Siem Reap 2015 || Preah Neak Pean & Ta Som

Robert Frost’s The Road Not Taken always resonate with me. On good days, overthinking has helped me avoid making stupid decisions. It’s the worst on bad days – second guessing yourself is no fun at all. I had a traditional upbringing: take on a challenging course (engineering) from a reputable university, graduate and get your diploma, work for a big company, earn money, and everything else will follow. In deciding on what to do with my future, there are so many factors affecting the decision-making process, and I couldn’t help but lie in bed at night and wonder which path I will take.

The path to Preah Neak Pean.

An artificial lake surrounds Neak Pean, as it is used as a reservoir to irrigate rice fields during the dry season.

It’s so easy to chase after what is tangible: money, title, stability. But what about the “follow your heart” sayings, if you don’t even know where your heart is headed?

Our next stop was the Temple of Ta Som which was constructed between the end of the twelfth century and the beginning of the thirteenth; it was begun during the reign of King Jayavarman VII. I entered via the Third Enclosure West Gopura.

West inner gopura

The temple features three enclosures with monumental gateways known as gopuras and a central shrine decorated with intricate carvings.

The temple was likely purposefully destroyed in the fifteenth or sixteenth century and lay in a state of ruin for many centuries.

Southwest inner courtyard.

East outer gopura

But when you’re pressed for a decision, you find out which one you’re leaning towards. Stability, money, and convenience be damned. And you realize that a seed once planted, have the power to grow, take root, and wedge it’s way through bricks and stones that have stood the test of time. 

The inner enclosure from the east gopura.

So you take the leap and hope for the best. It may have been a hard decision to make, but at least you made the decision to act. Despite the fear, the uncertainty, and the unknown.

Exited via the west gopura again. Did a bit of research because I was curious why this familiar face is so significant and found out that this is actually Lokesvara. Oooohhhhhhhh.

They say your 20s are the time to be selfish and make mistakes. On the contrary, it’s also the time to build foundations for the future. Unfortunately, not everyone has the same priorities, the freedom to make selfish decisions, and life situations are not always easy. So I say – I’m not sure yet, but I guess I’ll figure it out someday. 🙂

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