"Keeweechic's Siem Reap" Top 5 Page for this destination Khett Siem Reab by keeweechic
Khett Siem Reab Travel Guide: 4,330 reviews and 12,645 photos
Siem Reap means the ‘Defeat of Siam (Thailand)”. This name came from a bloodbath which happened centuries ago. Siem Reap is both a province in Cambodia as well as the name of the provincial capital and best known as the Gateway to Angkor. The temples are the main reason that anyone visits Siem Reap and usually base themselves from the town.
Tonle Sap in Siem Reap is the largest body of freshwater in mainland Southeast Asia. The lake has a large carp-breeding and carp-harvesting industry there. The Tonle Sap river flows about 65 miles south from the lake to meet the Mekong River at Phnom Penh. Primary survival is fishing and there are many stilt homes around the shoreline.
Angkor is certainly the great attraction. For hundreds of years this ancient city was lost to thick jungle which engulfed and strangle the most amazing examples of Khmer architecture. The temples of Angkor were constructed from 879 - 1191AD when the kings of the Khmer empire reigned of a vast area which reached from southern Vietnam (as it is now) to Yunan in China and from Vietnam to the Bay of Bengal. The 100 or so temples are spread out over some 40 miles. They were built of stone and bricks with a lot of the public buildings and houses being built of wood.
In the 1431 when the Thais captured Angkor, the Khmer abandoned the city and the capital was moved to the present capital Phnom Penh. For many years, the old capital declined and while not forgotten by the people of Khmer, jungle started to overtake the monuments and the city became isolated from the western world. While there was an account of a Portugese Trader writing something on the area back in 1550, it was not until 1860 when a French botanist, Henri Mahout, stumbled on the lost empire and published his finding as year later did the western world become interested and attract many explorers, archaeologist and historians to the area. In 1863 Cambodia became a French Colony. In 1907 they created the Angkor Conservation Centre and in 1908 began to conduct an archaeological study of the Angkor Civilisation and to restore the various Khmer temples.
Visiting Cambodia was one of the most memorable places I have been to. Trying to relate the experience of visiting Angkor to others does not even come close to doing justice. This is one of those places which must be visited to fully appreciate the innate magnificence. Being amongst some 300 mysterious monuments and temples that were built between the 9th and 12th centuries only to be overtaken by jungle until the end of the 1800's was just mind blowing. Not much is known about the civilisation except for some 1,200 inscriptions found throughout the country which gives an indication of the size and complexity of the civilization. Unfortunately it seems that theft and vandalism are the most serious physical threat to the monuments
Very much a traditional Asian market which sells books, curios and souvenirs. There are some great buys to be had with... more travel advice
The authorities are very serious on stopping the purchasing of antiquities. Even replicas of authentic artefacts must be... more travel advice
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