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Places of Interest - Cambodia

Bayon Temple - Siem Reap Province

Bayon is a richly decorated Khmer temple built in the late twelfth century or early thirteenth century. Built at the centre of King Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom was the last state temple to be built at Angkor, and the only Angkorian state temple to be built primarily as a Mahayana Buddhist shrine dedicated to the Buddha.  Following Jayavarman’s death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance to their religious preferences.

Banteay Srei Temple - Siem Reap Province

Consecrated in 967 A.D, Banteay Srei was speculated to have been known earlier as Banteay Serai, which literally means the Citadel of Victory.  This was the only major temple at Angkor not built by a monarch; its construction is credited to a courtier named Yajnavaraha, who was a scholar and philanthropist and a counselor to king Rajendravarman. He was known to have helped those who suffered from illness, injustice or poverty.

Phnom Bakheng - Siem Reap Province

Phnom Bakheng was constructed more than two centuries before the Angkor Wat. It is a Hindu temple originally built in the form of a temple mountain dedicated to Shiva. Historians believe that Phnom Bakheng was in its heyday, the principal temple of the Angkor region.  It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Roluos area located to the southeast.

Preah Khan Temple - Siem Reap Province

Preah Khan was built on the site of Jayavarman VII’s victory over the invading Chams in 1191. 

In its heyday, this was the centre of a substantial organisation with almost 100,000 officials and servants. This temple is flat in design, with a basic plan of successive rectangular galleries around a Buddhist sanctuary complicated by Hindu satellite temples and numerous later additions. With numerous trees and other vegetation growing among the ruins, Preah Khan has been left largely unrestored. 

Ta Prohm Temple - Siem Reap Province

Ta Prohm, a Bayon style temple, is believed to be built in the late twelfth and early thirteenth centuries.  It was founded by King Jayavarman VII as a Mahayana Buddhist monastery and university. Unlike most Angkorian temples, Ta Prohm has been left in much the same condition in which it was found where the photogenic and atmospheric combination of trees growing out of the ruins and the jungle surroundings have made it one of Angkor’s most popular temples with visitors.

Banteay Kdei Temple - Siem Reap Province

Built in the late twelfth to early thirteenth century during the reign of Jayavarman VII, Banteay Kdei is known only as a Buddhist temple constructed in the Bayon style.  It has been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries, but the inscription stone has never been discovered so it is mystery; unknown to whom the temple is dedicated.

Kulen Mountain National Park - Siem Reap Province

The Kulen Mountain or Phnom Kulen is declared as a National Park. It is an isolated mountain massif located in Svay Leu District and some 48km from Siem Reap. Its highest point is 487 meters. 

This is widely regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire. During the constructional period of the ancient temples in the nineth century, sand stones were brought from this sacred mountain to Angkor.  It was here at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed independence from Java in 802 A.D.

Phnom Krom - Tonle Sap Lake - Siem Reap Province

Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, is itself a natural wonder.This great lake exists as an ecological anomaly.  In early June, at the start of the rainy season, the water level of the Mekong River rises to divert part of its flow off its course to the South China Sea and redirect it into the Tonle Sap. This forces the current to reverse direction, beginning a process that by the end of October will see the great lake increasing its size almost tenfold, making it the largest freshwater body in Southeast Asia.

Angkor National Museum - Siem Reap Province

The Angkor National Museum is classified as one of Cambodia’s premier museum sites. On display are thousands of important Buddhist and Hindu sculptures from the various Angkor temples. 

Many original pieces recovered for safe-keeping by the authorities from the temple ruins are also on exhibit at this museum.

Cultural Village - Siem Reap Province

The Cambodian Cultural Village is designed to provide tourists with an excellent insight into the life and culture of the Cambodians; their traditions and practices, etc.

In all, eleven villages or sectors, each a showcase of different landmarks and providing a peek into the lifestyles of the people from various provinces including the ethnic minorities. 

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