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About Siem Reap

The Kingdom of Cambodia


Cambodia is a well-known country in Southeast Asia in southern part of Indochina, steeped in history and rich in culture, it covers an area of 181,035 square kilometres and has a population of 13.124764 million (2003 est.). The country’s shape is an almost square polygon. This shape makes Cambodia easy for tourists to navigate and poses no difficulties for the development of tourism. The country has a tropical climate-warm and humid.

Capital city of Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh stretches N to S on W side of the confluence of the Tonle Sap & Mekong Rivers. The city offers a fascinating cocktail of flavours. Sunset is a good time to visit the riverside area. here are many attractive places, Royal Palace, Independence Monument, National museum, Russian market, the Killing Fields and Tuol Sleng Genocidal Museum known currently as S-21.
Siem Reap Province

The City of Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in north-western Cambodia, and is the gateway to Angkor. Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market. In and around the city, you will find traditional Apsara dance performances, craft shops, silk farms, rice-paddy countryside, fishing villages and a bird sanctuary near the Tonle Sap Lake. Siem Reap today, being a popular tourist destination, has a large number of hotels and restaurants.

Hinduism and Buddhism came to Southeast Asia through maritime trade with India before the first millennium A.D. Early Khmer kings built temples for Hindu deities and saw themselves as semi-divine. At the empire’s height, the focus shifted to Buddhism, the main faith in Cambodia today. Then, as now,
the Khmer also honoured nature spirits called Neak Ta.

Hinduism

Of the three supreme Hindu gods Vishnu and Shiva were most often chosen as patrons by Khmer kings. All three gods were represented in a symbol of Shiva, the lingam, an object of worship in every temple. Usually set in an open base (the female yoni),the lingam was anointed by priests with milk and other libations as the source of life.

Buddhism

Though Buddhism became the Empire’s state religion in 1181,the Hindu gods remained. The Khmer synthesis of faiths was expressed in the cult popularity of the story depicted by this statue. A many headed Hindu water-snake deity, a naga, came ashore to elevate and shelter the Buddha, who was meditating beside a lake and was oblivious to a coming storm.

Celestial Dancers

A beautiful spirit called Apsaras arose from the foam in the Hindu creation myth, Churning of the Sea of Milk. They dance and sing for the gods and mortals who reach paradise. Some 1,700 apsaras are carved on the walls of
Angkor Wat alone; thousands more individual in dress hairstyle, and ornamentation appear in almost every Angkor temple, Hindu and Buddhist alike. Classical Cambodian dance echoes an Apsara’s graceful gestures.

Things to see and Do in Siem Reap
The War Museum
The Tonle Sap Lake
Artisans d’ Angkor at the National Silk Centre
Cambodia Cultural Village
The Land Mine Museum
The Army Shooting Range
Traditional Apsara Dances

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