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JOURNAL OF MY TOUR BY JEEP OF THAILAND, CAMBODIA AND VIETNAM

NOVEMBER, 1956 , page11

. . . While sitting on the steep stairs that morning, I wrote a poem inspired by
Angkor and kept on imagining visions of that far past : . . .

"In the distance,the fields beyond the walls were filled with colorful groups. From all directions of the compass, vasals of the King came in caravans mounted on camels to pay homage and rich treasures carried on mules. For the power of this King extended across all of Indo China, Siam, as well as parts of Birma and Malaya. Priests from faraway India arrived on pilgrimages and blessed the work being accomplished here. Richly decorated elephants carried around princesses protected from the sun by golden baldakins. Troops of soldiers exercised and architects milled around with sketches and builders squares."

But who noticed the army of worker ants, the dark sunburned workers dressed in black who had been recruited or pressured to leave their farms and to turn the King's dreams into reality? Thousands of villages sent their vigorous young men here at the command of their priests and rulers.
Jayavarman VII, the "Leper King"
In the construction
of the Bayon more than 300,000 laborers were involved.
This was, however, the climax of the construction mania which started around 800 A.D. and lasted till the death of the Leper King in 1201 A.D.




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