Cambodia is located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its total landmass is about 70 thousand square miles, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 68th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is practiced by approximately 95% of the Cambodian population.

On this trip, we stayed in Siem Reap which is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia.  It holds the distinction of being the gateway to Angkor region.

In 1901 the École Française d'Extrême Orient (EFEO) began a long association with Angkor by funding an expedition into Siam to the Bayon ruins. The EFEO took responsibility for clearing and restoring the entire site.  Shortly therafter, the Angkor ruins were rediscovered. Angkor Wat and the entire Angkor complex had been 'rescued' from the jungle and has assumed its place in the modern world.

As with the rest of the country, Siem Reap's history is colored by specter of the brutal Khmer Rouge Regime.  Fighting continued in Siem Reap into the 1990s.  Only since the mid 1990s has Siem Reap grown into a major tourist destination.


spring 2012

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