Dai Vaughan and his artist wife Jenny spent three months in South-East Asia, concentrating on Cambodia but also visiting Vietnam and Thailand. They went as back-packing nomads, not conveyer-belt tourists.

Today and tomorrow Dai shares some of their experiences, from their book, From Pollokshields to Angkor Wat, published by Art-Works, Glasgow.

              ANGKOR WAT

         Tuesday 21st February

As the sun rose

Monkeys scampered along beside us

Fish rose in the moat

An invisible bird

Called out of the trees

The high pointed tower

Symbol of Mount Meru

Came into view

Gradually all the towers

The surrounding mountains appear

As we get closer

We see pillars steps doorways

We climb till we reach

As high as we can go

A plateau of dark and light

And in the centre

The sacred place

Where dimly we see

Images of the gods.


Today in the temple

I did feel something

Up high as far as we could go

Only the king and the chief priest

Were allowed further.


There is some kind of energy

In the sanctuary

Below the central tower

It transforms the higher space

Into another place


I’d spend longer

But the queue grows

One down one up

I need to descend those stairs