314 kms north of the capital city Phnom Penh, Siem Reap is one of only
four cities in Cambodia. It is the capital of Siem Reap Province,
It is the capital
of Siem Reap Province, one of twenty provinces in the country. The
name "Siem Reap" means "Siam defeated," and commemorates the Khmer
victory over Thai invaders in the 14th Century. The original name was
Mohanokor, but the current name enshrines the memory of our national
Siem Reap is 10,299 square kms and home to about a million people. The provincial capital, Siem Reap Town, has about 300,000 residents and serves as a base for tourists visiting the Angkor temples.
Siem Reap town is the fourth biggest city in the
country, behind Phnom Penh, Battembang, and Kompong Cham. A small
river, originating in Kulen Mountain, flows through the town, and hosts
the annual boat race and floating ceremonies that end Buddhist Lent.
Siem Reap Province's main sources of income are rice, lotus, beans, sugar cane, palm sugar, crafts, fish, and logging. Siem Reap Town's primary sources of income are tourism,Real estate, and the construction resulting from that real estate trade.
Though the ancient Angkor
temples attract almost a million tourists a year, Siem Reap Province
remains the second poorest province in the country. Tourism supports
only ten percent of the province's one million residents, and the rest
are subsistence farmers trying to grow rice in very sandy soil and
surviving on fish from Tonle Sap Lake.
The average annual income of Khmer families is $400. The population is 95 percent Buddhist, and the rest are Christians and Muslims.Siem Reap river is a small river,if we compare to nay river which flows across the provincail capital town in Cambodia.
despite, the Siem Reap river is a small one , but it has
water all year round . that is why in the Angkor period, the Khmer
ancestors had chosen an area located on a mouth of this river to be
their capital city .however. to day the modern city of Siem Reap is
still located on the mouth of this river as well .
The measure of siem reap river is about 150km long from its orgin at phnom Kulen and kbal spean to its end at Tonle sap lake , if we measure with a straight line the result is just only about 80km long . in the Angkor period when its people were so religious Hinduists, they had pretended the siem reap river as Ganges river ,
and Phnom Kulen or Kbal Spean its
origin as mountain Himalayas we can call Everest according to Indian people the ganges river is a sacred
river from them ,because this holy river flows from the highest
mountain in the world and Indians also belive Himalayas were served as
a popular place for the Hindu gods came to make meditation and
The khmer in the Angkor period had copied the same idea as they took Phnom kulen and Kbal spean as Mt Himalayas to serve as a place for their hermits to make meditation and even they had cared Lingas and Yonis as a symbol of the residence ( Mt Meru ) of Hidu Good as well.The Siem Reap river was a sacred river in the Angkor period,because this river got < holy water> which flows on the Lingas,
Yonis and other images of the Hindu deities
in the river bed at its begining,and as they belive that when water
flows passing through the lingas and other sacred images which cared in
the river bed , then its water would become the holy water for blessing
people, animals. crops and plantation good luck.
Until the year 1993 siem reap river was still got a clean water to drink ,to swim for the people, and an addition, it served a great scenery for the relief sendtiment to those got tension in minds. with a typical water wheels in long the river to enjoy the tourists. At Phum treang village area zone where the angkor conservation Department and the office of the Ecole Francaise Extreme Orient located , they planted golden bamboos on the both sides the river banks as a nice garden as well
But to day
Siem Reap river is so polluted , its beauty had died, as the
residential living along the river banks throw the rubbish , set up
toilets and sewage into its river made its water turn so dirty and
addition, some greedy families violated the land over the river banks
making Siem Reap river getting smaller and smaller .
From this mishap, the Cambodia government plane to restore Siem Reap river back to its glory, as plan to make a charming garden on the both sides of river bank from Speak Neak of new hotel zone area to old market and continue to Chong Srok of phnom krom but the authority face a big challenge from the residential, as they don.t want move away from the river , although they live illegally on the public spots.
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