History in Siem reap

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For Siem Reap, history is both long and colorful. It can be divided roughly into 3 segments: the pre-Angkor period, the Angkor period and modern history. Here's a brief look at the long line of Siem Reap history to help you better understand this beautiful city and its surrounding areas.

Pre-Angkor Period

There is some evidence that suggests the area around Siem Reap has been inhabited by the native Khmer people since roughly 1,000 B.C., with the people living much in the same way as modern day Cambodians. Their diet consisted largely of rice, and homes were fashioned upon stilts to help protect them from rising waters. It was not until the 9th century that Siem Reap history began to change in a manner that would produce the famous structures for which Siem Reap is known.

Angkor Period

Between the 9th and 13th centuries, the Khmer Empire reigned supreme. Angkor Wat, the most famous temple near Siem Reap and the symbol of Cambodia, was built in 1140 by Khmer king Suryavarman II. At its peak, the city of Angkor, which encompassed the area around modern Siem Reap, held between 600,000 and 1 million people. These inhabitants were constantly battling the nearby Thai and Vietnamese people, usually with success. However, floods from the irrigation system began in the 1200s, followed by serious droughts between 1362 and 1392, and again between 1415 and 1440. This led to Thai success when they attacked Angkor in 1431 and the city was largely abandoned. A few monks remained at Angkor Wat, but the fabulous temples built in the area were allowed to recede into the jungle and were largely ignored, though not forgotten, by the Khmer people.

Modern History

The capital was moved to Phnom penh in the 1400s and Siem Reap was eventually resettled as a group of villages that eventually merged into one city. Throughout the following centuries it was occasionally visited by western explorers who came across the great ruins of Angkor, but it was still not widely known. Then in 1863 the French arrived and began to write about the fabulous temples. In 1884 a treaty was signed and the whole of Cambodia essentially became a French colony. From then onward, Angkor Wat, Bayon and the other incredible temples around Siem Reap were visited more often by western tourists. Tourism abruptly stopped with the takeover of the Khmer Rouge. Between 1975 and 1979 Siem Reap was evacuated and its inhabitants were sent out to the countryside to work the fields. When the Vietnamese invaded, the city was reestablished, though the Khmer Rouge regularly staged attacks through the 1990s, with the last occurring in 1993. Today the city has been returned to its former glory, and tourists eagerly descend upon Siem Reap to see the incredible temples that are slowly being reclaimed from the jungle.

April 09, 2010 change by tiffanymparker

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dr george pradhan, mbbs, india

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= c 200 BC india stories name cambodia as Kaama Bhoja Raajyam., a vassal state or subject to india........and siem reap as Syaama Roopa. dark color. ==check on this, if this also refers to Siam Syaama.

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