Welcome to Cambodia!
Over a period of 300 years, between 900 and 1200 AD, the Khmer empire produced some of the world's most magnificent architectural masterpieces near the present town of Siem Reap in Cambodia.
The principal temple, Angkor Wat, was built between 1112 and 1150 by Suryavarman II. With walls nearly one-half mile on each side, Angkor Wat portrays the Hindu cosmology with the central towers representing Mount Meru, home of the gods; the outer walls, the mountains enclosing the world; and the moat, the oceans beyond.
During the 15th century, nearly all of Angkor was abandoned after Siamese attacks, except Angkor Wat, which remained a shrine for Buddhist pilgrims. The great city and temples remained largely cloaked by the forest until the late 19th century when French archaeologists began a long restoration process.
Does the location look familiar? If so, maybe you’ve seen the movie Lara Croft: Tomb Raider (2001), which was filmed at various Angkor sites.
Visitor numbers have recently exceeded one million tourists for 2005, posing new conservation problems.