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Cambodian Mountains Stories


Phnom Yart in pailin

( Battambang Province )

At that time, there were a husband and a wife who had the same names, Yart. They worked as gem miners in Pailin area. When they grew old they went to take meditation on a mountain which is now called Phnom Yart. The Pailinners who often went to sell gems in Siam bought some hand guns and rifles in order to protect their property and residence. When they were bored, they took guns and went to hunt animals in the wood for pleasure. Such a pleasure hunting made all spirits living in the forest surprised.

One day the most powerful spirit transformed himself to meet grandfather Yart and grandmother Yart so as to send verbal message to ask the grandparents to tell the hunters not to fire at animals all over the woods which caused all spirits to be frightened, lose their children and grandchildren. " So, stop firing, we will help you with finding precious stone, " the spirit said, " in order to become rich and prosperous. " " But if you become the rich, build a pagoda at this mountain site and then play music with peacock dance every holyday, " said the spirit.

The spirit disappeared soon after telling, Grandpa Yart and grandma Yart took the message and went to inform all residents. The residents obeyed the spirit's advice. This is the tale related to Phnom Yart. There is another tale connected with the name Pailin as the followings:

At that time, there were hunters who chased the wild animals farther and farther until they reached the present-day Pailin where, then, was of jungles of high trees and some fields by the canal which was called small river such as Tong small river. The hunters saw otters that were swimming and they ran away when they saw people. Then, the hunters went to see the place where the otters played together.

They saw small bright rocks and everybody took a rock to show their friends and their relatives in their home land. Arriving in the home land, there were residents ( it was said they were Kola people in Chant Bun province, Siam ) knew that the rocks were valuable so they took and broke the rocks to polish into gems with good purity. That was why they went to buy gems from the hunters. The hunters knew that it was way of earning a living, they often tried to go to take the rocks from the old place.

The frequent going and coming from that place made them call Phee Leng due to the playing of the otters that they saw at the first time. But the residents in Siam pronounced Phee as Phai and Leng as Len or Lin with their Siamese sound as Phailin. During the control of France of that area, it was written in Latin with the sound and morphology of the words as Phailin. Later the word was shortened as Pailin by omitting " H ".

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