Wednesday 13 November 2013

Darkened Relations and Earthly Delights

An old hunting ground of mine featured in Shadows and Pagodas is back in the news. In the novel it's called the Pagoda of Earthly Delights (thank you, Hieronymous B) but in real life is actually Khao Phra Vihear, a Khmer temple complex nestling above a precipice on the Thai-Cambodian border. Hotly disputed between the two countries, wonderful views and ghostly whispers amongst the colonnades have been replaced by the thud-thud of mortar shells and exchanges of semi-automatic fire. Strictly off limits.

But it seems the UN has finally ruled on who owns the disputed temple and the land around it - Cambodia. 

"Darkened relations"  have been threatened.

So are the knives of fervent nationalist being sharpened or will convoys of air-conditioned tourist buses now drown out the whispers...?