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Various factors contribute to Cambodian culture including Theravada Buddhism, French Colonialism, Hinduism, Angkor era culture, and modern globalization. The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is responsible for promoting and developing Cambodian culture.

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Angkor WatPhnom PenhSiem Reap

» Roluos Group

Roluos Group

The 3 main temples of Roluos stand apart from the main attractions around Siem Reap, lying to the west of the town rather than on the main northern axis. They're also significantly older, dating from the 9th century when this area was known as Hariharalaya. Preah Ko, the oldest, is arranged as two rows of three 'prasats' (towers) each, and boasts stunning stone carvings and plasterwork. After that comes the intricate 5-tiered Bakong, and finally Lolei, which dates from 893 …

» Royal Enclosure

Royal Enclosure

Just to the northwest of the center of Angkor Tom lies one of the Angkor Wat region's more mysterious ruins, the Royal Enclosure. All that remains of this ancient royal abode (the home of kings during the 10th and 11th centuries) is its surrounding walls and a pair of stone-lined bathing pools. Historians believe the lack of any other archaeological evidence suggests the royal palace itself was constructed of wood …

» Royal Palace

Royal Palace

Catch a performance of the Royal Dance Troupe at the open-air theater in the coronation hall or linger near the balcony, where the current king has been known to make an appearance. The private residence, built in 1866, houses an impressive collection of artwork, and the multi-purpose house of the white elephant, just outside the palace walls, is used for royal births, deaths and weddings. The current king may live in this well-known palace, but visitors can still tour most of its grounds …

» Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market)

Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market)

A place of magic, where it's conceivable that almost anything can be found for sale, the Russian Market (Tuol Tom Poung Market) is a haven for tourists, displaying a wide variety of goods-most notably, designer brand knock-offs. The Russian Market got its name from the Russian tourists that frequented it in the 1980s; these days, you can hear a wide range of languages being spoken in its stalls …

» Siem Reap

Siem Reap

Siem Reap is the gateway to the incomparable treasures of the Angkor Archeological Park, but when temple fatigue hits this bustling town has its own charms. Chinese and French influence is reflected in the older parts of the town. Psar Chaa market is the best place to head for Cambodian cuisine, while the flavors available elsewhere range from authentic to a taste of home for long-term backpackers. A visit to the mangrove swamps and bird sanctuaries …

» Silk Island

Silk Island

Known by locals as Koh Dach, Silk Island sits upstream on the Mekong near Phnom Penh and offers travelers to Cambodia's capital city a quick escape from the urban landscape into a village that feels worlds away. The rural community of Silk Island is comprised of dozens of local artisans-well-trained silk masters who hand weave some of the most glamorous fabrics from one of the nation's most prized resources …

» Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo)

Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo)

While visiting the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, it's almost impossible to miss the Silver Pagoda (Wat Preah Keo), an impressive, opulent structure. With a floor that's covered with five tons of silver, a Baccarat-crystal Buddha perched on a gilded pedestal (known as the Emerald Buddha) and a life-sized solid-gold Buddha that weighs almost 200 pounds (90 kg) and is covered with 9,584 diamonds (the largest is 25 carats), a visit to the Silver Pagoda is one that is not easily forgotten …

» Sisowath Quay

Sisowath Quay

Take a tuk-tuk to the Royal Palace and begin the day along Phnom Penh's three-kilometer strip of shops, hotels and eateries. This scenic walk wanders along the river's edge and visitors can lounge easily at one of the numerous outside tables in popular cafes. Sisowath Quay is an ideal spot to sample local beer, strong coffee and real French baguettes. Travelers can comb through traditional handicrafts at Colours of Cambodia, or purchase a 'happy monk' painting …

» Srah Srang

Srah Srang

Srah Srang is a baray, or reservoir, that is located south of the East Baray and east of Banteay Kde. Srah Srang was created by excavation in the mid-900s and, while there are several theories, it's not clear whether the significance of this reservoir was religious, agricultural or a little bit of both. However, Srah Srang is best known as an ideal location for viewing the sunrise. At present Srah Srang measures almost 2,300 feet by almost 1,200 feet and is still partially flooded …

» Ta Prohm

Ta Prohm

When the temples of Angkor were abandoned by the kings who built them, the jungle took firm hold of Ta Prohm. This Buddhist monastery, built in 1186 by King Jayavarman VII for his mother, today looks much like it did when it was uncovered in the 29th century. In eerie fashion, giant trees shoot through the tops of structures, while thick vines split walls in two. A favorite among visitors, Ta Prohm served as the backdrop for Lara Croft's adventures in the film Tomb Raider …

» Terrace of the Elephants

Terrace of the Elephants

Located within the ancient walled city of Angkor Thom, the Terrace of the Elephants stretches across a grassy expanse for nearly 1,150 feet (350 meters) and once served as a ceremonial platform and foundation for the king's royal audience hall. The ornately carved Terrace of the Elephants, built near the end of the 12th century by King Jayavarman VII, gets its name from the relief stone carvings of parading elephants that adorn the terrace walls …

» Terrace of the Leper King

Terrace of the Leper King

One of Angkor's many mysteries, the Terrace of the Leper King once served as the northern half of a long viewing stage and audience platform for King Jayavarman VII and his entourage. The mystery of the site stems from the statue at the top of the terrace, a replica of an original statue of a nude, sexless figure known simply as the Leper King. Scholars aren't sure who he was, though legend tells of at least two kings of Angkor having leprosy …

» Tonlé Sap

Tonlé Sap

This great lake in the heart of Cambodia is not only the largest body of fresh water in Southeast Asia, it's also a UNESCO-designated biosphere, due to its truly remarkable natural features. The flow of water in Tonlé Sap changes direction twice during the course of the year, and the lake expands and contracts with the seasons. From November to May-the country's dry season, the lake empties into the Mekong River …

» Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum

In 1975 the Khmer Rouge turned this former high school into a notorious killing center. Some 17,000 people were killed at Tuol Sleng, which was later referred to as Security Prison 21. It was one of at least 150 other death camps run by the regime. The prison, which reopened as a museum in 1980, held numerous leaders of the communist party, as well as doctors, teachers and other educated Cambodian citizens. Prisoners were subject to months of torture …

» Wat Athvea (Prasat Vat Althea)

Wat Athvea (Prasat Vat Althea)

Believed to have been built during King Suryavarman II's reign in the first half of the 12th century, Wat Athvea (Prasat Vat Althea) is one of several Hindu temples in the area shrouded in mystery. Built from laterite and sandstone, both still in relatively good condition, the temple has no inscriptions and few carvings. It seems as though the carvings it does were abandoned before they were completed …

» Wat Bo

Wat Bo

One of Siem Reap's oldest temples, Wat Bo is known for its collection of well-preserved wall paintings from the late 19th century. Though Wat Bo is a Buddhist temple, these paintings depict the Reamker, which is Cambodia's interpretation of the Ramayana-an epic Hindu story about the love between Rama and Shita, the strongest man and the most beautiful women of all time. There is also an impressive collection of Buddha statues …

» Wat Ounalom

Wat Ounalom

Built in 1443, Wat Ounalom is perhaps the most important pagoda in Cambodia's capital city. Comprised of 44 structures, including a stupa thought to contain an eyebrow hair of Buddha, this impressive attraction was damaged during the Khmer Rouge and later restored. An early morning trip provides a quiet respite from the bustle of a busy surrounding city. In this peaceful setting visitors can hear monks chanting while they wander the pagoda, and even visit with them after Morning Prayer …

» Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom

Wat Phnom is one of the most visited temples in the country. The original sacred temple was built atop a hill in Cambodia's capital city in 1373, however the spot where travelers visit today was rebuilt in 1926 and underwent a serious facelift in 1998. Traditional games take place on temple grounds to celebrate the Khmer New Year, and during the Festival of the Dead animists from across the country venture to the pagoda to make sacred offerings …

» Wat Preah Prom Rath

Wat Preah Prom Rath

Though it's more than 500 years old, Wat Preah Prom Rath is a modern-looking temple and monastery located in the heart of Siem Reap. The front gate is the perhaps the oldest looking piece of the site, with Bayon style carvings that are similar to the ones found in Angkor Wat. The temple grounds are large, home to a university building as well as the main hall. However, the main attraction is the reclining Buddha-which is now sinking as well as reclining- …

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The Kingdom of Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia with a population of more than 13 million people. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of Cham and small hill tribes …

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Increasing numbers of visitors are rediscovering Cambodia's magical temples and beautiful beaches. Siem Reap, the gateway to Angkor, now sports luxury hotels, chic nightspots, ATMs, and an airport fielding flights from all over the region, while Sihanoukville is getting good press as an up-and-coming beach destination. However travel beyond the most popular tourist destinations is still an adventure …

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