Thursday, May 7, 2009

The Khmer Empire and its capital city of Ankgor...

Hey Everyone,
Our first day in Siem Reap, Cambodia we mainly slept away the day since we had an early morning flight from Singapore and did not sleep the night before.  However, during the afternoon our tuk-tuk driver, Dara, took us to the ticket office for the Angkor temples and then to Phnom Bakheng since we could visit it for free after 4:30pm. 
Maybe a little background about Angkor is in order...  Please excuse any mistakes I may make.  I am not an expert on Angkor or the Khmer empire (790-1450 AD).  I am just trying to provide a little background information.
The Khmer people were the people who lived in Cambodia from the 700's through today.  Although there has been some mixing with other people's after the fall of their empire in the late middle ages.  They imported many facets of their society from India including their religious beliefs namely Hinduism although they adopted Buddhism in the late stages of their empire.  Their golden age was from 800-1300 AD when their empire encompassed most of modern Cambodia, Laos, Miramar, Thailand, and the Malaysian peninsula.  Much of their art and architecture was lost until it was "rediscovered" in the mid and late 1800's.  However, much of modern Laos and Cambodian dance and script is derived from the Khmer civilization.  Their capital city was moved a couple of times during their run, but Angkor served as the main city and capital for much of the empire's duration.  Almost all of ancient Angkor was lost to the jungle after the fall of the empire.  The modern Cambodian city of Siem Reap is located adjacent to ancient Angkor and now serves as the tourist hub to visit all of the nearby temples.  The temples at Angkor have been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and rightly so for they may be the most impressive man-made structures I have ever seen.
I would suggest searching online for more and better information about the Khmer empire than I provided here.
In the following posts, we will share some of the pics and thoughts about the temples we visited...


Post a Comment

<< Home