Siem Reap is a major city in Cambodia. This city is also the capital of Siem Reap Province which is situated in northwestern Cambodia. Siem Reap is famous for being the entrance to Angkor region. This city has great historical relevance, known today as Angkor Wat, and it is seen in the architecture and culture of the city, which has influence of Chinese and French traditions. This makes this city unique in many ways and a famous tourist destination.
Relevance of the Name
The name of the city Siem Reap means “Siamese Defeated.” Siamese here is referred to the people of present day Thailand. The story of this name takes reference from the conflict between the Khmer and Siamese people, which is centuries old. According to the traditional story of the region, this name was given by King Chan, when he defeated the Thais in this region in a major war. After the battle the Thai Prince Ong was dead and close to 10,000 Thai troops was captured. The Thais were completely destroyed in this battle and therefore, the name “Siamese Defeated.”History of the Conflict
The history tells that one of the Thai king, named King Chairacha was poised by concubine, to capture the throne with her lover. Later, both the concubine and her lover were killed by the nobles as they hated both of them. After their death, nobles appointed Prince Thainracha as the king and gave him the title King Maha Chakkraphat. King Chakkraphat demanded a white elephant from King Ang Chan and he refused to give anything to Thai King. Therefore, Prince Ong was sent to defeat King Ang and capture his kingdom. However, King Ang Chan counter-attacked Prince Ong and killed him in the battle, eventually capturing 10,000 Thai soldiers as prisoners. After the glorious victory, King Ang Chan named the battle area “Siem Reap” meaning “Siamese Defeated.” Finally the Angkor Kingdom was defeated by the Thais in the fifteenth century and since then this city was abandoned.Re-Discovery of Siem Reap
|Re-Discovery of Siem Reap
Angkor was re-discovered by the French explorers in the 19th century, at that time Siem Reap was little more than a village. Later Angkor was acquired by French in 1907 and then Siem Reap started to grow. There were more tourists coming to the city to enjoy their culture and study their habits. This city suffered through the phase of Khmer Rouge and survived well. This city is now the gateway to many culturally famous heritage sites. Most of these world famous sites are Angkor temples. This attraction has resulted in this city developing itself into a major tourist hub in the region. Despite the influence of international culture, the people of Siem Reap have been able to conserve their culture, traditions and habits in its complete originality.There are many reasons to fall in love in Cambodia
and Siem Reap is one of them. Siem Reap due to its unique history and rich heritage is a great tourism spot. Tourism is the main economy of Siem Reap these days. Siem Reap also has a distinct combination of Chinese and French traditions, which adds to the cultural colors of the city.Related post: Booze Cruise in Sihanoukville Cambodia-Be Careful!