Digital Magazine April - June, 2010
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 1
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EDITOR’S NOTE A recent professionally conducted and internationally audited
Digital Magazine & Newspaper Survey received 30,000
responses from a cross section (2/3 trade-professional and
1/3 consumer) of digital edition readers of 160 publications
representing 50 publishers.
Beginning April 1, 2010, you will ﬁnd Cambodia
The survey message was delivered to 375,000 current
Insight online at www.CambodiaInsight.com.
digital subscribers and received an 8.8% response rate.
The sampling error was < + 0.5% at a 95% conﬁdence
Thanks to the support of our readers and
level. The survey ﬁndings conﬁrmed our optimism
advertisers, and a knowledgeable support
that readers prefer electronic sources for many
team, the January launch and distribution of
Cambodia Insight went quite well. Our team
distributed the issue over a three month period.
However, we soon learned that with the global
Here are some examples of On-Line
economy being what it is, a quarterly digital
on-line (E zine) magazine is more appropriate than print in
• Viral marketing through Web 2.0 websites
serving the cost versus beneﬁt needs of our all-important
(social community sites)
readers and advertisers.
• Numerous links within the text to other sources as well as
a set of related links at other sites.
This is particularly evident in our home town of Siem Reap,
• Links to related archival articles and/or searchable
where due to last year’s severe drop in tourist arrivals, many
businesses were forced to cut back on advertising and marketing
• In-depth Q & A with source or subject
expenses. This was necessary in order to keep highly trained
• E-mail for feedback to the editor or writer
staﬀ and maintain property until the tourism based economy
• Chat rooms for readers who are interested in
improves, hopefully to pre 2008 levels. (When it seemed as
though it was raining dollars and Riel in Cambodia).
• Audio and/or video clips
• Additional photographs or graphics
Unlike print, cyberspace is not limited to a set number of
• Opportunity to pose a question to an expert
pages. Fortunately, Evans Marketing, which is the publisher of
• Survey to complete at the end of the article
Cambodia Insight, has been in the fore front of developing digital
• Option to arrange for e-mail notiﬁcation of new issues
media since the public internet emerged in the early 1990’s.
A few of the key ﬁndings and results: High overall satisfaction,
92% of digital readers are engaged, reading their issue within a
VOICES week and over 52% read it immediately or the same day. Digital
Readers Take Action. Over 91% take one or more actions when
reading advertisements or articles. As frequent readers, 61%
have read 3 or 4 of the last four digital issues, similar to the rate
for an “average” print reader. The “Big 3” reasons for reading
digital include: 1. Environmental friendliness 2. Ease of saving 3.
Convenience of searching. Surveys across age group, gender and
occupation show similar satisfaction and preferences.
My thanks to our knowledgeable Evans Marketing support
team and especially, to all of you that have sent in letters of
support for Cambodia Insight. Also, my thanks to all that have
invested their time to comment on the articles, photographs,
graphic design and overall quality. We have been fortunate in
receiving many constructive suggestions for the improvement
and distribution of Cambodia Insight magazine and believe we
have incorporated much of this into our forty four page second
quarter digital edition of Cambodia Insight.
I look forward to hearing from you and hope you will
become a subscriber to and an advertiser in, our Free
Cambodia Insight Digital E-Zine. (You may subscribe and
download at www.CambodiaInsight.com)
Charles R. Evans, Publisher Cambodia Insight
Managing Director, Evans Marketing Business Adviser
Co., Ltd., Oﬃce at Ta Phrom Hotel on Pokambor Ave.
Mondul 1, Sangkat Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap-Angkor
Kingdom of Cambodia Charles@CambodiaInsight.com
Tel: +855 (0) 63.969.201 Fax: 63.969.201 H/P: 017.906.721
2 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
The King and the Wat Damnak Library
Not everything in Siem Reap is about tourism. Now it’s possible to find a
well established library at the Damnak Pagoda.
This is the Center for Khmer Studies that was opened on the
15th of January by King Norodom Sihamoni, in a moving
The time of war for Cambodia meant the destruction of
books and thinkers. The recovery from this disaster is in the
process of rescuing the most selective cultural identity of
the survivors of the ancient Angkor civilization. To do so,
we need to proceed to resurrect the history, art, traditions
and society of Cambodians. At the same time, Cambodia
has established its place in the South East Asian region.
When the King came to the Damnak Pagoda, his presence
emphasized the mission that was established by the
national and international consortium of founders of the
King Norodom Sihamoni, Wat Damnak Library
library. The mission was to promote research, teaching and
public service in the social sciences, arts and humanities
in relation with the Cambodian culture and history. It is
also the largest Cambodian library outside Phnom Penh
and will program training courses in research, translation,
publishing, conferences and events.
Liam MacKenzie & his camera were privileged to follow the
King during the afternoon of the blessing ceremony which
was assisted by children of the schools, the members of the
Angkor Association for the Disabled and a gracious group
of dancer girls of the Conservatoire Preah Ream Bopha Devi
from Banteay Srey.
King Norodom Sihamoni, in a moving blessing ceremony.
m Hotel Wat Damnak
Wat Damnak Library Siem Wat Damnak Map
4 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
04 The King and the Library... A Quarterly Magazine on Business, Economy, Tourism,
Culture and Society in English for Cambodia. Founded
Not everything in Siem Reap is about tourism in Siem Reap City in January, 2010 by Evans Marketing
06 Angkor Wat... Charles R. Evans Publisher and Managing Director
An Approach to the Wonders of the Temple
Albeiro Rodas Editor - in - Chief
Don Finck Senior Creative Director
12 Finances from Cambodia Kanyapat Evans Creative Director
2010 Economical Perspectives Savuth Sao Manager, Graphic Design &
14 Banking in Siem Reap Atchariya Priabnan Graphic & Web Design
Seriya Chan Sr. Webmaster & Programmer
Bunleab Hong Jr. Webmaster & Programmer
15 Angkor National Museum Eric Larbouillat Sales Executive
The Legend Revealed Peter Richards Thailand Bureau Chief
Tower City Pattaya Co.,Ltd. Thailand Distribution
16 The Discovery of Indradevi
“ Queens of the 12th Century Khmer Kingdom ”
Evans Marketing Business Adviser Co., Ltd., Ta Phrom
Hotel, Pokamor Avenue, Mondul 1, Sangkat Svay
23 A Question of Arrangement Dangkum, Siem Reap–Angkor, Kingdom of Cambodia
People & Cultural awareness
Tel: +855 (0) 63.969.200/201 Fax: +855 (0) 63.969.201.
24 Khmer MARKET Advertising & Subscriptions
Living the Experience! E-Mail: Advertising@CambodiaInsight.com
27 Boutique Villas in Siem Reap
For Original Tourism @Copyright Evans Marketing Business Adviser Co., Ltd.
All rights reserved. The name Cambodia Insight.com, in
28 A Sea Change Late In Life either English or Khmer languages, its associated logos
Exodus to Cambodia or devices and the contents of this publication and
website may not be reproduced in whole or in part, in
30 There is a Black Cat around.. print or electronically, broadcast, rewritten or
Abstract photography for an Abstract country... redistributed without written permission of Evans
Marketing Business Adviser Co., Ltd.
Cambodia Insight.com is a wholly owned publication
and website of Evans Marketing Business Adviser Co.,
Ltd. Licensed by the Ministry of Information.
Although every care has been taken in the production of
Tourism is down! Money is tight! What to do? this magazine and website, no responsibility for errors
Let staff go? Save money? Stop advertising or liability is assumed through the use of the information
Marketing is often the first thing that businesses cut back on contained herein.
in a recession. But stop and think a moment… What effect
would that have on your business ? Do you want even fewer
Cambodia Insight.com is an independent publication
customers, or do you want to buck the trend and keep your
business thriving ? Think about it ? if people don’t know dedicated to providing our readers with informative
where you are or what you have to offer, why would they content presented in a positive light helping to boost
become your customers? Be sensible and choose your business investment, tourism, Cultural awareness and
business investments wisely. A few extra dollars spent on
advertising in Cambodia Insight might be the best investment
the image of the country.
you could make…
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 5
At the Center of the World
An Approach to the Wonders of the Temple
NGKOR WAT was built under
the reign of SURYAVARMAN
II (1113 - 1150) and it is the
biggest temple of the Angkor
civilization. It can be translated as
City Temple and became a national
emblem of Cambodia (the national
ﬂag represents three of its central
towers). The complex is located six
kilometers (3.72 miles) at the north of
Siem Riep downtown and one
kilometer (0.62 miles) at the south of
Angkor Thom. This is a place that has
inspired visitors thru the centuries.
The City of the Temples, the City of the
Pagodas, the Sacred City, the National
Drawing of Louis Delaporte (1880) in his work in French Temple and many other places have
“Voyage au Cambodge” (A Travel to Cambodia) tried to describe the impressions of
those who get in contact with it for the
Angkor Wat is a square of 210 hectares
The Governor of Siamrap having provided oriented to the West, unlike the other
us with three elephants, on the 13th inst. we temples. Its whole structure represents
started for the ruins of Angkor, three and a Mount Meru in the Hindu traditions,
half miles distant, to the north. We took but the Sacred Mountain that is considered
the center of the universe and the home
little baggage with us, being rather impatient of Lord Brahma and the Devas. The
now that we were nearing the main object central tower is 65 meters (213 feet)
of the expedition – the ultima Thule of our high. It was built to honor Vishnu, one
desires and hopes – and so we passed quickly of the ﬁve primary forms of God
and silently along a narrow but good road according to the Bhagavad Gita. The
cut through the dense, riant forest, until, in galleries are especially meaningful
because they represent scenes of the
about an hour’s time, on suddenly emerging Bhagavad Gita and the Ramayana.
from the woods, we saw a little way off to the There are also inscriptions from the
right, across a pond filled with lotus plants, a Hindu and Buddhist time of the
long row of columned galleries, and beyond temple. The name of the designer of
– high above the beautiful cocoa and areca the temple is obscure. Dawn Rooney
palms – three or four immense pagodas, built (Angkor, 2004, p. 125) says that some
scholars believe that it was the
of a dark-grey stone. And my heart almost Brahman Divakarapandita, minister of
bounded into my mouth as the Cambodian King Suryavarman II, who designed it,
driver, turning towards the howdah, said, according to inscriptions. The
with a bright flash of the eye and a proud Cambodian legends attribute the
turn of the lip, ‘Naghon Wat;’ for we were then construction to Visvakarman, the
at the very portals of the famous old ‘City of divine architect of the universe of the
Lord of Creation in Hinduism.
Monasteries,’ and not far distant was Angkor-
thom – Angkor the Great. A History of Glory,
decadency and Glory...
Frank VINCENT, Jr. in his book “The Land of
the White Elephant” (1871 – 1872) Today it is known as “Angkor Wat”,
but it has had some other names over
6 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
The Cambodian flag represents
three of the most emblematic
towers of Angkor Thom.
Voyage au Cambodge
the centuries. When French explorer Delaporte saw it in
1880, Cambodians called the temple as “Nokor”. One
evidence is Nokoreach, the Cambodian National Anthem
based in a tune of Chuon Nath (1883 - 1969). The anthem
ﬁnished saying ...
“ Thus heaven will lavish its bounty
Towards the ancient Khmer country,
the Moha Nokor.
Nokor is a Khmer word derived from the Sanskrit Nagara
that is Capital. Angkor Wat or Nokor is also known by
Cambodians as Preah Pisnulok, referring to King
Suryavarman II, the founder of the Sacred City-Temple. But
its original name is unknown, since no inscriptions have
been found. As it was dedicated to Vishnu, it is possible to
conclude that the Hindu god was its name like Wat Preah
Vishnu (the Vishnu Temple) or Preah Visnulok.
We know that the whole construction took about 40 years
under the governance of the god-King Paramavishnuloka
(Suryavarman II), one of the greatest and mysterious kings
of Eastern Asia. Thanks to him, the Khmer Empire expands
its boundaries to most of the South East Asian region and he
established good diplomatic relations with China.
There is evidence that some decorations are unﬁnished,
coming to the conclusion that the death of the king that
occurs in between 1145 and 1150, also stopped the works.
In 1177 - about 30 years after the death of king Suryavarman
II, his mortal enemies, the Chams, sacked the city temple. It
was the ﬁrst decadency of Angkor. It was only after the
upcoming of king Jayavarman VII in 1181, that the Empire
would retake control and he restored Angkor. But
Jayavarman wanted his own capital and built it few miles
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 7
encroaching of the forest.
Its historical location was
reported in Europe and
Asia since the 16th century
by several explorers.
Here began the list of the
ﬁrst persons who saw the
ruins of the great temple
since 1585 according to
Dawn F. Rooney in his
work “Angkor, An
Introduction to the
Temples” (Odyssey, Hong
Kong, ISBN 962-217-683-6;
pp. 32 - 34).
1570: It is possible that in
this year the Cambodians
themselves reported the
Temple according to records
by Gabriel Quiroga and
Christoval de Jaque, but the
events reporting it are
unknown. A visit of the
king to Nokor? It is possible.
A Tower of the Central Sanctuary The galleries representing the stories of
of Angkor Wat. the Sacred Books of Vishnu in Angkor Wat. 1585: The Portuguese
writer Diego do Couto,
north of Nokor: Angkor Thom, the today venerated in Cambodia, who never had been in Cambodia,
other wonder. including Angkor Wat. described a Cambodian king visiting
the temple by elephants. It is possible
Unlike his Hindu predecessors, Temples are asleep in the forest... that do Couto knew about it through
Jayavarman VII was Buddhist and he (From the National Anthem) the reports of the Portuguese Catholic
decided to convert the Kingdom to the missionary Antonio de Magdalena,
new religion. The Hindu Nokor, In 1431 the Thais lead a great siege on who came to the Kingdom in that year.
venerating Vishnu, was made a Angkor. The second decadency of
Buddhist temple under his reign. Nokor began and the complete 1601: Marcelo de Ribadeneira
abandonment of the Angkorian temples reported the temples as an ancient city
The conversion of Hindu Cambodia to was eﬀective after the 16th century and he wrote that some say they were
Buddhism was rather speciﬁc as many when the Khmer people founded new constructed by the Romans or
scholars pointed out. It is possible that capitals in the southern regions of the Alexander the Great.
the idea that Buddha was born as a Mekong. However, Nokor, unlike
Hindu, plays its part. Hinduism many temples, were not totally 1603: Spaniard Missionary Gabriel
continues its way among Cambodians abandoned as many think. Its good Quiroga de San Antonio reported that
until present time in a syncretic form preservation is due to its wide moat in 1570 an unknown city was seen by
of Buddhism. Images of Vishnu are that protected the area from the the local natives.
Angkor Wat is an irreplaceable treasure. The number of tourists visiting each year is dramatically increasing. The
phenomenon is quite recent and so are its destructive impacts. Your behavior can make a diﬀerence to the preservation of
- Accept the restrictions placed on the temple complex ( e.g. do not touch, do not photograph, do not enter)
- Avoid touching – every small touch becomes harmful when reseated by 1,000 people every day.
- Wear appropriate footwear – avoid high heels and studded soles.
- Mind your backpack- you could brush up against the walls and damage the carvings and bas- reliefs.
- Avoid climbing unnecessarily on the statues and monuments. If you must take a photo on top of a monument, be selective
and choose to climb only one.
- Stop graffiti- resist the temptation to scribble your name or draw on the monuments.
- Admire from afar- If every visitor to Angkor Wat took home a piece of temple as a souvenir, the temples would
quickly disappear forever.
- Shop responsibly- Beware of buying objects of unknown origin. The looting of archaeological sites results in the loss
of signiﬁcant social and cultural treasures, and robs the Cambodian people of their history.
- Don’t litter- take your rubbish with you.
- Respect silence and other people. The temple complex brings diﬀerent experiences to diﬀerent people.
Allow other visitors to experience the peace and beauty.
** Courtesy of the International Centre for the Study of the Preservation and Restoration of Cultural Property.
8 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
1606: Christoval de Jaque mentioned
in his chronicle that in 1570 there were
visitors to Anjog.
1632: The Japanese interpreter
Kenryo Shimano - said to be in the
temples between 1632 and 1636 -,
made a diagram of Angkor and called
it Jetavana, the famous Buddhist
monastery of the Savatthi city in India
where Buddha gave many teachings
and discourses. He omitted the word
“Angkor” from his drawings. His son,
Morimoto Ukondayu, visited the
temple to pay tribute to the memory of
his father and left a Japanese inscription
that can be seen today.
1641: Dutch trader Gerard van
Wusthoﬀ described it as Anckoor and
said that the king used to visit it.
1672: A French missionary named
Pere Chevruel reported the temple as
Onco and said that it was as Saint
Peter’s in Rome for the natives.
1850: Another French missionary,
Charles-Emile Bouilleaux, published
his chronicles of 8 years travels and
1855: The American missionary Dr.
A. House, published his own
description of Angkor.
1857: Englishman Do King wrote his
own report of what he saw for the
Royal Geographic Society that was
published in 1859.
“ Towards the ancient Khmer
country, the Moha Nokor...
(From the National Anthem) ”
Then, what was ﬁre, is able to become
ﬁre once more. The ancient temple of
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 9
the past Glory of the Khmer people,
was built to show the meaning of a
Nation and the admiration of
everybody who sees it.
The upcoming of the French Protectorate
at the middle of the 19th century would
also mean the full discovery of the
Angkorian ruins. Well organized
expeditions to the temples for studies and
works of protection and reconstruction,
began in the 1860s. Among others, Francis
Garnier and Louis Delaporte wrote the
most well elaborated reports about Angkor
with their Voyage au Cambodge:
L’Architecture Khmer (Travel to
Cambodia: The Khmer Architecture, 1880.)
In 1898 the Ecole Française d’Extreme
Orient was established (The French
School of Far East) in Cambodia and it is
the ﬁrst responsible for the restoration
for the temples and its new time of Glory.
Image of Vishnu that still venerated inside Angkor Wat, in the First Level.
The temple was built under the Hindu religion. The French archaeologists worked
with Cambodians in the studies and
protection of the ancient sites and
Angkor soon became a symbol of
unity and national identity for modern
Cambodia. The works were suspended
for short periods, for example, during
World War II. But the most gloomy
period was the Indochina wars,
especially after 1970. Fortunately,
Nokor, the City of the Temples of the
Between military king Suryavarman II, the same
one who conquered neighboring
kingdoms and built a great Empire,
was never attacked by the modern
wars of the 20th century. During the
Khmer Rouge era (1975 - 1979), foreign
archaeologists were expelled and the
natives were executed. But a small
group was allowed to continue even in
that time, according with the reports of
D. F. Rooney. India signed an
agreement with Cambodia in 1980 to
TASTE OF INDIA
10 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
continue the restorations. Although
some scholars and journalists criticized
the works of the Indian archaeologists
of that time, D. F. Rooney points out
that they were working under very
diﬃcult conditions and the fear of
Khmer Rouge attacks.
After 1990s, the United Nations began
to give its own contribution to the
development of reconstruction and
protection with the new Royal
Government. One of the new measures
was to stop looting by creating the
mobile cultural heritage police unit.
Many international organizations have
been supporting projects that the
Cambodian government is doing to
preserver the archaeological site. The The Three Towers from the yard between the first and second level.
administration was given to a non- They inspired the Cambodian flag.
governmental organization, APSARA,
and the world is getting to know
Angkor through several documentaries
in many languages around the world.
The increased international tourism to
Cambodia, especially after 2004, made
Angkor a center of great interest and
admiration, recovering its ancient
glory. In 2008 the prestigious American
travel guide Frommer’s, pointed out
Angkor as an endangered site:
But Angkor’s tourist infrastructure is
growing faster than the site itself can
support. Travelers must be mindful of
the impact they are having on the site.
(for more, see Frommer’s new book
500 places to See Before they
Research and pictures by A. Rodas
Khmer Apsara Ladies
Welcome to the Kingdom of Cambdodia
Hello my name is Vibol. I welcome you to the country of my birth and to the beautiful
land that we Khmer people love. I will be happy to be your local driver, guide and
assistant while you are in Siem Reap. Your business will be greatly appreciated!
Telephone : (+855) 012.53.93.48 / (+855) 092.19.44.22
E-mail : firstname.lastname@example.org
www : Face Book : Vebol oun
I have a lot of experience, I speak very good English. I am friendly, honest, helpful,
reliable, and very knowledgeable about local culture. I can provide you with transport in
my Tuk Tuk or if you prefer an air-conditioned vehicle. I charge
very reasonable rates! My years of experience allow me to
provide excellent itineraries. I look forward to making your stay
in Siem Reap a most memorable adventure !
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 11
(17 %), business is doing poor (13 %),
gasoline and energy is too high (12
%), not enough jobs (12 %), threats to
take land from people (11 %) and poor
infrastructure (10 %).
Are you and your family richer, the
same or poorer than one year ago? Do
you think that you and your family
will be richer in one year more?
25 % said that their incomes rose in the
last year, 36 % said that it remains the
same and 39 % concluded that they are
poorer this year then before.
40 % think that they will be richer in
one more year, 32 % the same, 20 %
poorer and 8 % did not answer.
Cambodia 2010: Recovery
or Recession ?
The ﬁrst decade of the century
Cambodian Young Leaders Summit Leadership for a New Generation
was a great challenge in economy
for Cambodia. It was not only the
Finances from Cambodia reconstruction of a devastated nation,
but it showed a lot of potential, not
only in natural and even technological
resources, but in human potentiality.
2010 Economical Perspectives The 2009 global crisis was a test to
previous economical growing. But it
will be this year where Cambodia will
Young Cambodians are optimistic demonstrate how real the previous
economic growth was.
about their countries’ development 1999 - 2008 was a period of great
transformations in the economy as the
Young Cambodians are rather optimistic about their own country and they increase in population, rural migration
think it is going in the right direction in the area of development. This was to cities, more infrastructures and
the integration of the country in
the conclusion of the US International Republican Institute (IRI) in its July global markets. Even today 1/3 of its
31 - August 26, 2009 Public Opinion Survey on Cambodia that was released population is still under the poverty
this month. line. But during that period there was
a considerable reduction.
The survey (it can be found at http:// (29 %), more pagodas (21 %), more Is it time for investment in
www.iri.org) gathered a sample of bridges (17 %), less poverty (17 %), Cambodia ?
1,600 Cambodians older than 18 years more irrigation built (16 %), better
from the 24 provinces and a separate water and electricity supply (11 %), Investment has been aﬀected by the
group of 400 Muslim Cambodians. good business environment (11 %) and 2009 global crisis. Although there is
Oﬃcials and their families were more peace (11 %). 21 % say that the optimism, it is not possible to forget
excluded from the survey. 79 % of country is going in the wrong direction that 2010 is the year of recovery.
inquired people believe that Cambodia because there is more corruption (38%), Investment is still a good idea in a
is going to the right direction because still poverty (29 %), prices of goods country that appears promissory
it has now more roads (76 %), more are too high (29 %), nepotism (29 %), and welcoming. Cambodia is in the
schools (61 %), more health clinics prices of crops are low for farmers 60th position of investment freedom
in the scale of the 2010 Index of
Economic Freedom of the Heritage
Index/country/Cambodia) - the study
contemplates 179 countries, therefore,
the position is quite positive.
According to the study of the Heritage
Foundation, foreign and domestic
capital are treated equally in most
sectors in Cambodia only a few sectors
subject foreign investment with
12 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
tourism has been especially important
in the main tourist spots, but in certain
cases it seems that there is the idea of
copying tourist models of neighboring
countries, while forgetting what makes
Cambodia especially attractive to
foreigners is its natural environments.
It is also a cheap destination for
most international visitors. Norms
to control the inﬂation of prices to
foreigners were reinforced in the last
year, making that especially attractive
as an economical place to visit. A
tourist backpacker ﬁnds guest houses
from three to 15 American Dollars.
Cambodia is well regarded as a
safe place in most of its provinces.
Criminality can be considered at a
tolerable level and foreigners who
Graduation Time are victims of violence are minimal.
In 2009 the number of homicides per
conditions, local equity participation to oﬃcial numbers. There is some 1,000 people in Cambodia was two,
or prior authorization from authorities. good news for the rural areas if according to the Global Peace Index,
Foreign investment is promoted policies to improve the standard of that is a very low level of violence.
nowadays by the government that sees life of farmers will be implemented.
it as a way of development. Companies National projects are planned to In January 2009 a number of 218,691
are allowed 100 % foreign ownership develop rural infrastructures and foreign visitors entered the Kingdom
to trade as long as they are registered locate new international markets. and 105,701 of them arrived in the
at the Ministry of Commerce. Cambodians are already talking in Siem Reap International Airport, as
terms of competitiveness and the 48.3 % of the total.
However, a non-transparent court diversiﬁcation of agriculture.
system could be one of the main
obstacles for investment, according How was tourism in 2009 ?
to Heritage Foundation. Foreigners
do not have restrictions in foreign International tourism saw a global
exchange accounts. They can lease, reduction due to the ﬁnancial crisis. It
but not own land and the government was particularly felt in a country that
may expropriate property only in began a growing process of the tourist By A. Rodas
the public interest and with advance industry development since 2004. But
compensation. we can consider that the eﬀects of the
global recession were not so terrible
By sectors in Cambodian tourism, as it was in
nearby countries with a longer tourist
The more depressed sectors in 2009 tradition. As Cambodia is a relatively
were construction ﬁrms and garment new international destination, the
factories. While construction is country is still adapting to reductions.
expected to expand, certain signs The development of infrastructures for
of hope exist for garment factories.
Tourism and agriculture, will be
the stars of the year in Cambodia
due to best prices of rice and the
evident improvement in the tourism
infrastructure around the country.
Another good sign for investment is
the growing optimism of Cambodians
and their will to reduce poverty.
The country is looking for new
markets around the world, regional
integrations, a sustainable management
of natural resources and investments in
agriculture, infrastructures, education
and higher savings.
It is almost sure that agriculture
will be the strongest sector in 2010
in Cambodia, a sector that makes
up 31.8 % of the GDP, according
Royal Palace of Kingdom of Cambodia
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 13
Travelers can be sure that Cambodia
offers good banking services around
the country. As for cities like Phnom
Banking in Siem Reap
Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and
Battambang, it has all the banking
options of any modern country.
Main banks in Siem Riep :
Siem Reap is a special city with a
complete infrastructure for the
needs of any kind of visitor. ATMs
can be found along the most central
streets and markets. Several foreign
currencies are available in a good
number of money exchange offices
and banks. In a general sense,
security is good, taking tof course
the normal preventions as in any
other country. Visa, Visa Plus,
MasterCard, Maestro and Cirrus are
accepted, among many others.
SBC Bank ANZ Royal Bank
SBC stands for Singapore Banking Corporation. It traced its The main oﬃce of the bank in Siem Riep is located in the
presence in the Kingdom since 1993 and it’s present in most Tep Vong Street (between the Pokambor Av. and the Sivatha
of the Cambodian provinces. In Siem Riep you can ﬁnd it in street.) There are oﬃces in the Old Market, National Road
the Sivatha Street. (near the Caltex Station) and in the airport. This bank was
created in 2005 by the Royal Group Company. It was the
ﬁrst to introduce the ATM system in Cambodia.
Vattanac Bank ACLEDA Bank
The bank was founded in 2002 in Phnom Penh and has A private bank stablished in Phnom Penh in 1993 as an NGO
brances also in Siem Riep. It has services like Western Union for the development of micro and small enterprises. Today
and it is located in the Sivatha street. it has an extensive net of branches in most Cambodian
provinces (160 brances.)
It was founded in 1991 and it was privatized in
1998 with 25 branches in the country, 3 of them
in Siem Reap. The main oﬃce is in the Sivutha
street, there are other oﬀﬁces in the Old Market
and in Leu Market, on the National Road.
Even if you can do any commercial transation
in Dollars in Cambodia (double currency Riel/
US Dollar) we recommend you to use Riel for
popular transations (public transportation,
market, etc) if you want to keep cents. It
is usual that any transation becomes more
expensive in US Dollars.
By A. Rodas
Data as for the first week of March 2010
14 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
Angkor National Museum
The Legend Revealed
The Angkor National Museum is the most important
museum dedicated to the Angkor civilization in Cambodia
and Asia. It is located in Siem Riep City, in the exclusive Style: Banteay Srei
Charles de Gaulle Avenue, at the north of the National Road. Date : 10th Century
Display in Gallery C
Its collection, exhibited in eight galleries (the Exclusive
Gallery and the other ones identiﬁed from A to G),
numbers several masterpieces of theAngkor temples and it
is the most complete representation of the culture, history
and archeology of the Golden Age of Cambodia.
The Charles de Gaulle Avenue is not far from the temples
itself (about two kilometers from downtown). The facade
keeps the harmony of the Angkorian unique architecture.
Comparable to any modern museum in the world, it
has a fast ticketing service system (and it is possible to
book online), a Guide Map and Audio Tour Set (personal
translation device) with eight languages (Khmer, English,
German, Korean, Japanese, French, Chinese and Thai.)
It is a highly recommended place to complete visits to the
temples. The combination of modern technologies with its
multimedia presentations is ready to introduce the visitor
into the magic of the Angkor world.
Wooden desk : The Museum Mall
The Museum is placed in 20 thousand square meters (65,616
sq. feet) surrounded with the Cambodian traditional gardens
and the exclusivity of the northern area of Siem Riep City.
The Museum is the product of a joint eﬀort of the Royal
Ministry of Culture and Fine Art, the APSARA Authority
and the Museum Co., Ltd. on a 30 year concession
period. No doubt, it is a world class museum dedicated
to the preservation of the Khmer artifacts, collections and
restorations of the fascinating Angkor Civilization.
The Angkor National Museum is unique in Cambodia. It has
its own style and its full inspiration in the ancient glorious
time of the Khmer Empire, just at the doors of the temples.
by A. Rodas
Gallery 6 : Ancient Costume
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 15
The Resurrection of Indradevi and
Jayarajadevi, “Queens of the 12th
Century Khmer Kingdom”
It is said that all those beautiful women on the walls of the Angkorian
temples are Apsaras, the female spirits of clouds and waters... but...What
would happen if we discover that some Apsaras of Angkor were a real
person...or that maybe our ancestors were depicted on the walls for the
centuries to come?
I proudly present to you the 12th century
Khmer royals, Queen Indradevi and
Queen Jayarajadevi. These sisters
were the spouses, professors, and advisers
of the beloved and most respected King
Jayavarman VII, the proliﬁc builders of
temples, hospitals, and training centers
for the people of Cambodia.
While these queens are revered and
worshipped by the locals, they have
been grossly overlooked by both
Khmer and foreign historians, who
have dismissed them as a common
garden variety of celestial dancers
known as apsaras. So everybody
followed and so did I until I noted the
“braided” eyebrows, my French friend
made me notice, to which I replied to
him. “I don’t think they were braided,
Here’s the proposal of Phalika, a Khmer-American but gemstones were removed and left
photographer who proposes that two of the these knitted like little holes.” The
unique feature on the eyebrows with
traditional Apsaras of Preah Khan, Bayon and other gemstones hacked oﬀ, sparked
Bantey Kdei are actually the Queen sisters my interest to discover who they really
were: dancing apsaras, or dancing
Indradevi and Jayarajadevi, wives of King queens or local goddesses ?
Jayavarman VII (1125 - 1215). If the hypothesis of
On the following days, in a diﬀerent
Phalika comes to be true, it would mean an temple, Bayon, I re-photographed my
archaeological revolution in the studies of Angkor, two favorites sculptures to complete my
portfolio of the ”Sacred Treasures”.
because it is possible that all the supposed-to-be- While editing the photos, I noticed
mythical characters on the walls, maybe were compelling resemblances of my last 2
sculptures to the queens. The
historical people, the ancestors of the modern conﬁrmations of their lives and status as
Cambodian people. queens in Bayon temple were the
necessary, irrefutable proofs I needed.
An ordinary day of temple exploration has led to an extraordinary discovery. As my curiosity grew about the queens’
Hidden in a narrow labyrinth of galleries, amid dark and moss-covered stone walls mysterious lives, I fashioned a theory
and ceilings in precarious danger of collapse; there stood before me two queens of that there was a strong possibility that I
the 12th century Khmer kingdom. It was unknown to the eyes of the world and the might ﬁnd other renderings of the
Cambodians, who fondly remembered the queens through oral history with no queens in additional temples built under
pictures and rare written notes; nevertheless, ever present, these stately queens had the same reign. I feel extremely fortunate
endured the ravages of time, invading jungle, and human pillage. to have discovered not just one set, but
16 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
Queen Indradevi in Preah Khan is compared to her images in Bayon:
Queen Jayarajadevi in Preah Khan is compared to her images in Bayon:
ten plus sets of sculpted images of these Indradevi and Jayarajadevi, both advisers court dancers, princesses, devatas, saints,
prominent, surprising, and kindhearted and wives of King Jayavarman VII. goddesses, or queens. It’s unconscionable
queens in Khmer history. Queen Indradevi’s unique features to categorize and label all Khmer women
France has “Mona Lisa.” Egypt has exemplify the ideal Khmer beauty, with of the royal kingdom as apsaras. Clearly,
“Cleopatra.” And now Cambodia and her oval face accentuated by a long nose these are sculpted portraits of powerful,
the whole world will be inspired by two and cleft in her chin. The queens were inﬂuential, beautiful, and compassionate
inﬂuential, beautiful, and compassionate attired like saints/deities. Their sculpted Queen Jayarajadevi and Queen Indradevi
queens, Indradevi and Jayarajadevi. images can be found in three temples, of the 12th century Khmer Kingdom,
This is an exciting story and discovery Preah Khan, Bayon, and Bantey Kdei, who made major contributions to culture
about people of the past by people of the which were built during their reign as a and governance.
present for people of the future. testimony to their historical inﬂuence on
that era. When viewed in the context of The reverberations of their tremendous
The Discovery of Indradevi the royal life depicted in the bas-reliefs inﬂuence still resonate in the nowadays
and Jayarajadevi, Queens located in the 2nd inner gallery of Bayon body of research. These royals left behind
of the 12th Century Khmer temple, these sculptures provide proof- a legacy of wealth and cultural heritage
Kingdom positive evidence that these women that propelled Cambodia on the
existed and corroborate with the oral international stage and made tourism its
This discovery was made possible legends handed down about them. ﬁrst and main economic drive.
through the focus on two particular Obviously, not all apsaras are celestial
sculptures: the sisters and queens dancers; some apsaras might be royal
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 17
Summary of recognized historical like status. King Jayavarman considered Fact 3. In Preah Khan, Queen
fact and cultural context: himself a god-king. Therefore, his queens Indradevi’s sculpture originally had
would also be considered goddess- precious gemstones encrusted in her
Fact 1. They are the known sisters, queens. In historical records we found eyebrows and crown. Gold hoops once
queens, and royal spouses of King the sculpted images and statues of King dangled from her earlobes and still
Jayavarman VII. In Bayon, the inner 2nd Jayavarman VII by the thousands, but we more gemstones had been woven into
gallery bas-relief illustrated the hierarchy only found 3 presumed statues of Queen her body belt, all treasures long-ago
and the activities of the King and his two Jayarajadevi and zero, none of Queen stolen. The fact that she was adorned
Queens. Please see the notes in the two Indradevi’s statues or sculptures. It was in precious gemstones and gold is a
bas-reliefs depicting the diﬀerences of not surprising that at the present, I found revealing feature of her true royal
types and classes of all the ﬁgures. more than dozens of paired sculptures of identity. No other apsara sculptures
the sisters-queens in their temples built have ever been encrusted in gold and
Fact 2. The word “preah ang” means during their reign, once I diﬀerentiated precious stones in Khmer history.
sacred, divinity or saint, and is a formal them from the common apsaras.
manner of addressing royalty. In Khmer Fact 4. In Preah Khan, Bayon, Bantey
history, it is common to give kings god- Kdei Temples were built under the
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18 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
same reign only a few years apart. (their King representations, some are performed on these sculptures, the
Temple building averaged 20+ years left, most are desecrated), were results could conﬁrm the queens’ status
before completion. In their era (and in blessing them reasserting again their as royalty rather than as mere celestial
nowadays) only the few elites and status of goddess-queens. On the other dancers. Additional variables could be:
religious high order could read side of the main entrance, initially talent of sculptor, quality of stone, age,
Sanskrit. However, all the people, thought as the many wives of the King, fashion, condition, and change of
men, women and children of past and upon closer examination, was status. If four out of ﬁve facial traits of
in the present can tell the narratives Indradevi’s look-alike. the two sculptures match, this should
looking at the bas-reliefs. be considered compelling evidence as
Fact 8. Queen Indradevi’s image to the sculptures identities, along with
Fact 5. In Bayon and Preah Khan their represents the perfect, idealized other distinguishing features, such as
facial features are unique and features of a Khmer woman. To this tiaras, earrings, hand-arm positions,
recognizable, despite the wear and tear day, Cambodian women and men are garlands, lotus, etc.
and minor damages occurring over the desirous of having a cleft chin! This
centuries. The western, Indian-like traits feature is usually considered a Fact 12. The Khmer Apsara Authority,
of Queen Indradevi’s clef chin, oval face, masculine and authoritative trait in the which oversees the work and upkeep
slight squarish jaw lines, long nose, western world. of the Angkor grounds, may be too
slightly slanted eyes, elegant eyebrows, overwhelmed to take appropriate
and unmistakable smiles are more Fact 9. In Preah Khan and Bayon, action, as the AA allocates each temple
similar on both sculptures than diﬀerent. Queen Indradevi’s body posture from to a diﬀerent country to be maintained
Striking Chinese/Asian looking facial hand to foot was the same. Her dress and studied. Therefore, as experts,
features on Queen Jayarajadevi are a with a ﬁshtail also folded in the same they are limited to the gates of their
rounder face, cute little nose, slanted direction. individual temples and overstepping
eyes, and elegant, curling lips either this boundary would be considered an
smiling mischievously in life or Fact 10. Sculptures of kings, queens, international faux pas. This means the
gracefully in death. and common people have been found discovery process can be painfully
throughout world history. Why are we slow, if it moves at all.
Fact 6. Queen Indradevi was probably (Westerners lead the discussion and
named due to her Indian looks. Indra the Khmer people follow) assuming Fact 13. The only three statues that
is derived from India, Inde. Indra is that all apsaras are alike and dismissing experts still question as being the image
also referred to as a god in Hindu. them as mere concubines? “They of Queen Jayarajadevi, resemble, in my
existed to respond to the passion of the opinion, the mother of King Jayavarman
Fact 7. At the main entrance in Bayon, males” so wrote Vittorio Roveda in VII or a deity other than the queen. This
their most sacred temple, Queen 1997 in Khmer Mythology. Other than is the reason for naming her
Jayarajadevi was represented in a celestial dancers there is a good “Prajnaparamita” rather than calling
dwelling structure ﬁt for a queen. It probability that these standing apsaras her Queen Jayarajadevi. Her facial traits
had curtains, maids, musicians, and were actually portraits of princesses, closely resemble those of Jayavarman
apsara dancers with two other queens, or other women of the court. VII’s, with the exception of the queen’s
sculptures on her left side, one of them angular eyebrows.
which is Indradevi. At Bayon, on the Fact 11. No two hand-carved stone
second ﬂoor, the main tower walls sculptures are alike. However, all four Consistently, I have found the two sister-
were covered by the sculptures of sculpted images of the queens have queens in saint-like poses, attired regally
these paired queens, recognized by more similarities than diﬀerences. They in gold necklaces, tiaras, earrings, and
their hallmark attire and standing have been subjected to the harsh, rings denote their goddess-queen status.
position of a divinity. In addition, tropical weather for over 800 years. If Why does one ﬁnd only three statues of
above their alcoves, the little Buddhas more investigative forensic work were these celebrated queens, while King
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 19
not called the queens apsaras and left
them hidden in Preah Khan,
“ I believe that as Khmers with our rich heritage endangered by collapsing stone walls.
and due respect to our good kings and queens if
In conclusion, the queens’ sculptures
we had known of the portraits of the Queen display exquisite workmanship. They
Indradevi and Queen Jayarajadevi instead of are the most impressive sculptures
found in all the Angkor grounds.
calling them apsaras, hidden in Preah Kahn in Queen Indradevi and Queen
danger of collapsing stone walls, we would have saved their Jayarajadevi deserve to be protected
and placed in a museum for the entire
precious sculptures and placed them next to King Jayavarman world and the Khmer people to
VII in a museum.” cherish.
By Phalika Ngin
Khmer-US, photographer Notes on the attributes, postures,
and symbols of the royals:
Jayavarman’s Buddha-like representations these two sisters-queens in order to
can be found in hundreds of various understand their undeniable mystique, King Jayavarman VII’s god-like
forms? It is not surprising that I have intelligence, and inﬂuence during the image and attributes:
found that the goddess-queens were King’s inspiring reign.
sculpted in pairs adorning virtually Statues and sculptures of all sizes
every main entryway in Bayon, Preah I believe that as Khmers with a rich resemble a sitting, meditating Buddha.
Khan, and Bantey Kdei! They have been heritage and due respect for our good He favored several positions in two
called apsaras, and sometimes, referred kings and queens, had we known diﬀerent forms:
to as devatas, but never as queens. The about the existence of Queen Indradevi
bas-reliefs and stone sculptures are and Queen Jayarajadevi we would a. Meditating with crossed knees and
carved pictorials that can be understood have removed their precious sculptures hands open resting on the lap; eyes
in any language in any time. They have and placed them next to King closed with a peaceful smile and hair
always existed as goddesses-queens Jayavarman VII in a museum where pulled into a chignon and the absence
among us. This is a revealing exposé of they rightly belong. We would have of a cloth across his chest.
20 APRIL - JUNE , 2010
b. Meditating in the same sitting position,
but on a coiled 7 head naga (cobra) that
covered his entire back. His brilliantly
simple traits and symbolic signs were
intended to inﬂuence the population, but
all symbols, sculptures, and statues of him
became easy targets of mass destruction
by his enemies over the centuries.
Queen Indradevi and Queen
1. Thus far, the two have always been
found together in a pair. Where Indradevi
was found, Queen Jayarajadevi was
the dress looked the same, with the above Queen Indradevi, who is to the
ﬁshtail to the left or to the right. right of the King. All royals are sitting
above a platform; next to each are
2. They usually wore a peacock-like
8. Added bonuses: Standing in a servants fanning with long handle fans.
tiara or crown, with 8 + ﬂowerets.
dwelling structure with musicians, the
king, maids, dancing apsaras, and or a On the 2nd ﬂoor, on the right side, the
3. Their favored earrings were small
servant at the pedestal and a bird, or court ladies and noblemen sit on the
bunched rings or earrings fashioned like
standing on the lotus ﬂower or pod, or ﬂoor watching the dancing apsaras
the body belts.
a praying Buddha on top on the alcove. perform to the tune of an all-women
4. Most of time they wore several orchestra of musicians.
necklaces adorning the chest from the Notes on the Royal Bas-Reliefs of
neckline to the breast line with body the Inner 2nd Gallery of Bayon: On the 1st ﬂoor, the commoners
lace or belts across the torso encircling congregate. In the seemingly anecdotal
to the waist line. A day in the Royal Life of King bas-relief of their royal history, the
Jayavarman VII, Queen Jayarajadevi, queens have also deﬁned for us the
5. They wore jasmine-like garlands that and Queen Indradevi , as illustrated in a two categories of the “apsara”, celestial
serpentine from one side to the next, like bas-relief at Bayon, 2nd ﬂoor inner and dancing.
a shawl. gallery on the North side, 17 March 2010
In the same inner gallery on the NE
6. They posed with speciﬁc arms and From top to bottom, the hierarchy of the side, there is a horizontal bas-relief
hands position. An arm is up at social classes and etiquettes is observed. depicting the royal court as well.
shoulder level and the hand in the Top level above the rooﬁng, celestial
form of a karana mutra, a gesture for apsaras give blessings to the King and In this bas-relief, the royal hierarchy of
banishing an enemy or warding oﬀ Queens. For each royal, note the the court is clearly depicted (from right
evil. The other arm elegantly hanging elaborate rooﬁng of their palace. to left) as the King with his TWO
at the side of the body with the hand in Top level below the rooﬁng (3rd ﬂoor), Queens, the dancing apsaras, and a
a form of varada mudra, the palm of the King’s image is larger and his head musician, respectively, and the
the hand facing forward, symbolizing is elevated above the others. The next noblemen facing the king.
charity, and compassion. largest image is of Queen Jayarajadevi,
to the left of King Jayavarman VII, the Also, there exists a distinct representation
7. In the three temples, the fashion of 1st recognized wife. Her head is elevated in the attire and posture of the dancing
APRIL - JUNE , 2010 21
apsaras in King Jayavarman VII’s era versus the standing,
dancing apsaras of Angkor Wat’s era.
Clearly depicted these 2 bas-reliefs are the distinctions and
diﬀerences, as well as the importance, of women ﬁgures
during the reign of King Jayavarman VII -- from the celestial
apsaras giving blessings, to the two queens sitting with their
King, to the dancing apsaras and ladies of the royal court.
This is an amazing lesson from the past that ends the
confusion surrounding of the word “apsara” – which the
Queens are NOT (as we have incorrectly labeled them).
The truth has now prevailed.
However, their time is running out. We must act before all
antiques, artifacts, statues, sculptures, and traces of them are
lost forever. I believe there is an urgency to remove the queens
from further vandalism and collapsing ceilings, and rightfully
place them in a museum, where they belong, to inspire Khmers
and free the whole world’s imagination. They have already
survived 800 years with extreme environmental hardship and
will not be there for the next ten if we don’t act now to safeguard
them for Khmer history sake and as world heritage treasures.
This is a discovery story as well as an appeal to save the queens!
March 26, 2010
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advertising & marketing services For more information
print and website design. Contact Charles Evans
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your messages out and your sales moving. E-mail : Advertising@CambodiaInsight.com
22 APRIL - JUNE , 2010