Despite being the smallest country, having regained peace after the tragic events of the past half century, Cambodia appears to be the country’s most famous and visited South-East Asia, thanks to the mere presence of Angkor, the ancient capital medieval whose remains are one of the major artistic and cultural centers in the world, of course, protected by UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. Great over half of Italy and bordered to the north by Laos, to the west by Thailand and to the east by Vietnam, in the southern part of the center of the Indochina peninsula, basically a huge lowland alluvial never higher than 100 m cut longitudinally in two by the Mekong River, with 443 km of coastline overlooking the Gulf of Siam and medium-low reliefs on the edges, covered by lush tropical forests and rainforests with precious woods.
Never taller than 100 m cut longitudinally in two by the Mekong River, with 443 km of coastline overlooking the Gulf of Siam and medium-low reliefs on the edges, covered by lush tropical forests and rainforests with precious woods. The climate is tropical, hot and humid monsoon. The Mekong River tenth in the world, soul and highway of the country with the width up to 5 km and plenty of water and fish (including giant catfish, up to 3 m long, weighing 300 kg, and rare freshwater dolphins) gives the center a real geographical curiosity: the Tonle Sap, a lake surface highly variable, capable of up to 40 times the normal 250 sq km (smaller than the Garda) to 10,000 during the rainy season summer monsoon, turning from a swamp in an inland sea, now reserve by UNESCO in biosfer.
A huge plain of rice fields, large three quarters of the country, where land and water alternate and are interspersed in time. And thanks to its enormous water wealth land of great civilizations since prehistoric times, has undergone considerable cultural and religious influences from its neighbors, particularly India, Hindu and Buddhist first and then, recasting them in a creative, unique indigenous culture. The greatest period of splendor occurred between the ninth and fifteenth centuries. with the Khmer kingdom, able to extend its dominion over the South-East Asia and to produce a fine monumental architecture, come down to us almost intact thanks to the protection provided by the jungle.
Large hydraulic and excellent farmers capable of producing three crops of rice per year, regiment waters with dams, canals, reservoirs, locks and dams, built causeways and bridges, hostels and hospitals and built impressive city with temples, monuments and buildings powerful as drugs, rock anthems of the power of the rulers and their Hindu faith first and then Buddhist. Angkor, their capital spread over 400 sq km with 287 impressive buildings, the height populated by a million people, is a place that still preserves the alluring fascination of the archaeological sites where the man wrote one of his most sublime pages of history One of the most important of humanity. A little Rome, long before, was to the west. The monuments are all handed down temples, mausoleums, imperial palaces and monasteries built in stone, because the city of the subjects had been built in wood perishable.
For the construction of the only district of Angkor Wat, which extends over 208 hectares, it took 40 years, 10 000 workers, 50 000 elephants, 700 floats and 4,000 chariots, with many stones as the Egyptian pyramid of Kefren. By the constant conflicts with neighbors led to neglect the maintenance of the water and the city declined. In 1434 the capital was moved to Phnom Penh. And all around Cambodia, a land in which life is regulated by nature, and Cambodians rich only in an ancient sense and wisdom of life resulting from Buddhism, mixture of wisdom, resignation and restraint that even the atrocities of the Khmer Rouge Pol Pot managed to scratch. In the last half century, the cambodia people (15 million, the vast majority of language and ethnic Khmer and Buddhist theravada) suffered tragic events.
After a century of French colonialism and the Japanese invasion, obtained independence in 1954 has been involved in a bloody conflict with Vietnam and then in a civil war with the temporary victory of the Khmer Rouge, a utopian and brutal Marxist regime capable of produce a genocide with 3 million people (one fourth of the total), the highest concentration of maimed and still 6 million mines scattered throughout the territory. A possible route starts from the capital Phnom Penh, full of colonial buildings, where not miss a visit to the royal palace, several pagodas and markets, the National Museum and that of genocide.
A must to navigate the canals and the Tonle Sap lake, so vast that I could not make out the banks, with its beautiful floating villages, where life takes place on boats and pontoons that rise and fall depending on the level water. Meta highlight, of course, Angkor, the greatest monumental complex built by man on earth, which spend at least three days for its significant size. Do not miss the classic places like Rolous, pre-Angkorian temples of XI sec., The fortified city of Buddhist Angkor Thom with its 200 enormous faces enigmatic rock Bentey Srey, the citadel of women, Bantey Kdey, meditation retreat for Buddhist monks, the Hindu Angkor Wat, the masterpiece of Khmer art and considered one of the wonders of the world, but also places a low profile and still deep in the jungle as the temple-monasteries Beng Melea and Koh Ker.
Originally posted 2012-10-18 16:12:54.