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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