U-23 Cambodia 3-2 Hoang Anh Gia Lai
Scorers:
- Cambodia 3: Chan Chhaya 12', 36', Kouch Sokumpheak 88'
- Hoang Anh 2: Le Van Truong 54', Tran Minh Thein 59'

Cambodia Player : Lay Raksmey, Tieng Tiny (C), Chan Dara, Khoun La Boravy, Oum Kumpheak, Keo Kosal, Phoung Narong, Lorn Sotheara, Sou Yiti (GK), Prak Mony Udom, Touch Pancharong
Sok Rithy ,Tiny, San Narith ,Sotheara, Kouch Sokumpheak ,Udom, So Seila (Kosal), Eang Piseth ,Narong, Chan Chhaya ,Kumpheak.

Pheak Rady, Khim Borey, Keo Sokgnon, Chhun Sothearath, Sun Sovannrithy, Peng Bunchhay (GK), To Vann Thann.
Politics: Cambodia and Thai
BANGKOK, Nov 12 (IPS) - Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen is known for his brash and earthy vocabulary even when, as he did in early April, he talks about himself. ”I am neither a gangster nor a gentleman, but a real man,” the politician who has led his country for 25 years said in a fit of rage.

The target of his ire at the time was Thai Foreign Minister Kasit Piromya, following comments the latter had made during a parliamentary debate in the Thai capital.

Hun Sen criticised Kasit for calling him a ”gangster” during that debate, but Kasit shot back, saying his description of Hun Sen in Thai had got lost in translation. The actual words were ”Nak Leng,” Kasit had explained, which in Thai means ”a person who is lion-hearted, a courageous and magnanimous gentleman.”

It was Kasit's second run-in with the Cambodian leader in under a year. In late 2008, when the former veteran Thai diplomat was in the political wilderness as a speaker for a conservative, right-wing protest movement, he had called Hun Sen a ”thug” during a speech at a public rally.

If the new Thai government, formed under a cloud of controversy last December, was hoping that Hun Sen would move on from such moments, then the current war of words between the two countries suggests otherwise.

”The Thais seem to have forgotten that Hun Sen has a very good memory. He does not forget easily,” a South-east Asian diplomat from a regional capital told IPS on the condition of anonymity. ”He unearths details and history he knows well to go after those who criticise him.”

But the current war of words between Cambodia and Thailand has degenerated into personal insults and a trading of charges about interfering into each country's judicial and domestic affairs.

Hun Sen raised the stakes this week in an increasingly volatile relationship between the two South-east Asian kingdoms by targeting his Thai counterpart, Abhisit Vejjajiva, in a verbal barrage.

”I would not be surprised if there was a link here with comments made by political allies of Abhisit,” the diplomat added. ”It is Hun Sen getting back.”

Besides words, Phnom Penh also rejected a request by Bangkok on Wednesday for the extradition of ousted Thai prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra, who arrived in Cambodia on Tuesday to begin his new role as Hun Sen's economic advisor.

Thaksin, whose popular elected government was turfed out of power in a 2006 military coup, has been living in exile to avoid a two-year jail term after a Thai court found him guilty in a conflict-of-interest case.

To goad the Abhisit administration, Hun Sen welcomed Thaksin with warm hugs and handshakes, and offered his own villa in Phnom Penh for the fugitive former Thai premier to stay in.

Bangkok has not fallen for Phnom Penh's bait, for now. Even though it bristles at such hospitality and the verbal salvos fired by Hun Sen, the Thai government is trying to stay above the fray, offering statements that appear calm and diplomatic.

”The government is stressing that the problem between both countries is still a bilateral issue,” Thani Thongphakdi, Thai foreign ministry's deputy spokesman, told IPS. ”We want to see a positive sign from Cambodia that gives precedence to bilateral ties over personal relationships.”

Yet at the same time, the Thai government is taking a tougher line towards the range of ties it maintains with its eastern neighbour. ”We are reviewing existing agreements, existing cooperation and future cooperation between the two countries,” Thani revealed. ”Everything is on the table.”

Bangkok's unilateral actions against Cambodia has already seen the Thai ambassador in Phnom Penh withdrawn and Thailand revoking a memorandum of understanding between the two countries to explore oil and gas reserves in the Gulf of Thailand.

It followed Hun Sen's tongue-lashing that targeted Abhisit. ”People should know that when I was starting my political career, the Thai prime minister (Abhisit) was still a child running around, playing,” Hun Sen told Cambodian journalists on Sunday, the transcripts of which IPS has seen.

”If Abhisit is so sure of himself, then he should call an election. ‘What are you afraid of? Is it that you are afraid you will not be the prime minister?'” Hun Sen continued, driving home his current achievement as South-east Asia's longest-standing premier, as opposed to Abhisit, who has been in office for less than a year.

”I am prime minister of Cambodia who has received two-thirds of the vote in the Cambodian parliament. How many votes does Abhisit have? ‘You have chosen somebody else's chair to seat yourself in',” goaded Hun Sen, referring to the question of legitimacy that has dogged the Abhisit government. ”You claim other people's property as your own. How can we respect that?”

The 57-year-old Hun Sen has been Cambodia's premier for 25 years, a period where he has not shied from revealing his authoritarian streak, using a mix of violence, intrigue and verbal attacks to cling to power. His journey to power began on the economic and social fringes of the poorer Cambodia, including a short stint when still a teenager as a soldier for the genocidal Khmer Rouge in the later 1970s.

The 45-year-old Abhisit hails from the opposite end, being born into wealth, enjoying a British education and feeling at home among Thailand's patricians. He formed a coalition government after a controversial court ruling last December saw the collapse of the elected government, paving the way through a combination of military influence and cash enticements to broker a deal to secure a parliamentary vote than a win at a general election.

Hun Sen's penchant for dipping into his country's history to take on the Abhisit administration is also threatening to expose a darker side of Thailand's relationship with its poorer and weaker eastern neighbour.

To counter Bangkok's current charges that Phnom Penh is interfering in Thailand's internal politics and judicial system by rolling out the welcome mat for Thaksin, Hun Sen retorts by reminding the Thais about the hospitality they offered to Khmer Rouge leaders like Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea, now about to face justice in a United Nations war crimes tribunal.

”The Thai judiciary has not much value to be respected,” Hun Sen said during his weekend encounter with Cambodian journalists. ”Khmer Rouge leaders Khieu Samphan and Nuon Chea were living in Thailand for years. This was a violation of international law that Thailand had signed.”

”Hun Sen is absolutely correct,” said Tom Fawthrop, co-author of ‘Getting away with Genocide? Elusive Justice and the Khmer Rouge Tribunal'. ”In fact after 1979, when the Khmer Rouge were driven out of Cambodia by Vietnam, (Khmer Rouge leader) Pol Pot and other leaders all fled to Thailand.”

”The Khmer Rouge's fight to regain power was aided by logistics and weapons that flowed through Thailand, even tanks,” Fawthrop, a regional expert who spends time in Phnom Penh, told IPS. ”The Thais violated the international law after the 1991 Paris peace accord by letting the Khmer Rouge operate along its border, which was not the case along the Vietnamese and Laotian borders.”

Hun Sen's current anti-Abhisit rhetoric may not be the isolated views of Cambodia's leader but may find resonance among its people, added Fawthrop. ”The Thai-Cambodian relationship has to be looked at in a historical context. The Cambodians feel a huge sense of grievance.”
More Trouble in Siam
Thaksin needles the government and a fugitive financier is returned

The government of Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva and his Democrat Party are being battered by a series of events including the visit to Phnom Penh this week by Thaksin Shinawatra, the leader ousted in a 2006 coup, and a wide-ranging interview that Thaksin gave in Dubai to the Times of London in which, among other things, he accused the Privy Council surrounding King Bhumibol Adulyadej of manipulating the monarch.

Also the extradition of disgraced financier Rakesh Saxena, 57, who had staged the longest battle in Canadian history to avoid being sent back to Thailand to face charges he had helped to embezzle tens of millions of dollars in phony bank loans in 1996, now injects a volatile new set of issues into Thailand's shaky political agenda.

How much damage the political contest has caused is uncertain. Nomura Global Economics reported in late October that: "The Thai economy contracted the most among Asean countries in 2Q09 in year-on-year terms, driven by a decline in exports (-21.8%) and gross fixed capital formation (-10.1%)" and that "political uncertainty has delayed a recovery in consumption and investment."

The Thaksin interview, a long series of self-justifications which can be found here, has outraged government officials at a time when Abhisit is scheduled to be at the Asia-Pacific Economic Cooperation summit in Singapore and meet with US President Barack Obama. It can also be expected to drive the royalists in the People's Alliance for Democracy, which twice brought down governments aligned with Thaksin, into new demonstrations over Thaksin's supposed disloyalty and meddling by Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen in Thai affairs by offering Thaksin a position as his "economic adviser."

Saxena arrived last Friday, bundled in blankets in a wheelchair and said to be suffering from a stroke that had partly paralyzed him. He was immediately whisked away to Thailand's Crime Suppression Bureau. Prior to his flight from Thailand, he was said to be close to Newin Chidchob, the Northern Thailand politician whose defection along with those of 16 of his followers from the Thaksin delivered Abhisit Vejjajiva and the Democrat Party to power.

The supporters of the billionaire fugitive Thaksin have been clamoring for Saxena's extradition for months on the theory that bringing him back could put the Democrat-led majority coalition in danger. Along with Newin, several other politicians in his camp, including Suchart Tancharoen and Pairoj Suwanchawee, have been identified as making money from the fraud perpetrated by Saxena. Prior to his extradition from Vancouver, BC, Saxena said he feared for his life. He later said had a full list of the politicians, some now in the cabinet, who were involved in the scandal that sent him in flight. The Democrats have assured the press that he is under 24-hour guard in Bangkok.

For his part, Abhisit has pledged cooperation with the authorities, telling reporters that "Everyone is obliged to supply information even though such information may harm the cliques within the government because we have to uphold the national interest."

Although the Democrats were in opposition and led the censure debate over the Bank of Commerce scandal, the support of Newin's so-called Group of 16 was instrumental in delivering Abhisit and the Democrats to the shaky hold on power that they have enjoyed for the last several months. Many of Newin's allies are now scattered throughout the unwieldy 35-member Thai cabinet.

Over the last week, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen added to the uncertainty by offering to employ Thaksin Shinawatra as an "economics advisor," perhaps in retaliation for PAD anti-Cambodian activity at the Preah Vihear temple since 2008. Both countries have recalled their respective ambassadors over the affair. Despite the political setbacks, the absent Thaksin probably remains the second-most popular figure after the ailing king.

Saxena's return, given his role in the linchpin of the scandal, couldn't be more inconvenient for Abhisit. It was Saxena's role as treasurer advisor to the Bangkok Bank of Commerce, whose collapse with US$3 billion in debt in 1996 was one of the contributing factors to the devaluation of the Thai baht and ultimately the Asian Financial Crisis of 1997-1998. He was charged with looting US$88 million through establishing a series of phony loans through the bank. According to media reports, he and his team identified moribund companies, pumped up their balance sheets while looting the assets and firing staff, then sold them to unsuspecting shareholders. Among the companies targeted as takeover objects were Morakot Industries, Jalaprathan Cement, Semiconductor Venture International and Phoenix Pulp and Paper.

In July of 1995, according to reports, he transferred more than US$80 million out of Thailand in defiance of banking regulations and, shortly after that, followed the money out to Canada.

The financier ultimately washed up in British Columbia, where his extradition hearing was the longest in Canadian history. Even after the presiding judge ruled there were grounds to extradite him, it took the federal justice minister more than three years to order his return to Thailand.

The return of Saxena -- who has been implicated in a series of dubious stock schemes and a counter-coup in Sierra Leone while under house arrest in Vancouver, comes at an extremely sensitive time for Thailand, with Bhumibol increasingly infirm. The 86-year-old monarch last week returned to the public eye after more than a month in hospital, more frail than ever and with the royal succession in doubt although the official line is that he will get the job. The king's son, Vajiralongkorn, is deeply unpopular and it appears that the royal family may be in the hands of a regency run by the queen, Sirikit.

Abhisit, in Singapore this week for the APEC conference, and his Democrats are beset on one side by the pro-Thaksin Red Shirts, who have now formed the Phieu Thai Party, and the anti-Thaksin Yellow Shirts, who are establishing a royalist party of their own, the New Politics Party which was formed in July.

There appears to be considerable behind-the-scenes agitation to pardon Thaksin, perhaps in exchange for his forsaking political activity in exchange for the restoration of his billion-dollar telecommunications fortune. Whatever happens, Saxena's return adds yet another explosive to the volatile mixture that is Thai politics.
Thaksin is on a new offensive
BANGKOK - THAILAND'S fugitive former prime minister Thaksin Shinawatra's appointment earlier this week by Cambodia's mercurial Prime Minister Hun Sen has jangled nerves in the Thai capital and entangled both countries in a diplomatic brawl that prompted Thailand first and then Cambodia to recall their ambassadors on Thursday.

Analysts say Thaksin's latest move could be the launchpad for a political comeback.

'Thaksin is on a new offensive. This is a calculated campaign to undermine this government and to change governments,' said Thitinan Pongsudhirak, a political science professor at Bangkok's Chulalongkorn University. 'He wants to retake what he sees as his legitimate right, which is to have another election that he believes he will win.'

For the government of Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, Cambodia's action is a slap in the face it feels compelled to respond to. It called the appointment an 'interference in Thailand's domestic affairs.'

From cyberspace, Thaksin tweeted to his 40,000 Twitter followers that Abhisit's recall of the Thai ambassador was a 'childish overreaction', and tweeted in a seperate message: 'I'm asking permission from all Thai people to advise the Cambodian government ... until I have a chance to serve you again.'

Current Prime Minister Abhisit faces the challenge of how to calm the political maelstrom around Thaksin. 'Thailand is now in the international spotlight and its leader has been discredited,' said Sompop Manarungsan, a political economist at Chulalongkorn University. 'The strategy Thaksin is using, I call it 'crashing.' He is destroying everything in his path to reach his goal.'
Thaksin Shinawatra Said
Thaksin Shinawatra claimed it was "an honour" to be appointed Cambodia's economic adviser. As his motherland is staring at a major diplomatic row with a close neighbour and businessmen in both countries are bracing themselves for an unpredictable impact, there is a thin line between "honour" and "shame".
In his fight to clear his name, Thaksin has stopped at virtually nothing. And even after the Thai ambassador to Phnom Penh was recalled and Bangkok decided to cut assistance to Cambodia, he showed no signs of guilt, concern or remorse. Bangkok was being childish and overreacting, he tweeted.
Thaksin's blurring sense of patriotism is understandable. Having been ousted by a military coup, convicted for a crime he refuses to accept and seen his own political movement neutralised one after another, he can be forgiven for trying to embarrass his opponents who are holding the reins of power. But everything has its boundary - and Thaksin has crossed it.
Only he and Cambodian Premier Hun Sen know whether the controversial asylum offer and the economic-adviser appointment were out of the latter's own goodwill or the former Thai leader had a hand in it. But even if Thaksin had nothing to do with the Cambodian moves, the least he could have done is show he cared about his country.
A neighbourly row of this nature can easily encompass the fighting colours in Thai politics. It threatens the whole country, be it yellows or reds or neutral Thais. Disruption of trade, border blockades, troop redeployment and the subsequent mounting tension on the already-strained relations will not discriminate against anyone.
Thaksin could have said "No, but thank you" to the Cambodian offer, but he has chosen to inflame the situation by saying the Thai government was overreacting, like a child. This came from someone who should have known better, who witnessed first-hand as a Thai leader what misunderstandings between the countries could lead to and who was on the verge of sending commandos into Cambodia himself to rescue Thai diplomats and businessmen running for their lives from angry torch-wielding protesters.
The difference between now and then is the attack on the Thai Embassy may have been caused by an accident, but this time there are people who seemingly want it to happen. Thaksin stands out among them. Hun Sen cannot drag himself into the Thai fray without Thaksin showing the way. If Thaksin's opponents' hardline stand on the Preah Vihear conflict was what first strained bilateral relations, things took a major turn for the worse when Thaksin's representative, Chavalit Yongchaiyudh, visited Phnom Penh and kick-started the asylum-offer episode.
What is Thaksin prepared to do now? On one side is a country he once called home, where he is both loved and loathed, but on the other side is a place that is offering him comfort. A truly grateful man would do anything but pit both countries against each other.
Khmer-Siam Relationship
Thailand recalls envoy from Cambodia, Phnom Penh retaliates in kind
Just as many had feared, the stormy relationship between Thailand and Cambodia was pushed to the edge yesterday when Bangkok responded to fugitive ex-PM Thaksin Shinawatra's appointment as the neighbouring country's economic adviser by recalling its ambassador from Phnom Penh.
Cambodia's retaliation - the planned recall of its ambassador here, You Aye, who Deputy Cambodian Prime Minister Sok An said would not return until Bangkok sends its own envoy back - ensured bilateral ties were at their worst level in years.
If Thaksin's appointment was an unmistakable diplomatic provocation, recalling the Thai envoy was the strongest possible response yet - equivalent to a downgrade of relations between the countries.
Former foreign minister Tej Bunnag warned that the ambassadorial recalls meant a major channel of communications had been removed.
The Foreign Ministry recalled Prasas Prasasvinitchai, the ambassador to Phnom Penh, to Bangkok yesterday after Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen announced on Wednesday that Thaksin had been royally appointed as economic adviser and would not be extradited to Thailand.
These new developments add more problems to the ongoing process of boundary demarcation, and border conflicts at the area near the Preah Vihear Temple will become more difficult to resolve.
Now it is up to Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva to calmly speak to Prime Minister Hun Sen when they meet in Tokyo today and tomorrow at the Japan-Mekong Summit, Tej said.
"Bilateral ties should not be damaged by a single individual," he added.
However, Chavanont Intarakomalyasut, secretary to the foreign minister, said there were no plans for Abhisit to meet Hun Sen during the Tokyo summit.
"We will not call him but if he calls us, we might talk," he said at a press conference. "So far we have nothing to say to him."
Reflecting Bangkok's "enough is enough" attitude, Chavanont said Thailand would not tolerate Hun Sen's behaviour any longer because the government had already explained Thaksin's legal status to him several times.
"Thaksin's appointment is seen as an interference in Thailand's domestic affairs and a failure to respect the Thai judicial system," he said.
Downgrading bilateral relations is always an option for Thailand when it comes to responding to Cambodia. The Kingdom had previously downgraded ties in 2003 after an arson attack at the Thai Embassy in Phnom Penh - ironically while Thaksin was prime minister. But that was a brief estrangement because Thaksin was always on good terms with Hun Sen.
However, this Democrat-ruled government is different. It is not clear how long it will take to resume normal relations, because the Thai side is going to review all bilateral agreements and cooperation projects. Thailand has a number of ongoing projects with Cambodia in many areas, including transportation and energy.
Every time relations between the two nations get sour, Thai interests in Cambodia, notably in trade and investment, always get affected. The 2003 riots and the anti-Thai sentiment caused a lot of damage to Thai businesses in the country, and investors were only able to resume their businesses a few years ago.
Thailand currently has scores of investment projects worth billions of baht, but bilateral trade in the first half of this year showed a 25-per-cent contraction from the same period last year, though trade experts believed it would recover in the second half. Border trade was also expected to show signs of recovery if relations had not been jeopardised.
Besides, the situation could become worse if a party in Cambodia stoked anti-Thai sentiment, as happened in 2003.
The only way to maintain bilateral interests would be to mend relations as soon as possible. However, with Thaksin and Hun Sen now the best of friends, observers say things can go either way - better or worse.
Thai government recalled ambassador from Phnom Penh
The Thai government recalled its ambassador from Phnom Penh on Thursday, following a decision by the Cambodian government to appoint ousted former premier Thaksin Shinawatra as an adviser to the Prime Minister Hun Sen.
The withdrawal, ordered by Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva, was another blow to worsening relations between the two countries, which both have troops amassed along an already contentious border.“We have recalled the ambassador as the first diplomatic retaliation measure to let the Cambodian government know the dissatisfaction of the Thai people,” Thai Prime Minister Abhisit Vejjajiva was quoted saying in Bangkok.
“Last night’s announcement by the Cambodian government harmed the Thai justice system and really affected Thai public sentiment,” Agence France-Presse quoted Abhisit saying.
Officials announced on Wednesday that King Norodom Sihamoni had approved Thaksin as an economic adviser to Hun Sen, who has said he would welcome the fugitive official in spite of an extradition treaty with Thailand.

Khmer Water Festival

The Water Festival in Cambodia takes place each year in October or November, at the time of the full moon, and is the most extravagant and exuberant festival in the Khmer calendar, outdoing even the new year celebrations. Starting on the day of the full moon in late October or early November, up to a million people from all walks of life and from all over the country flock to the banks of the Tonle Sap and Mekong Rivers in Phnom Penh to watch traditional boats racing on a huge scale. This year more than 400 of the brightly colored boats with over 2,500 paddlers battled it out for top honors. The boat racing dates back to ancient times marking the strength of the powerful Khmer marine forces during the Khmer empire.
During the day, the boats race in pairs along a kilometer-long course, and then in the evening brightly decorated floats cruise along the river prior to and during the nightly fireworks displays.
There is often a parallel festival at Angkor Wat and although it is smaller in scale it is just as impressive due to the backdrop of Angkor Wat.
The festival marks the changing of the flow of the Tonle Sap River and is also seen as thanksgiving to the Mekong River for providing the country with fertile land and abundant fish. It is at this time when the river flow reverts to its normal down-stream direction. In a remarkable phenomenon, the Tonle Sap River earlier reverses its course as the rainy season progresses, with the river flowing "upstream" to Tonle Sap Lake. Then as the rainy season tapers off, the river changes direction once again as the swollen Tonle Sap Lake begins to empty back into the Mekong River, leaving behind vast quantities of fish.



Bou Sra Waterfall
Bou Sra Waterfall is a waterfall in Mondulkiri Province in Cambodia. It is located in Pechr Chenda District 43 kilometres from the provincial town of Mondulkiri along a red soil road.

In its first stage the waterfall has 15m diameter and 15-20m height during the rainy season, and a 20m diameter and 18-25m height in dry season.

The second stage of waterfall lies 150 metres from the first stage. During the dry season it has a 23m diameter and a 15-20m height and during the rainy season has 20m diameter and 18-25m height. [1]

At the third stage, the waterfall is more powerful than at the second stage, but it cannot be reached by man due to geographical obstructions.
Kulen Waterfall
These mountains are located 30km northwards from Angkor Wat. There is a sacred hilltop site on top of the range and the area was declared a national park by the government of Cambodia.

Phnom Kulen is widely regarded as the birthplace of the ancient Khmer Empire and is located some 48km from Siem Reap. Of special religious meaning to Hindus and Buddhists, it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarma II proclaimed independence from Java in 802 A.D.

The site is known for its carvings representing fertility and its waters which hold special significance to Hindus. Just 5cm under the water's surface over 1000 small carvings are etched into the sandstone riverbed. The waters are regarded as holy, given that Jayavarman II chose to bathe in the river, and had the river diverted so that the stone bed could be carved. Carvings include a stone representation of the Hindu god Vishnu laying on his serpent Ananta, with his wife Lakshmi at his feet. A lotus flower protrudes from his navel bearing the god Brahma. The river then ends with a waterfall and a pool.

The Khmer Rouge used the location as a final stronghold as their regime came to an end in 1979. Nearby is Preah Ang Thom, a 16th century Buddhist monastery notable for the giant reclining Buddha, the country's largest.
King Norodom Sihamoni


Norodom Sihamoni (Khmer: នរោត្តម សីហមុនី, born 14 May 1953) is the King of Cambodia. He is the eldest son of Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. Previously Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO, he was named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004. Before ascending the throne, Sihamoni was best known for his work as a cultural ambassador in Europe and as a classical dance instructor.

Before he was crowned king, his royal title was: Sdech Krom Khun (ស្តេចក្រុមឃុន), equating him to the rank of 'great prince.' As king, his title is: Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdech Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachakr Kampuchea (in romanized Khmer); roughly translating to: His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia. His given name, Sihamoni, comprises two morphemes from his parent's given names, Sihanouk and Monineath.

Sihamoni was born in 1953. At the time of his birth and that of his younger brother, his mother, a Cambodian citizen of Italian and Khmer ancestry, had been one of King Norodom Sihanouk's constant companions since the day they met in 1951, when a young Monique Izzi won first prize in a beauty contest sponsored by UNESCO.[1] She soon become one of the most enduring and stable influences in Sihanouk's life, and is often referred to as a "tower of strength" by close members of the Cambodian Royal Family.[2] She was granted the title of Neak Moneang at the time of her marriage to King Norodom Sihanouk in 1952. (A step-granddaughter of the late Prince Norodom Duongchak of Cambodia, Queen Monineath is a daughter of Pomme Peang and her second husband, Jean-François Izzi, a French-Italian banker.) [3] The Royal Ark website entry about the genealogy of the Cambodian royal family states that Sihanouk and Monineath were married twice, once on 12 April 1952, when she was 15, and again ("more formally", according to the website) on 5 March 1955; she is described as Sihanouk's seventh wife.

King Norodom Sihamoni has 12 half-brothers and half-sisters by his father's various relationships; his only full sibling, a younger brother, HRH Samdech Norodom Narindrapong (born 1954) died in 2003.

He has spent most of his life outside Cambodia. As a child, Sihamoni was sent to Prague, Czechoslovakia, by his father in 1962, where he, while attending elementary school, high school and Academy of Music Arts, studied classical dance and music until 1975. He is fluent in French and Czech, as well as being a good speaker of English and Russian. During the 1970 coup d'état by Lon Nol, Sihamoni remained in Czechoslovakia. In 1975, he left Prague and began to study filmmaking in North Korea, and in 1977 returned to his native Cambodia. Immediately, the ruling Khmer Rouge government turned against the monarchy, and Sihamoni was put under house arrest by the Khmer Rouge with the rest of the royal family until the 1979 Vietnamese invasion. In 1981, he moved to France to teach ballet and was later president of the Khmer Dance Association. He lived in France for nearly 20 years, but even then he regularly visited Prague, where he spent his childhood and youth. He is the only ruling monarch who speaks Czech.

In 1993, the prince was appointed Cambodia's delegate to UNESCO, the UN cultural body based in Paris, where he became known for his hard work and his devotion to Cambodian culture. He previously refused an appointment as Cambodia's ambassador to France.

On October 14, 2004, he was selected by a special nine-member council, part of a selection process that was quickly put in place after the surprise abdication of King Norodom Sihanouk a week before. Sihamoni's selection was endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly Speaker Prince Norodom Ranariddh (the new king's brother), both members of the throne council. He was inaugurated and formally annointed as King on Friday, October 29, 2004. King Sihamoni and his parents, King Father Norodom Sihanouk and Queen Mother Norodom Monineath specifically requested that the ceremonies be kept low-key because they did not wish for the impoverished country to spend too much money on the event.

The original gold and diamond encrusted crown, a sacred symbol of Mount Meru, used in official coronation ceremonies in Cambodia for centuries dating back to the ancient Angkorian Empire, disappeared along with many other items of Royal Regalia during the Lon Nol regime in the early 1970s. As stated by Julio A. Jeldres, King Father Norodom Sihanouk's official biographer, "The King did not want a crown remade because of Cambodia's poverty."

Sihamoni remains a bachelor, and there have been persistent reports [7] that he is gay. Sihamoni has no children, but this does not pose a problem because the King in Cambodia is selected by the throne council even when such a successor exists.
Prahok Ktiss
Ingredients- 0.2 kg of smoke fish;- 0.1 kg of dry freshwater shrimp;- 0.5 kg of pig front leg meat;- 0.2 kg of Prahok;- 1 big ripe coconut fruit;- 0.05 kg of already sliced citronella trunks;- 0.1 kg of smoke spices; - 0.05 kg of garlic;- A bit of saffron, Amomum Galanga, citrus hystrix peels and leaves;- 0.2 kg of ripe tamarind;- 0.3 kg of Rumhorng egg plants (kind of egg plant that goes well with the dish);- 0.2 kg of sugar;- 1 coffee spoonful of MSG;- Fresh vegetables to be eaten raw: Long bean, egg plant, ginger, head cabbage, cucumber.
How to cook
Pound and mash the smoke fish after taking out the bones. Pound and mash the dry shrimps after cleaning them. Slice the pig meat into small bits. Slice and mash the fish paste completely. Cut open the coconut and get its milk: 300ml for Phase One, and 300 ml for Phase Two. Take out the seeds and the inside of the smoke spices, clean them and mash them. Slice the citronella trunks into tiny bits and then pound them together with saffron, Amomum Galanga and citrus hystrix leaves to make a mash mixture. Mix water with the ripe tamarind and make a small bowl of sour solution. Fry the egg plants until they look brown. Fry the spices until they turns red. Cook the Phase One 300 ml coconut milk until it turns a little brown color. Add the fried spice and then the mash mixture into it, and leave the combination to shiver using medium source of cooking power. Put the mashed pig meat and leave it to cook. Put the shrimps and smoke fish, mingle them in the solution, then add some prahok, sugar and some more coconut milk and leave it to moderately shiver foe 10 minutes. Then, put citrus hystrix leaves and the bowl of tamarind water, and leave the solution to cook another 5 minutes. Finally put the eggplant and stir the soup. Then, taste it, and that's it.
Amok

Ingredients- 1 kg of mud fish;- 1 ripe coconut fruit;- 5 trunks of citronella;- 0.5 kg of smoke fish;- 0.5 kg of garlic;- Bits of saffron, Amomum Galanga, Amomum Zingiber;- 6 leaves of citrus hystrix and some peels;- 2 ripe bell pepper fruits;- 1 duck egg; salt, sugar, fish, sauce, MSG;- Leaves of star fruit and banana trees
How to cook
Cut the fish in to small slices and take the bones out Slice and crush the citronella trunks and pound them together with saffron, Amomum Galanga, Amomum Zingiber, citrus hystrix leaves to make a mash mixture Slice the smoke spices into small bits Break the coconut fruit, squeeze the nut to get its milk by making the phase-one milk and phase-two milk Cut the ripe bell pepper into two Pour half of the phase-one coconut milk into a frying pan to cook until it turns a litter brown Then, put into the pan the spices and the mash mixture, and stir it up Add the phase-two milk and turn off the cooking gas after the solution becomes cooked and dry enough After that, add the fish, salt, fish sauce, sugar, egg, and fully mix up the ingredients Make package of banana leaves, lay star fruit leaves at the bottom of the package, then put enough of the cooked fish on the star fruit leaves, and then top it with a bit of citrus hystrix leaves and ripe bell pepper. Turn on the gas and cook the dish again Add 1 spoonful of the phase-one coconut milk into the fish, and leave it to cook for a short while. And the dish is done.
Samdech Choun Nath

Samdech Sangha Raja Jhotañano Choun Nath (born March 11, 1883 - died September 25, 1969) is the late Supreme Patriarch Kana Mahanikaya of Cambodia. Amongst his achievements is his effort in conservation of the Khmer language in the form of the Khmer dictionary. His protection of Khmer identity and history in the form of the national anthem, Nokor Reach and Savada Khmer are also amongst his contribution to the country. Conserving the Khmer Language Venerable Chuon Nath was the head of a reformist movement in the Khmer Buddhist Sangha which developed a rationalist-scholastic model of Buddhism, rooted in linguistic studies of the Pali Canon. This new movement, known as Dhammayuttika Nikaya, influenced young Khmer monks in the early 20th century. The new movmenet also cultivated Khmer-language identity and culture, giving rise to the notion of Cambodian nationalism. Chuon Nath pushed for a series of innovations in the Khmer Sangha beginning in the early twentieth century: the use of print for sacred texts (rather than traditional methods of hand-inscribing palm-leaf manuscripts); a higher degree of expertise in Pali and Sanskrit studies among monks; a vision of orthodoxy based on teaching of Vinaya texts for both monks and lay-people; and modernization of teaching methods for Buddhist studies. He also oversaw the translation of the entire Buddhist Pali cannon into Khmer language; and the creation of the Khmer language dictionary. The French set up its protectorate over Cambodia and intended to replace the Khmer language with its own through the so-called "pseudo-French intellectuals." This intention rallied many Cambodian scholars to the course of conserving the Khmer language; one such scholar was Samdech Choun Nath. A son of farmers who later became a monk, Samdech Choun Nath dedicated his life to upholding Buddhism and the conservation of Khmer language in the country that was highly influenced by French colonialism. He had an extensive knowledge of the Khmer language. He was probably the most famous and most knowledgeable monk Cambodia had ever had. A master in Buddha’s teaching, he was very well known around the Buddhism circle as well as very adept at languages. Throughout his life he encouraged the use of "Khmerization" in both public education and religions. What Samdech Choun Nath meant by "Khmerization" was he wanted to derive new Khmer words from its ancestral roots, the Pali and Sanskrit languages. For example, when the train arrived first in Cambodia, there was no Khmer word for the train. Samdech Choun Nath thus derived the word for train from Sanskrit and Pali word of Ayomoyo which means something that's made of metal. Together with the word Yana which means vehicle, came the Khmer word for train which we know today as Ayaksmeyana, pronounced Ayak-smey-yean. However, Samdech Choun Nath’s Khmerization wasn't overall accepted by all Khmers. Other scholars such as Keng Vannsak who were pro-French didn't find the kind of Khmer words derived from Pali and Sanskrit to be convenient. They revolutionized another kind of derivation which they want to adopt normalized French word into Khmer vocabulary. The only major change was to use Khmer alphabet to write the word rather than using the Roman alphabets used by the French. But despite opposition, Samdech Choun Nath’s Khmerization succeeded. He was a member of the original committee granted royal order to compile a Khmer dictionary in 1915 and was credited as the founder of the dictionary as he pushed for and finally succeeded in printing the first edition of the current Khmer dictionary in 1967. Samdech Choun Nath’s other contribution to Cambodia include the current national anthem, Nokoreach. Nokoreach was written to correspond to the motto of the nation, "Nation, Religion, King" as well as demonstrate the grandeur and the mighty past of the Khmer nation. Savada Khmer Samdech Choun Nath's ballad Savada Khmer calls for all Khmer to unite, to remember and to uphold the great history of the Khmer people. English Translation All Khmers, please remember the root and history of our great country Our boundary was wide and well known Others always thought highly of our race And always placed our race as the elders. We have great heritage and culture Which has spread far and wide in the Far East. Religion, arts and education, Music, philosophy and strategies are all that we've spread. All Khmers, please remember our roots and history Which speaks of the grandeur of our great race Make up your mind and body and try hard to rebuild In order to lift the value of our nation To once again rise to the greatness that we once had.
Sihanouk Ville



Sihanouk Ville known as “Kampong Som” province is located along the sea and South Western side of Cambodia. It takes about 4 hours by bus from Phnom Penh and it is 250 kilometers. Sihanouk Ville is gradually developed, and a few new towns are under construction. This only international seaport of Sihanouk Ville makes Cambodia develop faster, now it also serves as a port for import, export cargos and tourist cruise boats.

Security at the moment is not a problem for tourists who would like go on vacation. The number of tourists is still low, but it will increase rapidly. White sand beaches are innate and unruffled. Ochheuteal, Sokha, Otress, Independence are popular beaches for sunbathing, snorkeling; swimming and relaxing. Unfortunately, some of the beaches are controlled by private companies.

Town of Sihanouk Ville was constructed in 1950 during the French time (1863-1953). It served as a beach and industrial town. It is best suited for industrial purposes because cargos are transported in and out every day making this port very busy. The beaches attract local and foreign tourists from Phnom Penh and overseas. Recently, the airport of Sihanouk Ville was reopened for tourists from Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. Angkor Beer factory produces local beer. There are many companies that like to invest to this region. In the near future new towns will be constructed near the old one.

General Information:
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How to get in?
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You can reach Sihanouk Ville from Phnom Penh city by bus or taxi and it takes about 4 hours and costs you around US $5. Recently, Siem Reap airways have flights from Siem Reap to Sihanouk Ville directly and this will increase the number of tourists. If you visit Kampot and want to continue to Sihanouk Ville it will take just about one and a half hour. Tourists can come to Sihanouk Ville from Koh Kong province, where the international border serves as the doorway between Cambodia and Thailand. Buses and boats can reach Sihanouk Ville from Koh Kong.
The interest Beach in Sihanouk Ville

What to do and see?
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Besides swimming and snorkeling, at the beaches, tourists can do their diving at Remote Island to see varieties of fishes and others marine creatures. Price of diving with professional guide is 70 US dollars. You can also hire water motorbikes at US $30 per hour. If you want to just drink and chill out you need to visit Otress beach, because it is a calm private beach.

Ochheuteal beach: is the most popular beach for swimming, dining, snorkeling and driving (water Moto). This beach is calm, sand is white, and tourists can stay until midnight. Local and foreign tourists swim here together. Restaurant and bars are located along the beach; BBQ of sea food is the mostly served food at lunch and dinner. Boat trip to the island can be organized by local agents and the price varies depending your negotiation skills. Internet cafes can also be found at Ocher Teal.

Sokha beach: This beach is owned by Sokha hotel, the only 5 star hotel in Sihanouk Ville. This beach is the most beautiful of all beaches of Cambodia. Locals are not allowed to swim there; it is reserved only for tourists who stay at Sokha beach hotel. Sand and water is white and clean, calm.

7 Chann beach (Independence beach): Named after the hotel which was built during the French time, 7 Chann that means 7 stories of the hotel building. This beach is private owned as well; presently the hotel has enlarged their beach line about 500 meters. This Beach is not reserved for the guests of the Independence resort & spa. It provides the best atmosphere for the honeymooners.

Otress beach: It is 10 minutes drive by motorbike from Ocher Teal beach. This beach is still natural and calm. Tourists enjoy their vacation here, because there are not so many people like Ocheu Teal beach. The restaurant & the bar that are located along the beach have friendly staff. This beach is clean & has beautiful sunsets.
Ream Beach: The Khmer movie, “Snam Sne Samut Ream”, was filmed here. This beach is quiet, very few people swim here, because it is far from town. There are many restaurants with hammock for welcoming the tourists.

Unfortunately, coconut trees were cut recently, if not it would have a beautiful view during the sunset.

Other beaches and places to see:
There are many more beautiful beaches such as Victory, Hawaï and Hunsen.

Kbal Chay water falls:
You need to set aside a half day for your trip to Kbal Chay water falls and Ream beach together. It is popular falls even among the local people and you can swim here.
East Mebon Temple



Mebon temple is about 500 meters northeast of Pre Rup temple. The temple was built in AD 952 by King Rajendravarman.
The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).
The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.


The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).

The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.


The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).

The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.


The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).

The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.


The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).

The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.


The temple is similar to Pre Rup in plan, construction and decoration. A major difference, however, is that the east Mebon once stood on a small island in the middle of Yasodharatataka (the East Baray).

The only access was by boat to one of the four landing platforms, situated at the mid-points on each of the four sides of the temple. The decoration on the lintels of the temple is superior in quality of workmanship and composition to that of Pre Rup.

The motifs on the false doors, with small mythical figures frolic king amongst foliage, are particularly fine.
WEST MEBON TEMPLE
West Mebon temple is located in the middle of West Baray on an island about 11 kilometers northwest of Siem Reap. The temple was built in the second half of the 11th century by King Suryavarman I, dedicating to Vishnu Brahmanism. It was originally surrounded by a square rampart with three square, sandstone gopuras and a sanctuary on one level crowned with a lotus.

Most towers have collapsed, but the three on the east side are reasonably intact. A sandstone platform at the center is linked to a causeway of laterite and sandstone that leads to the east dyke. The side of the towers are carved with lively animals set in small squares, a type of decoration found also at the Baphuon.
Sen Monorum Waterfall

Locates at
Sen Monorum
District in five-kilometer distance from the provincial town by red soil trail, Along either sides of the trail, there are industrial plantations like rubber, coffee and cashew as well. The local people usually meet each other at Sen Monorum waterfall during the holidays and national festivals because it closed to the provincial town.

Sen Monorum waterfall has three stages:

-First stage: The waterfall has slow speed, one-meter height and 2-4 meter diameter.
-Second stage: During the rainy season, the waterfall has strong speed, 6-7 meter height and 8-meter diameter. During the dry season, the waterfall has 7-9 meter height and 4-5 meter diameter. At the waterfall, there is a large space of resting and enjoying.
-Third stage: Locates at one- kilometer distance from the second stage. The waterfall has 1.5-meter height only.
Bokor Mountain




The road to the summit of Bokor Mountain is pock-marked and strewn with rocks; vehicles crawl up the winding road lined with faded kilometer markers. Through sun-lit gaps in the trees, a glimpse of the sea brightens the weary faces of travelers and when they reach the summit, buttons are pressed and car windows slide down to the smell of wild flowers and the bite of cold air.

Dilapidated buildings with missing doors and windows for eyes—their façades patched with rust-colored-lichen—watch the arrivals through empty frames. In the early twenties, these solemn quiet buildings were once the lively heart of the famed ‘Borei Bokor’ or ‘City of Bokor’. In 1922 King Sisowath agreed to the construction of this settlement. A settlement, with schools, a hospital, a pagoda and a Christian church, hotels, a post office, a power plant and a water-supplying plant. Bokor became a haven for French holiday-makers.

uring the Sangkum Reastr Nyum era (1955-1970), led by Samdech Preah Norodom Sihanouk, ‘Borei Bokor’ was famed for its windswept beauty and incomparable scenery. In 1961, King Norodom Sihanouk, ordered the renovation of all public buildings and the construction of additional buildings to beautify the area to entice more visitors.

The French having left, Bokor then became a week-end holiday resort for Cambodian civil servants from Phnom Penh.

Cambodia enjoyed a certain prosperity then, on a par with other Southeast Asian countries. But the civil war of the following two decades almost destroyed ‘Borei Bokor’ and its beauty was forgotten. But slowly, it is emerging from the rubble. The Cambodian government has honored the settlement, and the mountain’s, history. It is now a protected national park.

Director of Bokor National Park Chey Yuthearith says about 10,000 people lived in ‘Borei Bokor’ during the Sangkum Reastr Nyum era. They were civil servants, businessmen and farmers, who grew vegetables, fruit trees and tea. “But now only a group of 50 park rangers live atop Bokor,” Chey says.

“This area is colder than any other place in the whole kingdom. At certain times of the year, in the evenings, the temperature drops to as low as 10-16°C and rises to a mere 22°C during the day.”

“The Bokor summit is 1,079m above sea level. The national park is 42km from Kampot and it is 32km from the junction of National Road 3, at the foot of the mountain, to the peak.” According to a 1993 Royal Decree, Bokor National Park covered an area of 140,000ha including the former City, but Chea says the entire area of the park covers 150,000ha.

The director complains that as there are too few rangers for such a vast area it is difficult to patrol illegal loggers and poachers.
Bokor Mountain part 2

For sightseers, Chea says there is a 60m, three-tiered waterfall in the Park and 20km from the old ‘City of Bokor’, there is a large, flat area of rock with grasses growing between the cracks in lines, like dikes in a rice field. This place is called Veal Srae Muy Roy or Plain of a Hundred Rice Fields.

“There are also many kinds of wild animals in the forest, tigers, elephants, oxen, buffalo, deer all roam here and there are more than 230 species of birds.”

Prum Socheat is a staff member at the Khmer Women’s Voice Center and Sary Nitha works at an organization assisting women in crisis. They are visitors at Bokor

and they offer their impressions of the mountain-top.“I feel as if I were flying or walking in the sky like in my dreams. When I peer down from where I stand, I see clouds floating along the waist of the mountain far away,” Prum says.“Here, you feel the coldness reaching into your heart,” Sary says. “No waterfall is as cold as Bokor waterfall. I will never forget the scenery of the mountain. It is like a daydream in the sky.”
Independence Monument




The Independence Monument in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, was built in 1958 following the country's independence from France. It stands on the intersection of Norodom and Sihanouk Boulevards in the centre of the city. It is in the form of a lotus-shaped stupa, of the style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites. The monument was built by the highly influential Cambodian modern architect Vann Molyvann.

During national celebrations -- most notably, Independence Day -- the monument is the center of activity. A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on these occasions, and floral tributes line the stairs. Most of the year, however, the monument is visited by photo-taking tourists and locals looking for some quiet conversation.

Bayon Temple of Cambodia


The Bayon ( Prasat bayon) is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th century or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman's capital, Angkor Thom. Following Jayavarman's death, it was modified and augmented by later Hindu and Theravada Buddhist kings in accordance with their own religious preferences.
The Bayon's most distinctive feature is the multitude of serene and massive stone faces on the many towers which jut out from the upper terrace and cluster around its central peakThe temple is known also for two impressive sets of bas-reliefs, which present an unusual combination of mythological, historical, and mundane scenes. The main current conservatory body, the JSA, has described the temple as "the most striking expression of the baroque style" of Khmer architecture, as contrasted with the classical style of Angkor Wat.
The Bayon 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, though a great number of minor and local deities were also encompassed as representatives of the various districts and cities of the realm. It was the centrepiece of Jayavarman VII's massive program of monumental construction and public works, which was also responsible for the walls and naga-bridges of Angkor Thom and the temples of Preah Khan, Ta Prohm and Banteay Kdei.
The similarity of the 216 gigantic faces on the temple's towers to other statues of the king has led many scholars to the conclusion that the faces are representations of Jayavarman VII himself. Others have said that the faces belong to the bodhisattva of compassion called Avalokitesvara or Lokesvara.The two hypotheses need not be regarded as mutually exclusive. Angkor scholar George Coedès has theorized that Jayavarman stood squarely in the tradition of the Khmer monarchs in thinking of himself as a "devaraja" (god-king), the salient difference being that while his predecessors were Hindus and regarded themselves as consubstantial with Shiva and his symbol the lingam, Jayavarman as a Buddhist identified himself with the Buddha and the bodhisattva.



Sunset at Phnom Bakheng











Phnom Bakheng at Angkor, Cambodia, is a Hindu temple in the form of a temple mountain. Dedicated to Shiva, it was built at the end of the 9th century, during the reign of King Yasovarman (889-910 A.D.). Located atop a hill, it is nowadays a popular tourist spot for sunset views of the much bigger temple Angkor Wat, which lies amid the jungle about 1.5 km to the southeast. The large number of visitors makes Phnom Bakheng one of the most threatened monuments of Angkor. Constructed more than two centuries before Angkor Wat, Phnom Bakheng was in its day the principal temple of the Angkor region, historians believe. It was the architectural centerpiece of a new capital, Yasodharapura, that Yasovarman built when he moved the court from the capital Hariharalaya in the Roluos area located to the southeast.
An inscription dated 1052 A.D. and found at the Sdok Kak Thom temple in present-day Thailand states in Sanskrit: "When Sri Yasovardhana became king under the name of Yasovarman, the able Vamasiva continued as his guru. By the king's order, he set up a linga on Sri Yasodharagiri, a mountain equal in beauty to the king of mountains. Scholars believe that this passage refers to the consecration of the Phnom Bakheng temple approximately a century and a half earlier.
Phnom Bakheng is one of three hilltop temples in the Angkor region that are attributed to Yasovarman's reign. The other two are Phnom Krom to the south near the Tonle Sap lake, and Phnom Bok, northeast of the East Baray reservoir.
Following Angkor's rediscovery by the outside world in the mid-19th Century, decades passed before archeologists grasped Phnom Bakheng's historical significance. For many years, scholars' consensus view was that the Bayon, the temple located at the center of Angkor Thom city, was the edifice to which the Sdok Kak Thom inscription referred. Later work identified the Bayon as a Buddhist site, built almost three centuries later than originally thought, in the late 12th Century, and Phnom Bakheng as King Yasovarman's state temple.

The National Museum Khmer


The National Museum of Cambodia in Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia, is the country's leading historical and archaeological museum. It houses one of the world's largest collections of Khmer art, including sculpture, ceramics, bronzes, and ethnographic objects. The Museum’s collection includes over 14,000 items, from prehistoric times to periods before, during, and after the Khmer Empire, which at its height stretched from Thailand, across present-day Cambodia, to southern Vietnam.
The Museum buildings, inspired by Khmer temple architecture, were constructed between 1917 and 1924; the museum was officially inaugurated in 1920, renovated in part in 1968.
Together with the adjacent Royal University of Fine Arts and its Department of Archaeology, the National Museum of Cambodia works to enhance knowledge of and preserve Cambodian cultural traditions and to provide a source of pride and identity to the Cambodian people. The Museum also serves a religious function; its collection of important Buddhist and Hindu sculpture addresses community religious needs as a place of worship. A permanent exhibition, Post-Angkorian Buddha, supported by UNESCO and a number of individuals and local businesses, opened in 2000 to extend the religious function of the Museum.
The activities of the Museum include the presentation, conservation, safekeeping, interpretation, and acquisition of Cambodian cultural material, as well as the repatriation of Cambodian cultural property. Looting and illicit export of Cambodian cultural material are a continuing concern.
The turmoil of recent decades—especially the genocidal Khmer Rouge regime of 1975-79—devastated all aspects of Cambodian life including the cultural realm. During the years of Khmer Rouge control, the Museum, along with the rest of Phnom Penh, was evacuated and abandoned. The Museum, closed between 1975 and 1979, suffered from neglect and after the liberation of Phnom Penh on January 7, 1979, was found in disrepair, its roof rotten and home to a vast colony of bats, the garden overgrown, and the collection in disarray, many objects damaged or stolen. The Museum was quickly tidied up and reopened to the public on April 13, 1979. However, many of the Museum's employees had lost their lives during the Khmer Rouge regime. The resulting loss of expertise, combined with the deterioration of the Museum building and its collection, have made rehabilitation of the Museum a daunting task.
Under the auspices of the Cambodian Department of Museums, the Museum not only manages its own collection, staff, and premises but also supports and oversees all other state-run museums in Cambodia. Its activities are further supported by private individuals, foreign governments, and numerous philanthropic organizations.
Outside of Cambodia, the Museum promotes the understanding of Cambodian arts and culture by lending objects from its collection for major international exhibitions. This practice was in place before Cambodia’s recent decades of unrest and was reinstituted in the 1990s, starting with an exhibition held at the National Gallery of Australia in 1992. Subsequent exhibitions have been held in France, the USA, Japan, South Korea, and Germany.


Royal Palace

The establishment of the Royal Palace at Phnom Penh in 1866 is a comparatively recent event in the history of the Khmer and Cambodia. The seat of Khmer power in the region rested at or near Angkor north of the Great Tonle Sap Lake from 802 AD until the early 15th century. After the Khmer court moved from Angkor in the 15th century, it first settled in Phnom Penh in 1434 (or 1446) and stayed for some decades, but by 1494 had moved on to Basan, and later Lovek and then Oudong. The capital did not return to Phnom Penh until the 19th century and there is no record or remnants of any Royal Palace in Phnom Penh prior to the 19th century. In 1813, King Ang Chan (1796-1834) constructed Banteay Kev (the 'Cristal Citadel') on the site of the current Royal Palace and stayed there very briefly before moving to Oudong. Banteay Kev was burned in 1834 when the retreating Siamese army razed Phnom Penh. It was not until after the implementation of the French Protectorate in Cambodia in 1863 that the capital was moved from Oudong to Phnom Penh, and the current Royal Palace was founded and constructed
Preah Vihear Temple

Preah Vihear, Cambodia - Preah Vihear, a millennium-old temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva - the divine destroyer - has been a magnet for conflicts in its recent history.
The temple, which was designated a World Heritage Site by UNESCO last year, prompted an ownership spat between Cambodia and Thailand that led to a suspension of diplomatic relations in 1958 and eventually ended up in The Hague for an international settlement in 1962. Cambodia won, but even today embers of the old border dispute burn on.
Preah Vihear also provided the 'last stand' in two very different Cambodian civil wars. In May, 1975 the last remnants of the pro-US Lon Nol army finally fell to the Khmer Rouge at the mountain-top Preah Vihear and then in December 1998, the temple site was used to negotiate the surrender of diehard remnants of the Khmer Rouge.
Scars from these recent military conflicts remain, including strategically situated cement bunkers around the temple complex, bullet holes in its limestone bricks that the Khmer Rouge shot up for AK-47 target practice and rusting artillery pieces. The leftover land mines have allegedly been removed.
Perched on a 525-metre high cliff on the Dangrek Mountain range, Preah Vihear provided an ideal setting for a temple dedicated to the Hindu God Shiva by the past monarchs of the Brahman-influenced Khmer Empire.
It is believed that construction on the temple, built in several stages starting with the Shiva sanctuary at the top and moving down the mountain side in four levels, began some time in the 9th century, well before Cambodia's spectacular Angkor Wat complex was built.
At its height of power in the 12th to 13th centuries, the Khmer Empire encompassed much of modern-day Thailand.
'It included everything right up to Lopburi and all of what is now Bangkok,' said Sulak Sivaraksa, a well-known Thai historian and social critic.
The Thai empire didn't really become a regional force until the 15th century, with the rise of Ayutthaya.
Thai invasions of Cambodia, then in its decline, led to the adoption of many Khmer cultural traditions by the Thais, including the Hindu concept of god-kings and court rituals, and an ongoing fondness for Brahman-inspired black magic, especially among Thai politicians, noted Sulak.
Besides Preah Vihear there are many other Khmer-style temples to be found in Thailand, especially in the north-eastern provinces bordering Cambodia such as Buri Ram, Surin and Si Sa Ket.
Preah Vihear, arguably the most magnificent, has proven the most contentious.
The French, former colonial masters of Indochina, began delineating the Thai-Cambodian border in 1904, using the watershed along the Dangrek Mountain range as one of the landmarks.
Angkor Thum
Angkor Thum, royal city and Buddhist temple complex at Angkor, the region that served from 802 until 1295 as the capital of the Khmer Empire of Cambodia. Khmer king Jayavarman VII, who reigned in the late 12th and early 13th centuries, began building the vast monument at Angkor Thum (Khmer for "Angkor-the-Great" or "Great City") after he had regained control of the Angkor region from the Cham army of northern Cambodia, which had seized it around 1177.

Angkor Thum was built over and around buildings and temples built by earlier Khmer kings, but its layout was modeled on Angkor Wat, a Hindu temple complex south of Angkor Thum. Angkor Wat was finished about thirty years earlier under Khmer king Suryavarman II, who was overthrown by the Cham army. Jayavarman was a recent convert to Mahayana Buddhism, and is thought to have abandoned Hinduism as a result of the defeat of the Hindu Suryavaram II by the Chams.
Angkorwat history
The whole Angkor period spans for more than VI centuries, and more precisely from IX till XV century. During this period the Khmer empire reached its maximum splendor as one of the most powerful southeast asian kingdoms. In this period the whole area of Angkor was buit. We can consider Jayavarman II as the man that started everything. He define himself Devaraja (good king) and he established the Khmer empire in 802.
After him, Indravarman, a king considered by many of its time an usurper: we prefer to remember him for starting building the Baray, a complex irrigation system to bring waters in the area of Angkor. He also started to build the Bakong and the Preah Ko temples. His son Yasovarman went further in his father's project: he built the Phnom Bakheng and the Lolei temples, and with him, Angkor become the new capital of the kingdom. These two king further extent the Baray's system too.
Then the capital was moved to Koh Ker for a short period, under the kingdom of Jayavarman IV, an usurper, but after only 14 years Angkor become again the capital under Rajendravarman II. His son, Jayavarman V, was instead a great king, and with him the empire expanded to its maximum extent. Two wonderful temples, as Banteay Srei and Ta Keo were built.
After him, Udayaditavarman II built the pyramid of Baphuon and the western Mebon (we are now at the half of XI century), and here we are really close to the very peak of the Khmer civilization, two great king the left once forever their footstep in the history of this planet and they are Suryavarman II and Jayavarman II. The first king built Bang Melea but it also the one that built Angkor Wat. The second king has built Preach Khan, Ta Phrom and Angkor Thom.
As you will see with your eyes these last temple are traces of a high level civilization, with an exquisite taste for art. An enormous job that involved not only an army of thousands workers doing the hard job, building, moving rock and materials and so on. There was another parallel army of thousands of artists and artisans. Angkor Wat is also them. We will never know their names, or their faces, but what they left us fulfill our hearts with something magic. The walls of Angkor, they also speak about their lives, their customs, their salaries: Angkor was not only a religious place, but a capital crowded with a million people
Banteay Srie Temple
Banteay Srei is a beautiful 10th century Khmer temple complex dedicated to the Hindu god Shiva. Located in the area of Angkor, it lies near the hill of Phnom Dei, 23 miles North of Angkor Wat. Banteay Srei is built mainly of deep red sandstone, a material that lends itself to the elaborate wall carvings which are still well-preserved today. Banteay Srei means Citadel of Women and it is believed that the reliefs on this temple are so delicate that they could only have been carved by the hand of a woman. The relief carvings on the central buildings depict scenes from ancient Hindu myth.
In fact, the buildings are miniature in scale compare to the standards of Angkorian construction. The remarkable craving skills and the red sandstone medium have made the temple very popular with tourists, and is widely praised as the "jewel of Khmer art.”
Note: Banteay Srei was removed from the main Angkor Archaeological Park. However, you must still carry a valid admission pass to visit Banteay Srei which can be obtained at the temple as a one-day pass for US$20. The temple opens daily and closes at 5:00 PM.
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