Wat Bo Pagoda
Wat Bo Pagoda in Siem Reap
One of Siem Reap’s oldest temples, Wat Bo is known for its collection of well-preserved wall paintings from the late 19th century. Though Wat Bo is a Buddhist temple, these paintings depict the Reamker, which is Cambodia’s interpretation of the Ramayana – an epic Hindu story about the love between Rama and Shita, the strongest man and the most beautiful women of all time. There is also an impressive collection of Buddha statues.
It won’t take long to explore Wat Bo as it’s not that big of a temple. However, the paintings are well preserved and, in addition to illustrating the Reamker, the paintings also give insight into daily life in this area. A sharp eye might catch foreigners painted into the scenes, get an idea of what fashion looked like in those days and perhaps spot the likeness of French soldiers. It’s a quiet respite from the liveliness of Siem Reap and a nice break from the expansive temples of nearby Angkor Wat.
Pagodas and monks welcome visitors and tourists. Please always remember to not disturb prayer or eating times, women are not allowed to touch monks, bow slightly in the presence of older monks, don’t point soles of feet or fingers towards monks or Buddha statues, sit with feet tucked behind rather than crossed, hats off in the monastery grounds, take off your shoes in the building, speak softly, ask before taking pictures, don’t enter closed buildings without permission, contribute what you can to the donation box.