Sacred Sites of Cambodia & Thailand
In Fall 2010, we will journey to Cambodia and Northern Thailand
In Cambodia, we will visit the ancient temple complex of Angkor Wat. Although largely undiscovered by American travelers, there is a saying about Angkor Wat: “If you visit Southeast Asia and don’t see Angkor Wat, you might as well not have come. If you visit Southeast Asia and all you see is Angkor Wat, it was a trip well worth making.”
Alternately Buddhist and Hindu, and at times the combination of both, the temples of Angkor Wat allow us to connect on a deeper level to the authentic spirituality of the Khmer people. Join us with an open heart on this journey as we explore places of serenity, peace and exquisite beauty.
From the town of Siem Reap we will take day trips to visit temples hidden throughout the surrounding jungle. We will visit the vast walled city of Angkor Thom, spend a peaceful morning meditating amidst the enigmatic faces of Bayon, experience nature going wild in the mysterious Ta Prohm, and explore spectacular Banteay Srei, home to the most exquisite carvings produced in the Angkorian period. We will join local priests in ceremonial incense offerings and let ourselves be inspired by magnificent Angkor Wat at sunset.
Renowned for its splendor, fine architecture and breath-taking stone carvings, Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure in the world and an enduring example of the devotion of its god-kings to their gods. It is a mountain-temple whose architecture is rich with symbolism and layers of meaning, replicating the spatial universe in miniature, and it continues being a point of pilgrimage for Cambodians today.
We will also have an opportunity to see the day-to-day Cambodian life, visit a silk farm and a local artisan studio that masterfully brings to life ancient stone carving techniques. There will be ample free time for quiet reflection or journaling.
In Thailand our trip will be based in Chiang Mai, the heart of Northern Thailand. We will visit some of Chiang Mai’s 300+ temples, including its spiritual guardian, Wat Phrathat Doi Suthep, whose holy relics attract devotees from the world over. We will join local monks in ceremonial offerings and participate in the Songkran Festival, celebrating the Buddhist New Year, which traditionally is time of cleansing and renewal. The celebration includes a procession of Buddha images from city’s temples, where lustral water is sprinkled onto the statues as they pass along the streets as a sign of respect, and also splashed at passersby for good luck and prosperity.
From Chiang Mai we will take several day trips, including a moving visit to the Elephant Nature Park in the breathtaking Mae Taeng Valley, which provides a safe home to rescued elephants, and a journey to the sacred cave complex in Chiang Dao and the peaceful forest/mountain temple of Wat Tham Pha Phlong. We will also visit Baan Celadon known for its unique high quality ceramics with wood-ash glaze, and have an option to visit the famous Chiang Mai Night Bazaar.
Throughout the trip there will be an opportunity for quiet reflection, meditation and journaling, as well as body rejuvenation using therapeutic Thai herbs in a serene spa.
More information and price coming soon. In the meantime, see our
detailed itinerary for information about our 2008 trip.