Cambodia has recently seen a tourism boom, but Tripsource writer Rob Eime has concerns about whether all of the money will go to the Cambodians. Nevertheless he enjoys the beautiful sites of the country in his article Holiday in Cambodia.
“The country’s key attraction, the Angkor Wat complex near Siem Reap is driving the turnaround almost single-handedly. Rediscovered by French colonialists in the mid-1800s, the huge temples were soon cleared of hundreds of years of jungle growth and revealed in their entirety.Apart from the widely-known Angkor Wat, (it’s on the flag) a dozen or more impressive temples come together to make up an enormous fortress city around the central complex of Angkor Thom.
This thriving, ornate city was the seat of power for some twenty-seven Khmer kings from 802 AD until around 1327 and finally abandoned to the jungle one hundred years later. For over four centuries Angkor lay dormant under its verdant shroud, and the damage to its intricate structures during this time was enormous. Huge Banyan trees, still evident at Lara Croft’s temple (Ta Prohm), took root amongst the ruins, prising apart walls and foundations. Historians and archaeologists have been trying to put the heritage and the stonework back together for nearly one hundred years, their efforts continually thwarted by war, vandalism and looting.
Further supporting its significance, UNESCO listed Angkor as a World Heritage area in 1992, acknowledging the 400 square kilometre Angkor Archaeological Park as one of the most significant such sites in SE Asia. At the same time it was inscribed on the List of World Heritage in Danger.”