Perched on a hill looking across the city and beyond, Wat Phnom Yat is a striking temple with an unusual design for Cambodia. Built by Burmese migrants who were drawn here by the early gem trade. Cambodian temples can often be startlingly graphic in describing what might befall moral strays -- and this is an excellent example.
“The liar” is having his tongue removed, two unfortunate law-breakers are about to be boiled alive and “the adulterous couple” are climbing up a spiky tree in the nude, ouch!
Back up at the Burmese stop, which is clad in golden tiles, and with metal files at the top tingling in the wind, it makes a lovely location to take in the views of the surrounding fields, farms and far-off hills.
On foot, Wat Khaong Kang is just a minute’s walk away from the entrance to Wat Phnom Yat, but it is less interesting to the casual visitor, except perhaps for the long gate’s representation of the Churning of the Ocean of Milk.
Nicky Sullivan is an Irish freelance writer (and aspiring photographer). She has lived in England, Ireland, France, Spain and India, but decided that her tribe and heart are in Cambodia, where she has lived since 2007 despite repeated attempts to leave. She dreams of being as tough as Dervla Murphy, but fears there may be a long way to go. She can’t stand whisky for starters. She was a researcher, writer and coordinator for The Angkor Guidebook: Your Essential Companion to the Temples, now one of the best-selling guidebooks to the temples.