(Written by Ty Theavy, edited by Louisa Lopez)
Friday 18 March 2011
Koh Kong: This pagoda is called Wat Koh Kong Knong. Wat means monastery in the Cambodian language (Khmer). No monks live here now. The villagers say there are horrible ghosts that have always haunted it, even when the monks prayed.
It was founded in 1968, and only 3 monks lived here at that time. When it was first built, it only had a temple and a dining hall, with a roof made from Treak leaves. In 1972, the committee of the monastery decided to build a library. The people say that the reason the place is haunted is because the location of the library was the site of a killing field in the Pol Pot regime. Currently it is used as the village’s graveyard.
The monastery was restored in 1992 by Acha Ngoun, who has an adopted daughter called Uon, from Thailand. At that time, 13 monks from Thailand lived here, but later on Khmer monks stayed here. However, they could only stay here for one year because of the scary voices coming from the demons on most nights.
However, some villagers say this is not true. In fact it was because the villagers here were not able to support the monks with enough food. This is because in 1979 there were only 10 families here. Also the people of this area thought of themselves as Thai Kuang Kang, especially as they spoke in the Thai language, and so did not think it was very important to look after the Khmer monks.