TRAVEL World Heritage in Cambodia – Angkor and beyond

TRAVEL

World Heritage in Cambodia – Angkor and beyond

CGTN

19:07, November 08, 2022

Cambodia, known as the "Kingdom of Wonders," offers travelers beautiful temples, a rich cultural history, and relaxed atmosphere.

The Kingdom is renowned for its three United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) World Heritage Sites, namely the Angkor Archaeological Park in Siem Reap province, the Preah Vihear Temple in Preah Vihear province, and the Sambor Prei Kuk Archaeological Site in Kampong Thom province.

Partial view of the Angkor Wat, Siem Reap province, Cambodia. /CFP

Partial view of the Angkor Wat, Siem Reap province, Cambodia. (Photos: CFP)

The 401-square-km Angkor Archaeological Park is the most popular tourist destination in the Southeast Asian country. The park includes the famous Temple of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, and the Bayon Temple with its countless sculptural decorations.

Temple of Preah Vihear in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. /CFP

Temple of Preah Vihear in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia.

Preah Vihear, a Hindu temple, is situated on the top of a 525-meter cliff in the Dangrek Mountains. This 11th-century temple was inscribed on the prestigious World Heritage List of UNESCO in July 2008.

Sambor Prei Kuk, an archaeological site inscribed on the World Heritage List of UNESCO in 2017, comprises more than a hundred temples, ten of which are octagonal, unique specimens of their genre in South-East Asia. The art and architecture developed here have become models for other parts of the region and laid the ground for the unique Khmer style of the Angkor period.

Tourists gather to watch the sun rise over the Angkor Wat temple complex, in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, April 8, 2022. /CFP

Tourists gather to watch the sun rise over the Angkor Wat temple complex, in Siem Reap province, Cambodia, April 8, 2022.

Cultural exchanges and cooperation between Cambodia and China have been developing rapidly since the announcement of the Belt and Road Initiative.

China has donated millions of dollars to help restore Angkor Wat, taking on more responsibility for preserving the World Heritage Site. Angkor Wat was inscribed on the UNESCO World Heritage List in 1992, and China began restoration work on it in 2000.

Tourists visit the Temple of Preah Vihear in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia, April 4, 2022. /Xinhua

Tourists visit the Temple of Preah Vihear in Preah Vihear province, Cambodia, April 4, 2022. (Photo: Xinhua)

China has been playing a vital role in safeguarding and developing the Preah Vihear Temple as the co-chair of the International Coordinating Committee for the Safeguarding and the Development of Preah Vihear (ICC-Preah Vihear) with India.

China has pledged to conserve and restore Gopura (the entrance gateway into the temple) I, Gopura II, and Gopura III (there are five Gopuras for Preah Vihear temple) and has sent its technical team to study and assess the risks and structure of the three Gopuras already.

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