Monday, February 17, 2014

Ta Prohm Temple and Tonle Bati

Down National Route 2, only 30 kilmetres from Phnom Penh, this area provides the chance both to visit a beautiful temple and enjoy a typical Khmer picnic nearby. The turnoff from Phnom Penh is marked by a large picture of a ruin. There is an entry fee. Built by King Jayavarman VII (of Angkor Wat fame) in the 13th century, Ta Prohm temple is a small but impressive lateritic and sandstone structure. About 300 meters away is the second, smaller temple, Yey Peo. Further down the road are picnic huts on stills in the shallows of Tonle Bati lake. These huts can be rented and meals of chicken, frog and other delicacies brought to you. Check prices first. Like most popular tourist spots, it maybe a little more expensive than Phnom Penh.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Perfect Siem Reap Holiday – Ta Prohm Temple

In 1186 A.D., Jayavarman VII embarked on a massive program of construction and public works. Rajavihara ("monestary of the king"), today known as Ta Prohm ("ancestor Brahma"), was one of the first temples founded pursuant to that program. The stele commemorating the foundation gives a date of 1186 A.D.

Jayavarman VII constructed Rajavihara in honor of his family. The temple's main image, representing Prajnaparamita, the personification of wisdom, was modelled on the king's mother. The northern and southern satellite temples in the third enclosure were dedicated to the king's guru and his elder brother respectively. As such, Ta Prohm formed a complementary pair with the temple monastery of Preah Khan, dedicated in 1191 A.D., the main image of which represented the Bodhisattva of compassion Lokesvara and was modelled on the king's father.

The temple's stele records that the site was home to more than 12,500 people (including 18 high priests and 615 dancers), with an additional 800,000 souls in the surrounding villages working to provide services and supplies. The stele also notes that the temple amassed considerable riches, including gold, pearls and silks. Expansions and additions to Ta Prohm continued as late as the rule of Srindravarman at the end of the 15th century.

Abandonment and restoration 

After the fall of the Khmer Empire in the 17th century, the temple of Ta Prohm was abandoned and neglected for centuries. When the effort to conserve and restore the temples of Angkor began in the early 21st century, the École française d'Extrême-Orient decided that Ta Prohm would be left largely as it had been found, as a "concession to the general taste for the picturesque." According to pioneering Angkor scholarMaurice Glaize, Ta Prohm was singled out because it was "one of the most imposing [temples] and the one which had best merged with the jungle, but not yet to the point of becoming a part of it".Nevertheless, much work has been done to stabilize the ruins, to permit access, and to maintain "this condition of apparent neglect."

As of 2013, Archaeological Survey of India has restored most parts of the temple complex some of which have been constructed from scratch. Wooden walkways, platforms and roped railings have been put in place around the site to protect the monument from further damages due to the large tourist inflow.

Wednesday, August 21, 2013

Phnom Penh City Tour including the Silver Pagoda

Explore Phnom Penh on this full-day private tour, takes in some of Cambodia's finest pieces of Khmer and French influences with visits in the morning to the Silver Pagoda and National Museum. After a tasty lunch, you will visit the Tuol Sleng Museum, a testament to Cambodia's recent bloody past under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime.


  • Full-day private English-speaking guided tour of Phnom Penh City
  • Learn about Cambodia's bloody past under Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime
  • Visit the Silver Pagoda, National Museum and Tuol Sleng Museum
  • Enjoy a delicious lunch
  • Hotel pickup and drop off by air-conditioned private vehicle

What You Can Expect

Private Tour: Phnom Penh City Tour including the Silver Pagoda
Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia, was a bustling commercial hub during French colonial days and today has re-established itself as the political and financial center of the country. Its rich historical past can be traced to the Khmer and French influence evident in the ornate Khmer-style temples and the grand colonial buildings and villas. The most obvious examples of this include the National Museum and the Silver Pagoda which you will visit in the first part of this tour. After a tasty lunch, take a sobering look at Cambodia's disturbing past with a visit to the Tuol Sleng Museum, a testament to Cambodia's recent bloody past under the Khmer Rouge regime.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

2. Siem Reap

2. Siem Reap

-Entrance fee to Angkor area is USD20/day (foreigner).

Siem Reap can go by national road N0.6 from Phnom Penh. It is a pleasant for tourist and also the country’s number one tourist attraction site because of over hundred temples, Angkor Wat, Archeological sites and other ecotourism site such as Tonle Sap River, bird sanctuary, Kulen Mountain and so on. Beside these, it is a haven of tourists to find relaxable time by staying in luxury hotel, walking at Pup Street, buying souvenir in some popular markets such as Night market, Chas market. In Siem Reap, the tourist can divide a zone to visit such as small round temple, big round temple, northern part, eastern part, southern part and western part:
- Small round temple: Angkor Wat, Ba Kheng mountain, Angkor Thom-Bayon, Ta Prum temple.
- Big round temple: Preah Khan, Neak Pean and Prea Rub temple. Northern part
-Northern: Banteay Srei, Kulen Mountain
-Eastern: Beong Malea temple, Kampong Pluk ecotourism
-Southern: Chong Kneas ecotourism
-Western: West Baray

Thursday, April 21, 2011

I. The most attractive tourist destination in Cambodia

I. The most attractive tourist destination in Cambodia 

1. Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the second attractive destination of tourist. It was found in the 15th century, when King Pon Nhea Yat moved away from Angkor area and the Siamese (Thai) invaders. He found a small man-made hill (Phnom), which had been constructed 60 years before by a wealthy woman called Daun Penh. It became the capital with the permanent settlement of the royal family from 1866. Cambodia was almost disappeared after King Pon Nhea Yat lost the war with Siamese and Viet Namese (Saigon became Vietnamese). In t he middle of the 19th century an increasing competition in establishing colonies for trade and resources led to an interest of France in Southeast Asia (in direct rivalry to Great Britain’s establishment in Hong Kong). After taking Viet Nam as colony (Cochin China), it offered Cambodia a protectorate Treaty in 1863. With Viet Nam as priority, France sent just a few civil servants and very limited financial resources to Cambodia, controlling peasant uprisings etc. A second convention between Cambodia and France, signed in 1884, increased the authority and influence of the colonial power. The first proper town planning has been implemented. The city, stretching from North to South was divided in a series of village, not genuine but ethnic pockets. The central part, today is Thmei market, was the Chinese quarter, a commercial district where the first shop houses have been built. In the north the European quarter developed with administration buildings, schools, and villas. The south, around the royal palace, was the Cambodia district. Malaysians and Chams settled at the other side of the river. From then on Phnom Penh developed as a political and commercial center and became one of the most attractive cities in Southeast Asia. Phnom Penh became a city of independent in 1953, under the leadership of King Norodom Sihanouk. Cambodia was been in peacefully for a while but it was fallen in darkness time in Khmer Rouge/Pol Pot regime 1975 to 1979.

1.1. Wat Phnom
-Location: go straight by Norodom Blv from Independent monument, south to north.
-Ticket: USD1 (foreigner)
-Working time: 24h/7days
Wat Phnom, or "Hill Temple," is built upon an artificial hill about 27m high. West of the vihara is an enormous stupa containing the ashes of King Pon Nhea Yat (reigned 1405 to 1467). In a small pavilion on the south side of the passage between the vihara and the stupa is a statue of the smiling and rather plump Madame Penh. A bit to the north of the vihara and below it is an eclectic shrine dedicated to the genie Preah Chau, who is especially revered by the Vietnamese.

1.2. Royal Palace

-Location: between Sothearos and S.t 240, southern of National Museum
-Ticket: 6.25USD (Foreigner)
-Working time: Mon-Sun, 8:00-11:00, 14:00-17:00 (Except especial occasion)
It built in 1866 by King Norodom. This site was especially chosen by a Commission of Royal Ministers and Astrologers because it had great geographical significance in relation to the King. It contains some spectacular buildings where contain the magnificent 17th century emerald Buddha statue is made of Baccarat crystal and solid gold and hundreds meters of Indian epic Ramayana.

1.3. National Museum
-Location: Corner of st. 178 and Preah Ang Eng street
-Ticket: 3USD (Foreigner)
-Working time: Mon-Sun, 8:00-17:00
The National Museum is a house of world’s largest collection of Khmer Arts, including the historical and archaeological objects. It was officially inaugurated by King Sisowat in 1920. The building was constructed by excellence wood in Khmer style.

1.4. Arts street
-Location: along the street N0.178
After look around the National Museum, visitor will have opportunity to find some painting which paint by Khmer artist and Khmer souvenirs such as statue and wood caving of Angkor wat, Apsara and other.

1.5. Independence Monument

Built in 1958 as a memorial to Cambodia's war dead and to celebrate independence from French colonial, It is designed by the influential Cambodian modern architect Vann Molyvann in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa in the same style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites.

1.6. Killing Field (Choeung Ek)
-Location: 17km, south of Phnom Penh
-Ticket: USD2 (Foreigner)
-Working time: Mon-Sun, 7:00-17:30
It was used by the Khmer Rouge regime as an execution ground to put down thousands of people between 1975 and 1979. Mass graves containing thousands of bodies were discovered at Choeung Ek after the fall of the Khmer Rouge regime. Many of the dead were former inmates in the Tuol Sleng prison. They killed people by smashing them on head. 

1.7. Toul Sleng GenocideMuseum(S-21)
-Location: Street 113 and Street 350
-Ticket: USD2 (Foreigner)
-Working time: Mon-Sun, 7:00-17:30
Toul Sleng was a high school but when the Khmer Rouge came to power it was converted into the S-21 prison and interrogation facility. Inmates were systematically tortured to extract confessions, after which they were executed at the killing fields of Choeung Ek. S-21 processed over 17,000 people, less than a dozen of whom survived.

Other interesting
French Colonia architecture
Le royal hotel
-Location: 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, In front of National University of Management (NUM)
Le royal hotel was built in about 1930; the central building is very impressive hotel dates back from the 1920s.

National library
-Location: 92 Rukhak Vithei Daun Penh, Sangkat Wat Phnom, In front of National University of Management (NUM)
The national library was built in 1954 in classic style but some said in Greek style, is painted with ornaments in a mixture of Khmer and French style. The library was created to contain government and royal documents.

Khmer Modern Architecture
For someone who wishes to see the nice Khmer architecture, they can visit some places such as Chaktomok Theater, IFL or Olympic stadium.

Chaktomok Theater

-Location: Sisowath Quay, next to Himawary Hotel
-Inaugurated: 1961
-Architect: Vann Molyvann

Institute of Foreign Language (IFL)

-No.11, Confederation De La Russia
-Date: 1965-1972
-Architect: Vann Molyvann
It is a last project before leaving Cambodia in 1972

Olympic stadium

-Inaugurated: 1964
-Architect: Vann Molyvann

Other activities in Phnom Penh
1. Russian Market (Tuol Tam Poung market)
-Location: Along the S.t.163 and St.450
This market became the foreigner’s market during the 1980’s when most of the foreigners in Cambodia were Russians, hence the name ‘Russian Market. It is more varied selection of souvenirs, curios and silks. There are several jewelers and gold-sellers, but it also carries huge selection of curios, silks and carvings, it is one of the best markets in town to buy fabric, and it offers the largest selection of VCDs, DVDs and CDs of the traditional markets.

2. Central market
-Location: S.t. 63 from south to north, northern of Soriya Shopping Center
This distinctive building is a city landmark - a unique art deco version of a traditional market. Four arms of the market converge in a soaring dome at the hub, perhaps reflecting the four arms of the chaktomuk (the convergence of the Mekong River.) Prior to 1935 the market area was a swamp/lake known as Beng Decho that received the runoff during the rainy season. The lake was drained and the market constructed in 1935-37, during the French colonial period, and originally dubbed the ‘Grand Market.’ Phsar Thmey is currently undergoing renovation but most of the project is complete. The central section of the main market building displays an amazing collection of gems and jewelry. The souvenir vendors are all back along the central entrance walk - offering curios, statuary, handicrafts, silks, t-shirts, postcards, etc.

3. River front and boat riding
It is a dozens of pubs, restaurants and shops sit along the picturesque park-lined, and Short river cruises and sunset cruises along the Phnom Penh riverfront are easy to arrange and offer an interesting view of the city.

Monday, January 17, 2011



Two on the east entrance and each from the other three directions, implementing on ancient rule of palace construction also seen at Angkor Thom City which was built during the Angkor period. The beautiful building next door and to the south of the Royal Palace, is The Temple of the Emerald Buddha, known to the English as the Silver Pagoda, due to the tiles that cover the floor which are made of pure silver. A total of 5,329 silver tiles, weighting 1,125 kilograms each adorn the floor of this structure. The temple does not serve as a Buddhist Monastery, but is primarily used to display the national treasure, most of which are gifts from the Royal Family and souvenirs from various countries that were once presented as gifts to the king of Cambodia. There are a number of mostly Cambodian treasures on display and the entire building is surrounded by the high galleries that are covered by tile-roofs. On the wall of the galleries there are  mural paintings illustrating the Ramayana legend from the beginning to the end. This painting was done around 1903-1904 by famous Khmer artists.
Raung Domrel Museum

Next to the outer of painting galleries, there is the Rung Dorei Museum where visitors can enjoy studying some Khmer customs and tradition lifestyles. Among the items displayed are artifact from Khmer households, a model of a typical Khmer house,  silk weaving samples, traditional costumes, a cultural photo exhibition, utensils, silver crafts, and common farming tool etc.

Independence Monument

A single tower of Angkorian style, standing on the heart of the capital. The independence from France on the 9th November 1953. It from all other structures in the city. The independence Monument's nighttime lighting gives it a magical aura that is striking to see and is worth photographing.

National Museum

Built in 1920, today this museum stores and displays more than 5,000 Khmer art objects conserved from Angkor era and post- Angkorian art produced until the late colonial era. The artifacts are made of sandstone, bronze, silver, copper, wood, pottery and other art materials. Beside this purpose, the museum is also home to more than two million tomb bats living between the roof and the ceiling. They swarm into the sky startling those unfamiliar as its looks exactly like smoke from a steel factory.


The Angkor Civilization 

During the Angkor period, Cambodia was the largest, most powerful and prosperous nation in the Southeast Asia region. The Khmer civilization had reached it peak during the 9th - 13th century AD.
Evidence of its glory is can be found in the area of land covered by the Khmer Empire, which dominated almost the entirety of Indochina to the Myanmar border in the west. Thousands of Prasats (temples or monuments) were build and decorated with beautiful and priceless ancient sculpture, stunning architecture, and countless stone-inscriptions written in both Khmer and Sanskrit. Other antique items that can be found in the region include infrastructure such as Baray (ancient water reservoirs), irrigation systems, ancient highways and bridges.

All of these achievements were constructed over 800 years ago, during the peak of the Angkor Civilization.

The Angkor Wat Temple

Angkor Wat is the largest and greatest stone-structure temple in the world and took more than 30 years to build. There were 4,000 elephants and some 380,000 men are believed to have contributed their labor to this world-class project. Sandstone, the main material for the construction was transported by elephant from Kulen Mountain, some 47km away from the site. 

Angkor Wat
The great temple of Angkor Wat is remarkable, not only because of its splendid architectural arrangement, but also because of the perfect subordination of the carving to the composition of the whole: the decoration is treated, nearly everywhere, as embellishment which should not hold the eye. As a result, the variety and intensity of the shadows do not break the unity of the simple walls, yet there is ornamentation everywhere - even in the least visible corners.

Angkor Wat is the masterpiece of King Suryavarman-II's crown, and is dedicated to Hinduism. It is believed to have also served as a tomb for the King Suryavarman-II (12th century AD).

Angkor Thom City

Nearby, Angkor Thom was once one of the most modern cities in the world. At one time it was populated by nearly 1,000,000 (one million) in habitants. Compare this to 30,000 people in London at around the same time (late 12th century AD). In fact, Angkor was the capital of a self-sufficient nation rich in natural resources and with unique construction techniques. 

Angkor Tom
Due to the extensive and ingenious irrigation system, Angkor was able to harvest rice 3-4 times during a calendar year. Rice yields reached 150,000 metric tons within an area of 1000; sufficient to feed 800,000 inhabitants, while still leaving 40 percent to supply other areas throughout the kingdom. It is this rice cultivation that supported the Angkor Civilization.

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