Showing posts with label CAMBODIA. Show all posts
Showing posts with label CAMBODIA. Show all posts

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Khun Chang Khun Phen The Legind From Cambodia

Khun Chang Khun Phen is an old story in the Thai language. It originated as a folktale some time before the eighteenth century, developed by storytellers who recited episodes for local audiences, and passed on the story by word-of-mouth. By the eighteenth century, such performances had become the most popular form of entertainment in Siam. The storytellers recounted the story in stylized recitation, using two small sticks of wood (krap) to give rhythm and emphasis. The performances typically lasted a full night.


The performance of Khun Chang Khun Phen created a new genre known as sepha. For at least a century, only episodes from this work were known by this term. In the Fourth Reign (1851–1868), parts of the royal chronicles and a few other works were also rendered in this form on royal commission, but all but a few fragments have since disappeared. The origin of this word sepha is disputed. There is a musical form of the same name, but this seems unconnected. Kukrit Pramoj thought that sepha meant a jail and that the genre was developed by convicts in jail. The Khun Chang Khun Phen  is an epic Thai poem which originated from a folktale and is one of the most notable works in Thai literature.

Chang and Phaen are the leading male characters, and "Khun" was a junior feudal title given for male commoners. The story is a classic love triangle, ending in high tragedy. Khun Phaen (dashing but poor) and Khun Chang Khun Phen compete for the lovely Wanthong from childhood for over fifty years. Their contest involves two wars, several abductions, a suspected revolt, an idyllic sojourn in the forest, two court cases, trial by ordeal, jail, and treachery. Ultimately the king condemns Wanthong to death for failing to choose between the two men. The poem was written down in the early nineteenth century, and a standard printed edition first published in 1917–1918. Like many works with origins in popular entertainment, it is fast-moving and stuffed full with heroism, romance, sex, violence, rude-mechanical comedy, magic, horror, and passages of lyrical beauty.


Khun Chang Khun Phen


The opening chapter of Khun Chang Khun Phen mentions a gift from the Emperor of China which might be dated shortly before 1600. The third chapter has a date based on a 120-year calendar which can be resolved as 1549/50, 1669/70, or 1789/90.

Most likely Khun Chang Khun Phaen developed over decades or centuries by storytellers absorbing and embellishing several local tales and true stories. Prince Damrong surmised that the original version was much shorter and simpler: Khun Phaen woos and marries Wanthong but then goes to war; Khun Chang seizes her; Khun Phaen returns and in the ensuing squabble, Wanthong is condemned to death. The story then expanded as other episodes were assembled around these leading characters.

Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall Destination In Koh Kong Cambodia

The Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall has many sources from the mountain rank at the seaside. The history of Kbal Chhay waterfall was found in 1960. Until 1963 Kbal Chhay arranged as the clean-water sources for providing to Sihanouk Ville, but the arrangement was failed became a hidden place for Khmer Rouge.In 1997, Kbal Chhay was changed to the developing zone. In 1998 Kbal Chhay was for bid by Kok An Company on constructing road and changing this site as tourist resort for local and international tourists. The Kbal Chhay Prek koh waterfall is located in Mondul Seima district, about 16 kilometers north of Koh Kong provincial town.

The Kbal Chhay or Koh Por is a natural site along a high mountain range and forest. To reach Koh Por, visitors travel along a stream amid beautiful scenery.Kbal Chhay gets its water from the Pursat stream. The waterfall is 10 meters high and 8 meters wide during the rainy season.


Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall

The Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong is placed away from the commotion of the provincial town. Your kids are going to have a wonderful time if you take them for picnic to the Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong. The cool waters of the waterfalls along with the vegetation surrounding the Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall make it a perfect picnic spot.The travelers can hire a car and go to see the Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong which must feature in the itineraries of the sightseeing attractions pf Koh Kong. It is situated in the Neng Kok Village of the Bakclong Commune in the Mundol Seyma District of the provinceof Koh Kong. The Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall is about 22 km from the heart of he provinceof Koh Kong.

The Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong as it has some of the most spectacular scenic views of the adjoining areas. The tourist can enjoy some time of absolute peace and tranquility as the Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong is placed away from the commotion of the provincial town. Your kids are going to have a wonderful time if you take them for picnic to the Kbal Chhay Prek Koh Waterfall, Koh Kong.

Cardamom Mountains World Heritage Sites In Cambodia

The Cardamom Mountains of south-west Cambodia have been the subject of significant international attention in recent years. The 401,000 ha Central Cardamom Protected Forest (CCPF) was declared in July 2002. The flanking 334,000 ha Phnom Samkos and 254,000 ha Phnom Aural Wildlife Sanctuaries have been proposed for the Cambodian government’s list of tentative World Heritage Sites, and the combined area covers three Important Bird Areas (Seng Kim Hout et al. 2003). In 2004, the Forestry Administration created the 145,000 ha Southern Cardamom Protected Forest, almost connecting the CCPF to the 170,000 ha Botum Sakor National Park, to form a near-contiguous 1.3 million ha corridor.


The status and distribution of Cambodia’s avifauna is better known than that of any other faunal group, and is  now well enough understood to set conservation priorities with confidence (Seng Kim Hout et al. 2003, Thomas and Poole 2003). However, most biological surveys in the south-west of the country have taken place either in the heights of the Cardamom Mountains (e.g., Eames et al.
2002) or at low elevations to their south-east (Net Neath and Tan Setha 2001, Kong Kim Sreng and Tan Setha 2002). The southern foothills of the Cardamom Mountains have thus been poorly surveyed.

As part of an effort to fill in this knowledge gap, from 12 to 18 December 2002 a team of six field scientists, of which the two authors formed the ornithological component, conducted preliminary surveys south of the Central Cardamom Protected Forest in conjunction with the Department of Forest and Wildlife. We report here on significant bird records from these surveys.

Surveys concentrated within a section of a forestry concession, managed by the Silver Road company, at c.200–500 m (11°35–44′N 103°13–26′E). Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate, with hottest temperatures in March and April, followed by a wet season from May to October, and coldest temperatures in December and January. Rainfall in the mountains reaches c.3,800 mm/
year. Reflecting this, the native vegetation cover of the survey area is lowland broadleaf evergreen rainforest with scattered natural edaphic grasslands including, in some instances, broadleaf and needleleaf Pinus merkusii trees.



There are also several herbaceous wetlands and poorly drained, nitrogen-deficient shrublands. However, the survey area has a history of human disturbance, including intensive logging in the early 1990s. Logging has removed a very high proportion of the large forest trees, leaving secondary, very disturbed forest, with a dense understorey of spiny lianas, bamboo and saplings. Facilitated by logging
roads and trails, hunting and non-timber forest product collection occur at a low density. Further clearance and development for mixed agriculture has occurred in the northern section of the study area, along the road to Thma Bang. Future additional clearance can be expected north from the recently rebuilt Route 48 linking Koh Kong and Phnom Penh.

Cardamom Mountains area species In total, 107 bird species were recorded, including one threatened and one Near Threatened species.

Chi Phat in Koh Kong Province Cambodia Most Popular Tourism

If you like plush hotels, then the jungle village of Chi Phat in Cambodia’s Cardamom Mountains isn’t for you. During my time here, I’m caked in mud, snacked on by mosquitoes and regularly watching leeches fall from my body, bloated on my blood. But for the committed traveller keen to genuinely get off the beaten track, this is an authentic slice of rural Cambodian life. The people in the village are welcoming and curious, the trekking through pristine jungle and meadows is a world away from mundane realities, and the big draw, which I’m here to test out, is a 57km mountain-biking trail that takes in an ancient burial jar site.

All this has a purpose: Wildlife Alliance is working on a reforestation project here to replace large areas of trees lost to logging; the Chi Phat Community Based Ecotourism Project provides alternative sources of income for locals (as guides, mechanics, chefs…) to reduce poverty and help stop illegal logging and hunting. The riverside village has a relaxed and friendly atmosphere. In the mornings children walk or cycle to school along the muddy main road, calling out ‘hello’ as I pass; at night, people gather in bars to watch kick-boxing on TV or sit on porches talking with family and friends.

I stay with a local family in one of six homestays. Facilities are basic (the ‘shower’
is a barrel of cold water and a plastic saucepan) and the lack of a shared language makes conversation difficult but I spend a pleasant evening on the porch with my hosts, sharing their locally made rice wine, which has a hefty kick in any language. The near-cobra experience aside, my two-day trek with local guides Leeheng and Sok is incredibly peaceful. The only sounds as we hike through dense wet jungle are bird calls and gibbons whooping in the trees. We camp overnight in hammocks, under a piece of tarp, before returning to the village, where Sok (below) cuts three coconuts down from the trees – we stick straws in and they’re good to go.

We start out early to beat the heat. Like most good fun, the mountain biking is diverse, adventurous and a bit dirty. The circuit follows old logging trails through jungle, open fields, grassy meadows and thigh-deep streams. At the top of Khnang O’Ampov mountain, we park and climb a slippery path, gripping on to overgrown vines. We’re halfway through a pitch-black tunnel when I realise the thick layer of sludge under my hands is made can hear the winged beasts flapping overhead. Emerging at the other end, Sok points out small coffins in a thin gap in the rock. Further down, perched on rocky ledges, are several mysterious ancient burial jars containing skeletal remains thought to be more than 500 years old, possibly Khmer heroes or royalty, though no one knows their exact origins.

The Chi Phat project is still rough around the edges – there were a few glitches with arrangements and local staff are still getting up to speed in terms of providing tourism services. The level of English spoken is also low, which is a real shame as the guides are unable to share their vast knowledge of the local area. All that should change with time, though, as more visitors come here for a raw, real experience of life in an unspoilt, little-known Cambodian village. One day travellers might even boast they were in Chi Phat before it became too touristy.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Angkor Thom The Archaeological Park Visitors Favourite Cambodia Tourism

The Bayon temple is the second most visited temple in the complex, contained inside the fortified inner city of Angkor Thom, which is protected by a high stone wall, where four gates, one for each direction of the compass, are decorated with four faces that are the most iconic image from the Angkor Archaeological Park. With 216 smiling faces, facing in the four directions of the compass, on thirty seven towers, wandering around the multileveled temple of the Bayon is a highlight of Angkor, and is often many visitors favourite.




The ground floor contains simpler bas reliefs than Angkor Wat, but are just as interesting, with scenes from daily life depicted here, including people selling fruit and fish, and even people taking bets on a cock fight.  Late afternoon is a good time to visit the Bayon, when the crowds have moved on to view the sunset, and the faces are bathed in the golden light of dusk, alternatively, mornings are also a peaceful time to visit, as many groups visit Angkor Archaeological Park right after the sunrise.

The Terrace of the Leper King
The Terrace of the Leper king also contains the Terrace of the Elephants, where a raised platform was once used as a viewing stand for rulers of Angkor. Possibly used as a crematorium, the actual purpose of the structure remains a mystery.


The Baphoun
Reconstructed after centuries of neglect, the Baphoun is a spectacular rendition of Mount Meru, which is also represented in Angkor Wat, over forty meters high.

Ta Prohm
When the temples of Angkor were rediscovered in the 1860’s, they were overgrown by jungle foliage, so much so that cutting down the trees would have destroyed the temples themselves, so entwined were the rocks around the vines and roots. It was decided to clear a minimum of vegetation from Ta Prom, to give future visitors an idea of what the entire city looked like before they were restored. What remains is a fascinating mixture of wood and stone, with magnificent silk cotton tree roots lifting and moving heavy blocks of stone. In fact, the entrance gate itself would collapse if the trees that grow around it were cut; the faces so familiar at other temples like the Bayon are completely surrounded by roots.

Built originally as a monastery in the 12th century, Ta Prom is a large temple, with a long esplanade leading to the central building, where many corridors are completely blocked by fallen stone. It’s wise to be careful of
footing in Ta Prom.



Preah Khan
Similar in style to Ta Prom, Kreah Khan is much larger, with a wall surrounding the temple that still exists to this day. Built in the 12th century, Preah Khan is believed to have served as a monastery.

With some of the world’s most stunning temple ruins, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, and bisected by the mighty Mekong River, Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s best kept secrets, with friendly locals, a unique cuisine, and exotic rural scenery.

Phnom Penh, the capital, is a city with a rich array of French colonial architecture, and a beautiful riverside promenade. The city sits at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, with an increasing number of
restaurants and clubs catering to a growing, affluent population. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda offer an insight into the royal history of the Cambodian people, with outstanding examples of Cambodia’s cultural riches on display.


Shopping is one of Cambodia’s highlights, especially the reproduction statuary, stone carvings and shadow puppets. To the north, the friendly, relaxed town of Siem Reap is home of Angkor Archaeological Park, the 10th century temple complex that is truly one of the wonders of the world, and the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. Rediscovered by the outside world in the 1860’s, at its height, the city was the planet’s largest city, and what remains today will leave visitors in awe of this great civilization. Wandering through Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world, intricately carved galleries depict scenes of Khmer history, in a building that was constructed to resemble the world according to Hindu philosophy.

The Bayon is full of ancient mystery, where timeless faces stare out from the temple’s spires, where galleries show more scenes from the every day life in Angkor. In the far south of the country, tropical beaches and offshore coral reefs offer opportunities for relaxing on white sand beaches and scuba diving, together making Cambodia a perfect choice for a wide range of activities.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Cambodia Tourism Dance, Music and Handycrafts

CAMBODIA ARCHITECTURE AND DANCE

After a visit to the temples of Angkor, visitors are often stunned by the intricate carvings seen at every turn: the detailed friezes, the rich galleries depicting scenes from Cambodian history, with Buddhist statues dating back hundreds of years. It is simply one of the world’s wonders, and is a highlight not just of Cambodia, but the whole of Southeast Asia. It is Cambodian architecture at its best, though archaeologists can only dream about what the entire city would have looked like: if the Khmer artisans could design such buildings in stone, imagine what they could have completed in wood?


The legendary Apsara is a key part of Cambodian mythology; these celestial dancers, winged, and resembling angels, performed for Cambodian Kings, and the style and hand movements are closely linked with Thai classical dance. The re-opening of the University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh has been the driving force behind the revival of Cambodian dance, where dozens of children are being taught the heritage that was nearly destroyed forever.

CAMBODIA SCULPTURE AND HANDICRAFTS
Influenced by Indian forms, Cambodian sculptors excelled at their craft, producing a dizzying variety of statuary that mainly depicted Indian gods like the multi-armed Vishnu. Though many statues were destroyed, the best examples have been collected, restored and displayed at Phnom Penh’s National Museum.

Excellent souvenirs of reproduction statues are sold in Siem Reap, where young carvers are at work again, recreating the beauty of the smooth, sensuous forms that typified the height of Cambodian artistry. Handicrafts in the country are linked to the Angkor period, and also make excellent souvenirs, with silver being a favourite material. The Central Market in Phnom Penh has an extensive silver section, where all kinds of boxes, jewellery and other items are for sale.

CAMBODIA MUSIC AND LITERATURE
The Royal Court at Angkor enjoyed music as part of the celebrations, mainly religious, that took place in the kingdom; musical instruments no longer exist; Apsaras carved into the galleries of Angkor Wat carry flutes
and other instruments. With the loss of much of Cambodia’s ancient music, the younger generation has embraced Western pop music in a big way, and this is the typical kind of music one hears today on the streets and cafes in the country.

Buddhist scriptures were historically written on banana leaves, and the tropical climate and Khmer Rouge regime of the 1970’s have been devastating to the collection of ancient Cambodian writing. Sanskrit, which originated in India, and the younger Pali script, were the key methods of writing, and today, visitors travelling with a guide who can read these languages will be able to translate directly off the walls of Angkor Wat, where many temples have been richly decorated in verses from these languages.

Monday, February 21, 2011

Angkor Thom The Archaeological Park Visitors Favourite Cambodia Tourism

The Bayon temple is the second most visited temple in the complex, contained inside the fortified inner city of Angkor Thom, which is protected by a high stone wall, where four gates, one for each direction of the compass, are decorated with four faces that are the most iconic image from the Angkor Archaeological Park. With 216 smiling faces, facing in the four directions of the compass, on thirty seven towers, wandering around the multileveled temple of the Bayon is a highlight of Angkor, and is often many visitors favourite.



The ground floor contains simpler bas reliefs than Angkor Wat, but are just as interesting, with scenes from daily life depicted here, including people selling fruit and fish, and even people taking bets on a cock fight.  Late afternoon is a good time to visit the Bayon, when the crowds have moved on to view the sunset, and the faces are bathed in the golden light of dusk, alternatively, mornings are also a peaceful time to visit, as many groups visit Angkor Archaeological Park right after the sunrise.

The Terrace of the Leper King
The Terrace of the Leper king also contains the Terrace of the Elephants, where a raised platform was once used as a viewing stand for rulers of Angkor. Possibly used as a crematorium, the actual purpose of the structure remains a mystery.


The Baphoun
Reconstructed after centuries of neglect, the Baphoun is a spectacular rendition of Mount Meru, which is also represented in Angkor Wat, over forty meters high.

Ta Prohm
When the temples of Angkor were rediscovered in the 1860’s, they were overgrown by jungle foliage, so much so that cutting down the trees would have destroyed the temples themselves, so entwined were the rocks around the vines and roots. It was decided to clear a minimum of vegetation from Ta Prom, to give future visitors an idea of what the entire city looked like before they were restored. What remains is a fascinating mixture of wood and stone, with magnificent silk cotton tree roots lifting and moving heavy blocks of stone. In fact, the entrance gate itself would collapse if the trees that grow around it were cut; the faces so familiar at other temples like the Bayon are completely surrounded by roots.

Built originally as a monastery in the 12th century, Ta Prom is a large temple, with a long esplanade leading to the central building, where many corridors are completely blocked by fallen stone. It’s wise to be careful of
footing in Ta Prom.



Preah Khan
Similar in style to Ta Prom, Kreah Khan is much larger, with a wall surrounding the temple that still exists to this day. Built in the 12th century, Preah Khan is believed to have served as a monastery.

With some of the world’s most stunning temple ruins, one of the world’s largest freshwater lakes, and bisected by the mighty Mekong River, Cambodia is one of Southeast Asia’s best kept secrets, with friendly locals, a unique cuisine, and exotic rural scenery.

Phnom Penh, the capital, is a city with a rich array of French colonial architecture, and a beautiful riverside promenade. The city sits at the confluence of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers, with an increasing number of
restaurants and clubs catering to a growing, affluent population. The Royal Palace and Silver Pagoda offer an insight into the royal history of the Cambodian people, with outstanding examples of Cambodia’s cultural riches on display.

Shopping is one of Cambodia’s highlights, especially the reproduction statuary, stone carvings and shadow puppets. To the north, the friendly, relaxed town of Siem Reap is home of Angkor Archaeological Park, the 10th century temple complex that is truly one of the wonders of the world, and the Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa. Rediscovered by the outside world in the 1860’s, at its height, the city was the planet’s largest city, and what remains today will leave visitors in awe of this great civilization. Wandering through Angkor Wat, the largest religious structure in the world, intricately carved galleries depict scenes of Khmer history, in a building
that was constructed to resemble the world according to Hindu philosophy.

The Bayon is full of ancient mystery, where timeless faces stare out from the temple’s spires, where galleries show more scenes from the every day life in Angkor. In the far south of the country, tropical beaches and offshore coral reefs offer opportunities for relaxing on white sand beaches and scuba diving, together making Cambodia a perfect choice for a wide range of activities.

HISTORY OF CAMBODIA AND ANGKKOR WAT

Though peace has returned to Cambodia, polar extremes best typify the country’s history, with brilliant artistic and cultural developments balanced by some of the most brutal genocide the world has ever seen. For a country of its size, Cambodia is a land of contrasts, with a beach studded coastline in the south, mountains where tigers still roam in the west and north, and a vast river system that has created the Tonle Sap Lake, which nourishes the country with water during the long dry months. With a strengthening domestic economy, standard of living is steadily rising; bringing hope and optimism back to the people.

Like many cultures in Asia, Cambodians have a story that details their origins as a nation: legend has it that a Cambodian princess married an Indian Brahman with whom she ruled over a kingdom that was named Kambuja, forming the nation that would someday be responsible for constructing Angkor Wat. Prehistoric ruins in Cambodia are rare, though it is believed caves were inhabited in the country’s north as long as 6,000 years ago (4,000 BC). Cambodia’s real development began with seafront trading outposts established by India in the country, which introduced the language, religion, and governmental structure, most of which remain to this day as
uniquely Cambodian.

The largest of these was Bnam, which is Khmer for mountain; with direct links to China, the city was known there are Funan. From the 1st to 6th centuries AD, Funan flourished, spreading Indian culture deep into the country, worshipping both Buddhist and Hindu deities (Shiva and Vishnu, for example). The advancement in wet rice cultivation (with assistance from India), better canals were built, and the population shifted away from the coast towards the Tonle Sap and Mekong rivers. For the next two hundred years, several powerful kingdoms battled for power, with governmental systems mirroring the Indian style. This period has become known as the Chenla Period, (again, a Chinese term) with the country eventually coming under the rule of just one kingdom, Angkor.

Near the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake, the Angkor Empire was established. This lake floods heavily during the rainy season, providing plenty of irrigation water to sustain tens of thousands of people. This helped pave the way for massive population growth. It was Jayavarman II who was successful in uniting the Cambodian nation in 802 AD, and beginning the creation of one of the world’s most beautiful cities, Angkor. At the time, Angkor was the most populous on earth, with an estimated one million inhabitants, and what remains today outside of the modern town of Siem Reap, is just a tiny fraction of the enormous city that once stood there. Commoners were not allowed to live in houses of stone or brick, which were decreed fit only for the gods, and lived in houses of carved wood instead. Angkor Wat and the Bayon were built, vast irrigation systems (some still visible from space) and a rich tradition of dance, writing and art developed.

In the 11th century, Cambodia stretched to its greatest size, before a sharp decline that began in the 15th century, that would spell the end of this great civilization, sparked by deforestation and silting of the waterways, forcing residents to seek food elsewhere; and with the Thais, who defeated the Cambodian
empire when the royal court moved south in the 16th century, to Phnom Penh.

In 1864, around the time Vietnam came under French rule, Cambodia followed suit, with a French protectorate formed over the country, followed 15 years later with the country becoming a colony of France. French rule continued through the beginning of the 20th century, though Vietnam was a more important source of raw materials and income from taxes. At the end of World War II, King Norodom Sihanouk took the throne, and in 1953, after decades of instability brought on by the turmoil of World War II, Cambodia was declared an independent nation. Sihanouk stepped down from the throne, and promoted his People’s Socialist Communist Party, that would remain involved in Cambodian politics for the next decade and a half.



In the 1960’s, Cambodia was increasingly involved in the growing war in Vietnam, because Sihanouk believed that the USA, Thailand and South Vietnam were working against his country’s interests; he allowed North Vietnamese troops access to transport links in Cambodia. In 1970, while in France, Sihanouk was removed from office, replaced by a government led by Lon Nol.

In the early 1970’s, the United States started a secret bombing campaign to eliminate Communist guerrillas taking shelter in the country. The large amounts of casualties helped build public support for the Khmer Rouge, active in the rural areas, recruiting and spreading their message of revolt against Lon Nol. Fighting began to spread across the country, as the death toll mounted from the US bombing campaigns, by March 1975, the country had collapsed, taken over by the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, ‘Brother Number 1,’ who turned back the clock to ‘Year Zero’ where all cities and towns were emptied of inhabitants, sending everyone to the countryside to do agricultural work. Intellectuals, doctors, lawyers, even those who wore spectacles, were suspected of being linked to the Lon Lol regime, and Cambodia’s past, and were executed en masse, in what was to become one of the most murderous rampages only seen since in the genocide that affected Rwanda in 1994.

Over the next three years, Cambodia became so unstable that the Vietnamese stepped in, and in 1978, invaded the country and established a pro-Hanoi government led by Hun Sen. The Khmer Rouge collapsed, though factions melted into the country’s thick jungle, where they waged a campaign of sneak attacks for the next 15 years. A humanitarian crisis developed, with thousands of Cambodians fleeing to Thailand, where camps along the border overflowed with arrivals. In 1989, Vietnam withdrew from Cambodia, leaving the
country under the control of UNTACV (United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia) who was to supervise free and fair elections. A coalition government was formed in 1993, which lasted through the 1990’s as the country gradually began to see increased foreign investment

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Yak Lom Lake Legends Of Popular Cambodia Tourism

There many interesting place to see such as Yak Lom Lake, a circular volcanic lake 5km south east of Banlung. Yak Lom Lake is more than 50m deep and 800m in diameter. You can take a dip in Yak Lom Lake or enjoy a walk around the forested perimeter to visit the cultural center to learn about the ethnic minority culture. You can ride an elephant to Ratanakiri’s spectacular waterfalls or to relax amidst the forest at Ka Chnang. Katien or
Cha Ong waterfalls, all about 10 km from Balung. Veun Sai situated on another side of Se San River is a Chinese village. A visit to enthnic minority village is an experience (the ethnic minorities who are a survival from the prehistory and the Neolithic age). They were not Hindu zed.


Yak Lom Lake there are different legends related to this great volcanic lake. We choose one of them to describe.  Long time ago, there was a commander of the giants attempting to abduct a daughter of the king of the giants in order to separate her from her lover. When the troops of the commander surrounded the mountain where they were hiding, the couple thought that they would not be able escape. Because of their true love, they decided to succumb.


They magical power to safeguard this area, we pray that this location sinks into the ground, and we are ready to scarify the mountain and the couple sunk into the ground. Therefore, there is a crater and it is locally called Yeak Loam.

Virachey National Park Destination Adventure Ratanakiri Province Of Cambodia

Ratanakiri Province is located in northeast part of Cambodia, 636 km from Phnom Penh by NR7/13 and 45 minutes flight. Balung is provincial capital city. Ratanakiri is a vast and untamed region covered by dense forest in the north and crossed by many large rivers such as the Sekong River, the Sesan River and the Sre Pok River and their tributaries. The numerous waterfalls and lakes doted around the area will appeal to the nature lovers. In the North-east, the Virachey National Park (Altitude 800-1,500m) is home to many rare animal and plant species.

The basic biological justification for the creation of Virachey National Park lies in the character of its major forest formation, the diversity of its flora, and the role these habitats are predicted to play in hosting a wide array of fauna. Previous surveys in contiguous, unprotected forests outside of Virachey National Park and in the border areas back in the 1990s found evidence that charismatic, globally threatened megafauna such as tigers, elephants and gaur were present, as well as rare primates such as the Yellow-cheeked Gibbon, Silver Langur and Douc Langur. However, there have been no surveys in the area since the 1990s, and most of these previously surveyed areas outside of Virachey National Park are now severely impacted by hunting and logging. Our rationale for surveying deep within National Park was to survey the biodiversity within the central section of the protected area to assess whether the aforementioned, and other, globally threatened species also occur within the core areas of the National Park.

Virachey National Park contains a variety of natural habitats (e.g. bamboo, pine forest, semi-evergreen rainforest, dry dipterocarp forest) depending on altitude, aspect, history, geology, and hydrology. The most abundant formation is tropical evergreen rainforest, much of which appears to be in primary condition. Virachey National Park massif contains a range of mountains that reach over 1400 m in altitude to the east, and over 1,500 m towards the Laos border. These high elevation sites are far from any footpaths or villages, and have never been surveyed. This remoteness has protected the area, yet it has also prevented biological assessments since it requires 5-7 days of hiking through evergreen rainforest just to reach the proposed survey site.

Ants At least 30 species were present, in addition to many unidentified Ponerinae, Myrmicinae, and Dolichoderinae.A major discovery was a colony of Gesomyrmex (possibly G. tobiasi) found in the vicinity of the camp. This genus is in the tribe Gesomyrmicini and its closest and only living relative genus is Santschiella from Africa with a single known species, G. kohli. The colony may be G. tobiasi and hence a range extension and a significant increase in the numbers of specimens known of this species, or an entirely new species of Gesomyrmex. Considering this find, and the ecological isolation of the study area, a number of new species of ants are expected among the collected specimens. Most of the species will be new records for Cambodia, as only 22 species from 6 genera are currently listed as present in this country.

Fishes. At least 37 fish species were recorded during this survey, of which at least 10 appear to be new records for Cambodia. Two of the fish specimens, Acanthocobitis sp. and Devario sp., are potentially undescribed species. None of the species are classified as globally threatened on the IUCN Red List, but this is solely due to the fact that these fishes have not yet been assessed by IUCN. Based on fish distribution records for Vietnam and Laos, several of the fish species found during this RAP survey appear to be restricted to high elevation hill streams and will therefore likely trigger Vulnerable (VU) status on the IUCN Red List based on their small global area of occupancy.

The rivers and hill streams of Virachey National Park appeared to be in excellent condition, with no signs of pollution and virtually no signs of human impact. There appeared to be healthy populations of freshwater invertebrates in all rivers and streams, which also contained large numbers of freshwater crabs, shrimps and snails.

Amphibians and Reptiles. We recorded approximately 26 amphibian and 35 reptile species, a number of which may be new to science and several others which have never previously been recorded from Cambodia. On the basis of this survey, National Park represents an area of extremely high amphibian and reptile diversity within Cambodia, and a relatively high diversity regionally. Many of the species found in the park by the team have never previously been recorded elsewhere in Cambodia, making the park of significant herpetological conservation importance for the country.

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum Trip Popular Cambodia

This article considers contemporary international tourism to a genocide museum in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. It argues that existing theorisations of ‘dark tourism’ are inadequate for the task of understanding the motivations, actions and experiences of visitors in such a place, or of such sites as contested international institutions. The paper is concerned with the ways in which visiting practices encouraged at the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide Crimes in the immediate post-genocide period (the 1980s) continue to affect visiting practices in the present. Moreover, the absence of familiar curatorial practices and technologies of interpretation leads contemporary visitors to conceive of the space of the museum and their visit in unexpected ways.

Cambodia routinely appears in registers of dangerous destinations. From news magazine headlines like ‘Pol Pot Park’ (Lyall, 2002) to academic theories of ‘dark tourism’ (Lennon and Foley,2000), Cambodia is touted as a new form of tourism destination. This article seeks to critique the current analytic categories and explanations provided by tourism studies, especially as they are applied to tourism in Cambodia. I examine tourism to Cambodia’s national genocide museum, the Tuol Sleng Museum of Genocide Crimes, to raise questions about the salience and operation of the term ‘dark tourism’.

Drawing on interviews and observations of tourists at the museum, I discuss the specific narratives and imaginaries that enable tourists’ travel to, and experience of, this site. I attend to particular motivations and to affect as a desirable element of tourists’ experience of the museum. I argue that in place of the catch-all
label of ‘dark tourism’, more empirically grounded analyses might better explain what is, in practice, an array of tourisms, each entailing different histories, geographies, tourist subjectivities and specific, embodied performances that continually (re)produce both ‘dark’ places and their visitors.


As noted, the development of Tuol Sleng Museum began soon after the end of Khmer Rouge rule. The demise of Pol Pot’s regime was brought about byVietnamese and allied Cambodian (anti-Khmer Rouge) forces that invaded Cambodia from theVietnam border in late 1978. In what was to become the last decade
of the Cold War, Vietnam’s invasion resulted in Cambodia’s isolation from an international political system dominated by Vietnam’s recent foe, the United States. While aid and cooperation was received from other socialist nations and some international non-governmental organisations, the United States, China and the
Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) all refused to recognise the new Vietnameseassisted
Cambodian state, then known as the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK).

Those granted visas for travel to the PRK during the first decade after 1979 included technical experts assisting in reconstruction efforts, as well as journalists, aid workers, and delegations from sympathetic socialist states and political organisations (such as women’s groups, lawyers associations, peace organisations, workers’ parties).

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Visit to Cambodia Tourism Guide Information

Apart from its turbulent past, Cambodia is best known for the stunning temples of Angkor, a UNESCO World Heritage site. There are additional though lesser-known temple sites mostly concentrated in the north and north west of the country. Cities and towns like the capital Phnom Penh and Battambang in the northwest still retain some old world colonial charm. The southern coast boasts beautiful white-sand beaches and the south west and north east of the country still have vast areas of outstanding natural beauty and primary jungle that is home to numerous and endangered animal species. The Mekong River cuts through the country entering from Laos in the north, winding its way south and then east through Viet Nam.

Siem Reap town (the gateway to the temples of Angkor), the capital Phnom Penh and the coastal town of Sihanoukville are the most accessible and developed centres from a tourism perspective. Whilst the coastal area and tracts of the Mekong such as the town of Kratie (the base for tourists interested in the Irrawady River dolphins) are accessible, tourism infrastructure like hotels and restaurants is more limited. Other areas of the country are harder to access and have very limited tourism infrastructure.

Airports and Airlines

Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have international airports. Cambodia does not have a national airline2 and at present there are no direct longhaul flights to Cambodia. Flights from Thailand and Viet Nam dominate routes in and out of Cambodia. There are also inbound flights from China PRC, Hong Kong SAR, Japan, Laos PDR, Malaysia, Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan. Regional low cost airlines (LCAs) such as Air Asia also operate on some routes.

Domestic flights mainly operate between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and on an irregular basis between Phnom Penh and Banlung (Ratanikiri province). Société Concessionnaire de l’Aéroport (SCA), which manages Phnom Penh International Airport (PPIA) and Siem Reap International Airport (SRIA), is to re open Sihanoukville airport in early. The Asian Development Bank (ADB) -supported Mekong Tourism Development plans airport extension and rehabilitation for Stung Treng and Banlung airports in the Northeast. It was also reported in 2005 that the Cambodian government signed a contract with Bangkok Airways for the renovation of Koh Kong Airport with a view to the introduction of direct flights to Siem Reap.

Accommodation providers, travel agents and tour operators 

There are probably around 1,000 hotels and guesthouses in Cambodia, and around 400 travel agencies / tour operators.4 The proposed Hotel Classification system has not yet been applied to any great extent. ‘Budget’ accommodation (up to $15 a night) accounts for 75% of the Phnom Penh hotels listed by the Ministry of Tourism (MoT), 28% of the Siem Reap ones and 60% of the Sihanoukville ones. A total of 26 hotels in the 3 towns are listed as ‘Superior’ or ‘Deluxe’.

Travel and Tour Cambodia Tourism

The MoT states that neither of these facts is true. This site is in fact operated by Mittapheap Travel and Tours which is the sole provider of the bookable product featured on this website. While their tour product may be very good and their hotel contract rates competitive, this does not mitigate the fact that this site would appear to deceive the tourist in order to secure bookings. That said, when you click to view the Tour product, the site heading changes to ‘The Official site of Mittapheap Tours’.

At the same time, there is a breadth and depth of relevant tourism content on the site. It features a range of good quality images and its front page makes clear, at a glance, that Cambodia is more than just Angkor (it also features Ratanikiri, Preah Vihear, Sihanoukville, Angkor Wat and Phnom Penh). The site has a consistent structure and content is frequently updated.

The tone of the copy varies significantly throughout the site from poorly translated English to savvy, streetwise English suggesting either that a diverse range of copywriters are working on the site or that content is simply being copied and pasted from other sites.

Angkor Wat City of The Buddhist Monastery Cambodia Tourism

Angkor Wat was dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, the preserver of the world. A gigantic three‐step pyramid is adorned by nine slender towers of enormous height. The steps of the pyramid are capped by galleries. Framed by an enclosure wall and a majestic moat, the temple covers 2.5 square kilometres. King Suryavarman II (1118‐1148/50) built his state temple in the southeast quarter of Yasodharapura. This is why Angkor Wat is orientated to the West.ii The biggest temple in the world and the summit of Khmer architecture, Angkor Wat has incredible dimensions, incredible spaces of reliefs; reliefs are literally everywhere. In Angkor Wat there are more than two thousand Devata (Goddesses or Deities, commonly mixed up with the Apsara).


Though it is called 'Angkor Wat' ('City of the Buddhist Monastery'), it has never been a town or capital, but it is a genuine temple, in the 16th century its name was 'Brah Bisnulok' ('Holy Place of Vishnu'). Later on Buddhist Monks erected a monastery inside of the temple's compound. And: Angkor Wat is not a mausoleum; Angkor Wat is a straight pyramid temple.Coming from the West we stand in front of a wide moat. It covers nearly the same space as the temple complex within it.

A sandstone causeway spans the moat, leading to a large building, the West Gopura. Three towers are marking entrance gates. Two more entrances are at the far away ends of the lateral galleries. The West
Gopura is a few meters wider than the west face of the temple. We get familiar with the huge horizontal dimensions of this temple plant. The horizontal structure is similar to the west face of the pyramid, where we will find again three towers, and the large outer gallery with corner pavilions.


First movement
After crossing the moat by the sandstone causeway, we pass by the central gate and have a view of the whole temple, from a distance almost twice as far as the temple's breadth. We are prepared for its width by the entrance building; we are surprised by the great height. Don't miss the Devata reliefs at the east face of the main entrance!

Second movement
Leisurely proceeding along the splendid causeway, we see the temple getting bigger and bigger. Two halls are flanking, and two basins are preceding the west face, which is crowned by five towers. At last, in front of the outer walls, we must crane our neck to have a view of the top. A moment later the towers are hidden.

Third movement
We cross the gallery of the bas‐reliefs and enter a wide cruciform gallery, opened by basins in four courts, adorned by reliefs, and the play of light and shadow between the pillars. Here the transition happens from the secular to the sacred space.

Fourth movement
Almost imperceptible, stairways, ingenious constructions, bring us to the courtyard of the second gallery. Topped by towers and a high gallery, a bulky but well sectionalized structure rises in front of us. Again we have to crane our necks. Steep stairways run up.

Finale
At the uppermost platform we are again in a cruciform gallery, now you have an open view to the four cardinal points. Pillars open to four courts with basins again, giving views to the towers at their intersections. Above these galleries, the towers look like gigantic buds, floating and opening to the sky.

The Pyramid

The pyramid is raised on a vast terrace, 2 m high, and surrounded by naga balustrades. It opens to the cardinal points by entrance pavilions and stairways. The steps are each roughly half as large and double as high as the step below it. Each step is crowned by surrounding galleries. The first step, containing the gallery of the basreliefs, is 203 m large and 3 m high. Pavilions mark the corners. At the corners of the second tier are four towers, their superstructure is partly missing. The top tier is marked by five towers in a quincunx.


The Lower Cruciform Gallery

A cruciform gallery links the lower and the second storeys of the pyramid. High galleries, flanked by half galleries, are crossing, making four courtyards which are covered by water basins. Three stairways, 7 m high, climb up to the gallery of the second tier. The graduated staircases are topped with graduated roofs and pediments. In front of the southern entrance of the lower cruciform gallery is a huge statue of the standing Buddha who obstructs the view to the southern hall in the courtyard of the outer enclosure. But we can have a beautiful view to the northern hall.

Guide Information Cambodia Tourism The Pyramid Of Angkor Wat Khmer Architecture

Twelve stairways rise to the third level of the pyramid. All five towers open to the cardinal directions, giving
open views along the galleries. The overall picture was a wide and airy hall, full of light. It was “the most enchanting and most focussed work of Khmer architecture”. The third level, where are the finest reliefs of Devata, was the throne room of God Vishnu. Only the king, assisted by the highest priest, was to ascend to the god. Later Buddhist monks walled up three faces of the cella, thus destroying a unique arrangement.



After more than two years the top level is open to the public again, except on Buddhist holidays. There are new wooden stairways. Only 100 people may enter, and only for half an hour. So you have to queue up. Wear decent dress, shoulders and knees should be covered. Visitors can enjoy the open views to the four directions, they can see the central tower in full extend, and the can discover some of the most beautiful goddesses. Visitors are recommended to follow this route as close as possible. In the Northeast of the second level a wooden stairway runs up to the top level.

The towers features:
• Porches, on pillars.
• High cella and four pseudo storeys, all crowned by cornices.
• The ground floor has two cornices.
• On the cornices antefixes are tapering to a point; they are slightly bent inside, thus forming a closed surface and making the roofs of the tower look like filigree.
• Three round elements, ‘lotus petals'.
• A conical top.
As a whole the tower looks like a lotus bud.

Reliefs
Reliefs do not simply embellish a temple; they make it a sacred space. In the images which depict the gods and their deeds, the gods themselves are present. Khmer artists at this stage did not work with perspective;
figures and parts of the body are either shown frontally or in profile. Reliefs were always carved in situ, after the walls had been finished; they were cut into the stone.

The Gallery of the Bas‐Reliefs
The outer gallery of the pyramid, including the western corner pavilions, shelters the most precious treasures of Angkor Wat, reliefs in a total length of more than 600 m. They depict narrative scenes from mythology and history. [I am working on a download describing the basreliefs.]

  
The construction of Angkor Wat
King Suryavarman II who built Angkor Wat reigned 35 or 37 years. It took at least 5 years to plan and
prepare the construction. This edifice was finished within only 30 or 32 years; the king must have had
tremendous manpower at his disposal. The construction was to be carefully prepared, later modifications were impossible. The plan of the pyramid was constructed in a strictly geometrical way.ix First they made a wooden model in the scale about 1:10.

The sandstone blocks were cut at the foot of the Phnom Kulen, some 30 km north‐east, and transported
by ox carts. The monolithic pillars, weighing 11 tons each, were dragged over rollers of palm tree trunks. These trunks may have been brought back by returning oxcarts. In the centre a pit was walled up step by step. A teakwood beam fixed inside the pit served as a crane to pull the 11 ton sandstone slabs into position.

The construction started from inside outwards; at last they built the enclosure wall and the moat. Who were the workers? Many jobs could be done by unskilled men, rice farmers or slaves. The stonemasons and sculptors were free handicrafts, professional workers, trained and experienced. How many men have worked there? There were men doing the masonry, others were heaving the sandstone blocks and pillars to their place, others were preparing the blocks and pillars, others did the logistics, and there were artists who did the
carvings. The estimates about the total numbers are differing.

Vishnu
Together with Shiva and Brahma, Vishnu makes the Trimurti of the highest ranking Hindu Gods. He is the Preserver. At the lintel in West Gopura we see the four‐armed Vishnu (on the right), reclining on an endless naga. Between the eras of time he is floating on the cosmic ocean symbolized also by the moat, opposite of the relief. Statues depicting Vishnu are only in the lateral wings of the West Gopura.


Vishnu, as the supreme god, with eight arms, is standing in the southern lateral door of the West Gopura. The statue is in a later style (about 1200). This statue is inhabited by a neak ta called Leang Neak Ta Reach, a high ranking spirit who is passionately adored by local people. Originally a statue of Vishnu was dominating the central tower; now his images have become marginal.

CAMBODIAN TOURIST CULTURE ART AND RELIGION

The culture of Cambodia is strongly influenced by India, including the country’s language, religion, and other elements, like social structure. Today, it has strong links with the culture of Thailand, Laos and Myanmar,
with mutually intelligible languages, common food dishes, and shared customs.

RELIGION
During the Khmer Rouge period in the 1970’s, virtually all religiousartefacts, temples, churches, and mosques were destroyed; they have subsequently been rebuilt. Almost 90% of Cambodians follow Therevada Buddhism, the Southern Path of the religion that originated from India. (The Northern Path is found in China, Korea and Japan) Therevada Buddhists believe that every male must spend some time of their life living in a temple, as a monk, with the ultimate goal of Nirvana, which releases human souls from desire, and suffering.

Plenty of Buddhist festivals are celebrated in Cambodia each year, and joining in the celebrations will be a rewarding experience for visitors, typically taking place in temples and pagodas. A small minority of Cambodians are Islamic, who can trace their roots back to the Cham culture in Central Vietnam. Christians are also a small minority, some of whom were converted during the times of the French.

ETHNIC DIVERSITY
Nearly 97% of the country’s inhabitants are ethnic Khmers, with small minorities of Vietnamese, Chams, and ethnic Chinese, many of who live in Cambodia’s cities. Cambodia is home to several ethnic minorities, the largest of which is known as the Khmer Leu, who live in the country’s wild northeast. Because these communities do not wear colourful costumes like their cousins in Northern Thailand and Vietnam, they are of less interest to foreign visitors; these communities have never mixed with the ethnic Khmers, and have continued to practice their slash and burn agriculture today as they have for centuries. Less than 100,000 people in Cambodia are considered to be Khmer Leu.

ART
Few countries on earth have suffered such a devastating blow to their nation’s historical record than the Cambodians: in the space of 3 years, virtually all of Cambodian writings, Buddhist texts, sculptures and art were systematically destroyed. Today, most have been revived, and restored, with Cambodians enjoying
a revival of their country’s unique past. For visitors with a keen interest in Cambodian arts and culture, a visit to the Royal University of Fine Arts in Phnom Penh is a must, where children are being taught the elegant Khmer dance that once graced the temples of Angkor Wat.