Photo Moment: Strange and Hellish Pagoda in Cambodia

This seemingly charming pagoda is located in the middle of the village of Kompong Khleang in rural Cambodia. The ornately carved roof tiles and spires glistened in the sun as we climbed the cracked stone steps leading up to the front entrance, which is brightly painted with depictions of Heaven and disturbing and horrible images of Hell.

Take particular notice of the naked women climbing wickedly barbed trees and the large tub of boiling water, which contains the severed heads of sinners and bodies of men being boiled alive.

We were told this mural warns of the dangers of living promiscuous lives.

A gruesome reminder indeed.

Church Scenes

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Post Author: Carrie Kellenberger

I'm a chronically ill Canadian who has been living in Asia since 2003. I moved from China to Taiwan in 2006. I'm an experienced businesswoman and have worked in many leadership positions in Asia. In addition to my own work, I've been writing professionally about Asia, travel and health advocacy since 2007, providing regular content to publishing companies and travel publications in Asia and North America. I started writing about my health journey in 2009 after being diagnosed with Ankylosing Spondylitis. In 2014, I was diagnosed with Fibromyalgia and ME/CFS, which came with other massive health issues. These diagnoses were the start of my journey as a health advocate and patient leader. Since then, My Several Worlds has been recognized worldwide as a top site for AS, fibromyalgia, and chronic illness by WEGO Health and Healthline.

4 thoughts on “Photo Moment: Strange and Hellish Pagoda in Cambodia


    (September 9, 2007 - 10:11 am)

    This is an intriguing post Carrie. I’d like to learn more about this strange pagoda.


    (September 9, 2007 - 11:32 am)

    Me too Jo. This is one of the weirdest pagodas in Cambodia without a doubt. I also came across a disturbing pagoda in Luang Prabang, Laos as well. I haven’t been able to find a lot of information on them though. I’m hoping one of my readers might know more than me!


    (September 9, 2007 - 11:39 pm)

    Actually, such painting are relatively common in pagodas across Cambodia. As you mention, they tend to portray tales of morality. Someone put together a book about it. You can find out a little more here.


    (September 10, 2007 - 12:44 am)


    I noticed this at several wats and pagodas while traveling through Cambodia and Laos, but they have remained an elusive mystery to me until now. Thanks so much for the awesome link about wat painting in Cambodia. It’s very interesting.

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