The traditional houses in Cambodia take inspiration from the historic Angkor empire, religion, and common sense. While most people think they are built on stilts because of a fear of flooding, that is not the case. It’s construction pulls from influences much deeper than that.
Recently I had the chance to visit Siem Reap Cambodia to explore the amazing temples of Angkor. You can do this by yourself and hire a tuk-tuk driver to take you around to the temples all day. You read from your guidebook trying to understand the culture and history you are seeing. All the while you are looking for the best place to take a photo. Your other option is to hire a guide who can fill you in on the historical and cultural details while you are free to take in the magnificent surroundings you are in. Plus they know the best places to take photos. I chose the second option.
My guide was full of knowledge, not just about the history of Angkor, but was happy to share with me his knowledge of current day Cambodia, and how it blends together. I’m not going to get into the Angkor Temples - that has been done to death. Instead I’d like to share with you an interesting bit of knowledge that he imparted to me, despite me not picking it up the first couple times he mentioned it.
As we toured around the various temples in Angkor, my guide kept describing to me that they were built on multiple platforms representing Mount Meru, the home of the Gods in both Hindu and Buddhist mythology. He told me about all the different structures figured into the representation of Mount Meru from the mount to the rings to the ascension to the heavens.