visit the remote and far away ones, so the monks there can get a share of the bounty.  The big city ghosts that take a side trip won’t be disappointed.

Pchum Ben or Bon Kan Ben or Bon Dak Ben as this festival is referred to, is very colorful with thousands of Monks in saffron robes. Bon Kan Ben are days 1-4 while Pchum Ben is day 15 in which every Cambodian Buddhist must visit the pagodas.

 

Rice

Rice

Related article:

Pchum Ben Dayhttp://www.go.myirg.com/about-cambodia/highlights/holiday-event.html

IRG Go: www.go.myirg.com

 

 

02 Tuesday Oct 2012

Rabbit Island

Rabbit Island or Koh Tonsay is a small island about 30 minutes off the shore of Kep.  If you are visiting Kep, it is a nice day excursion to take. (I would not recommend staying any longer than a day.) The island is quite small and not very developed but that’s the charm of going to islands like this.  There is a small store/restaurant where you can buy drinks or eat lunch.  To get to this small island, you must charter a small boat.  The ride takes about 30 minutes. (Tip: remember to bring a hat, sunscreen, and sunglasses because there’s no covering over the boat.) The ride itself is very enjoyable and you get a chance to get up close and personal with the deep blue sea.  If  you get a sunny day, the clear blue skies will just leave you feeling carefree.

When you arrive on Rabbit Island, you will notice how little people are here.  It’s almost like having your own private island!  The way I spent my time was by bringing books to read and iPhone to play games on.  And of course I went for a few swims in the ocean.  Who could pass up the beautiful Cambodian waters?!?  We also had lunch on the island.  It was a seafood lunch, and it was so fresh and delicious.  All in all, if you are looking for a great beach experience in Kep, look no further than Rabbit Island!

The boats that take you to Rabbit Island from Kep.

Rabbit Island