Breathtaking scenery combines with grandiose architectural constructions of the ancient pagoda on Bokor plateau.
Wat Sampov Pram, so-called Five Sailing Boat Monastery, is settled on Bokor plateau (or Bokor Hill Station, a French ghost town), where’s well-known for ruined Bokor Palace Hotel and Casino and abandoned Catholic Church. The construction was established in 1924 by King Monivong, aimed for the purpose of worshiping and praying whenever he traveled to Bokor.
The pagoda is not large but tranquil and quiet. Its most outstanding feature is a set of five big rocks shaped like boats, which are completely masterpieces that nature awarded for this highland.
Based on a mountain, is the place where far and near Buddhists reach to adore and pray on each occasion of great ceremony.
On Bokor plateau, apart from French colonial buildings, almost all things else are related to a legend, and Wat Sampov Pram is not an exception. The locals spread by word of mouth that these five rocks were just the five boats loaded valuables, connecting closely to the beginning of Khmer civilization.
The legend has it that long time ago, there was a prince named Preah Thong who fell in love with Neang Neak princess – the daughter of Naga King – in a morning he walked on a beach. He attempted to convince her to marry him. She agreed and told him to hold her tail to come back her world so as to pay homage to her father. After seven days in Naga world, the prince asked his father-in-law to return to the human world. The Naga King approved and granted the couple precious things loaded on five boats. The five boats sailed until they got to seashore, the group dropped anchor. The couple and their servants disembarked properties and carried them to a highland to build a royal palace, leaving the empty boats behind.
Long time later the sea receded farther and farther and the soil piled up making the boats stranded on that shore. As time went by, the boats became hard stones. Five rocks shaped like boats have existed until now. Preah Thong is considered as the founder of Khmer civilization. At present, around the pagoda, there remains some statues carved sophisticatedly.
Besides, there are also many small stupas with original architecture scattered everywhere on the campus of the pagoda.
Cambodia features a wealth of mysteries that surely travelers desire to discover. There are chances as well as challenges on the process of searching out secrets in this kingdom of temples.
Footing on Bokor plateau, it’s also an occasion to escape from bustling and noisiness of city, then to immense in space of greenery, cool breezes, bobbing clouds embracing mountains, and occult stupas.
So easy to contemplate endless, clear blue sea beyond eye-shot. Especially, if good fortunes come, it’s able to see Vietnam’s Phu Quoc island when the sky is pure and cloudless.
Adventures to Bokor plateau and Kampot province: