Fwd: Travel pool report #7

Begin forwarded message:

From: "Lee, Carol" >
Date: September 7, 2016 at 12:55:15 PM GMT+7
To: "Gabriel, Brian A. Jr. EOP/WHO" >
Subject: Travel pool report #7

POTUS, wearing sunglasses, walked through the grounds with Vanpheng Keopannha.

He entered Ho Raj Rod or carriage house for a tour.

Inside, under vaulted wooden be a, there's a golden ship bearing a giant golden urn. POTUS walked around the ship inspecting Buddhist statues that lined the walls.

He remarked to his guide that it was well preserved, asked something about ceremonies. It was difficult for pool to hear.

Pool followed POTUS, wearing black socks with yellow stitching on the toes, as he walked around the very tight quarters. "Don't bump into anything," he said to us, twice. (He seemed genuinely concerned.)

Mr. Obama spent about 5 minutes there.

AP's Kathleen Hennessey asked him what he thought. "It's gorgeous," Mr. Obama said.

Pool held inside while POTUS walked across a square to the next stop, Sim or main building, which houses a large Buddist statue. Pool did not go inside with him.

Pool waited outside Sim, during which time 20 monks who live at the temple exited another building across the square.

At 12:35pm a gong sounded. POTUS exited Skm shortly after. With his sunglasses on, he walked over to the monks. He  gave them the traditional greeting, hands clasped together at chest, slight bow.

He spoke to them, his words translated for them by his guide. Pool couldn't hear anything he said.

He asked if they should take a photo. After a few seconds of discussion POTUS stood in the middle. "I'll be very still," he said.

Pete Souza took a photo. POTUS thanked the monks and walked back to where he had entered.

Pool went the opposite direction, loaded vans parked along Mekong. Motorcade departed at 12:53pm.

Thanks to Mark Landler for the assist.

Carol Lee
The Wall Street Journal

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