Cambodia History Culture and Tourism
Cambodia is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia, officially known as "Kingdom of Cambodia". Its neighbours are bordered as Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast,Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city icon of political, economic, and cultural centre of Cambodia.
Cambodia Kingdom of Wonder
History of Cambodia:
Cambodia had been 'Protector of France',and went under french colonization.Its Textile Industry was the first source of support to Cambodia and then comes the Tourism Industry which is the greatest source of hard currency into the country. Most of the tourists arrive here from Siem Reap through Phnom Penh and other destinations.The tourism industry is the third pillar of Cambodia as there is famous Angkor Wat historical park situated in Siem Reap province, the calm beaches in Sihanoukville and Phnom Penh the capital city are the main attractions for foreign tourists.
Culture and People of Cambodia:
Cambodia's 95% of population officially belongs to Theravada Buddhism religion were minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams, and 30 hill tribes.It absorbed India's culture and civilization by builting monumental temples like Angkor Wat, which is one of World Heritage Site, and the prime source to spread of first Hinduism, then Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia such as Thailand and Laos.
It was in 13th century that monks from Sri Lanka introduced Theravada Buddhism to Southeast Asia and the religion spread eventually displacing Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism as the popular religion of Angkor.Mahayana Buddhism is the main religion of the majority of Chinese and Vietnamese in Cambodia.
The 90% of Cambodia's population are from Khmer origin and speak Khmer language which is the country's official language. Krama scarf is the traditional wear of Rural Cambodians which is a unique aspect of Cambodian clothing. The Sampeah is traditional Cambodian greeting used to show respect to others.The Khmer empire is responsible to spread the Khmer culture developed and has distinctive styles of dance, architecture and sculpture, which are exchanged with neighbouring Laos and Thailand throughout history. The Angkor Wat (Angkor means "city" and Wat "temple")is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture from the Angkorian era along with hundreds of other ancient temples which are discovered in and around the region.Bon Om Tuuk is the 'Festival of Boat Racing' and and most attended Cambodian National Festival held at the end of rainy season.
Tourist Attractions of Cambodia:
The Southeast Asia consists of two great complexes of ancient temples one at Bagan in Burma, the other at Angkor in Cambodia. The Angkor temples were built by the Khmer civilization between 802 and 1220 AD, representing one of humankind's most astonishing and enduring architectural achievements. The Khmer kings had ruled over a vast domain from Angkor that reached from Vietnam to China to the Bay of Bengal.
1)Angkor Wat:-It is ranked as top tourist attraction of Cambodia,the most magnificent and largest of all Angkor temples. The Angkor Wat temple was built during the early years of the 12th century by Suryavaram II, in honour of the Hindu god Vishnu symbolically representing Hindu cosmology.The rectangular reservoir surrounding the temple rises through a series of three rectangular terraces to the central shrine and tower at a height of 213 meters (669 feet) showing the temple mountain full of traditional Khmer idea in which the temple represent Mount Meru, the home of the gods in Hinduism.
Angkor Wat Cambodia
2)Bayon Temple:-It features a sea of over 200 massive stone faces looking in all directions is a World famous part of Angkor,as the faces here believed to be the portrait of king Jayavarman VII himself or are a combination of him and Buddha together.
3)Banteay Srei:-It being major part of the Angkor complex lies 25 km (15 miles) north-east of the main group of temples in Cambodia.
4)Koh Ker:-It once being the capital of the Khmer empire, is dominated by Prasat Thom, a 30 meter (98 ft) tall temple pyramid rising high above the surrounding jungle. There is a giant Garuda (half-man, half-bird creature), carved into the stone blocks, still guarding the very top of the temple is the most remote and inaccessible temple destinations.
5)Kratie:-It is a small town located on the banks of the Mekong River,dominated by a central marketplace surrounded by old, French colonial buildings. The rare Irrawaddy dolphins can be seen here which are now diminishing.
6)Bokor Hill Station:-It is a hill station built by French, used as a retreat from the heat of Phnom Penh.
7)Silver Pagoda:-It is located within the Royal Palace compound in Phnom Penh and houses many national treasures such as gold and jeweled Buddha statues. There is detailed mural of the Ramayana myth, painted in 1903–04 by 40 Khmer artists in the internal wall of the Silver Pagoda courtyard.
8)Tonle Sap:-It is the largest freshwater lake that expands and shrinks dramatically with the seasons in South East Asia and stands major importance to Cambodia.
9)Sihanoukville:-It is also known as Kampong Som, is a port city and beach resort on the Gulf of Thailand.
10)Preah Vihear:-It is a Khmer temple situated atop a 525 meter (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, on the border between Cambodia and Thailand dedicated to Hindu god Shiva.
Some other attractions of Cambodia are given below:
1000 Shiva Lingas across the river of Cambodia Karnataka
Modes of Transportation:
By Air:Cambodia has three major airports as-
1)Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is the largest and serves the most international flights in and out of Cambodia.
2)Phnom Penh International Airport (Pochentong) in Phnom Penh is the second largest.
3)The third is the Sihanoukville.
By Road:The road is well connected between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville along side of Koh Kong with neighbouring Thailand and their vast road system.
By Rail:It has two rail lines from the capital to Sihanoukville on the southern coast, and from Phnom Penh to Sisophon (although trains often run only as far as Battambang).
Image Courtesy: www.cambodiatourist.com, www.touropia.com,wwwnc.cdc.gov, thanjaitours.com
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