17th July 2020

3 books recommended to travelers when visiting Cambodia

Article by Jack Bartholomew

The tourism industry is the country’s second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. International visitor arrivals in 2018 topped six million, a ten-fold increase since the beginning of the 21st century. 

Besides Phom Penh and Angkor Wat, other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the southwest which has several popular beaches and Battambang in the northwest, both of which are popular stops for backpackers who make up a significant portion of visitors to Cambodia. The area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station are also of interest to visitors.

The Angkor Wat historical park in Siem Reap Province, the beaches in Sihanoukville, the capital city Phnom Penh, and Cambodia’s 150 casinos are the main attractions for foreign tourists.

Cambodia’s reputation as a safe destination for tourism however has been hindered by civil and political unrest and several high-profile examples of serious crime committed against tourists visiting the kingdom. 

Cambodia’s tourist souvenir industry employs a lot of people around the main places of interest. The quantity of souvenirs that are produced is not sufficient to face the increasing number of tourists and a majority of products sold to the tourists on the markets are imported from China, Thailand, and Vietnam. Some of the locally produced souvenirs include:

  • Krama (traditional scarf)
  • Ceramics
  • Soap, candles, spices
  • Wood carvings, lacquerware, silver plate
  • Painted bottles containing infused rice wine

Traveling in Cambodia the clients can book and make a reservation through booking website, tour desks, tour agency (recommend Mango Tiger tour agency) and est. Or clients they want to make their own tour we should suggest them to use three books below:

  1. The Land and It’s People

Visiting Cambodia for the first time, the one magical place people will endlessly recommend to you is Angkor Wat, the crown jewel of Cambodia tourism. The Kingdom is full of wonder and mystery and not many people know the journey of how it was discovered.

Written by Kim Fay in 1920s, the Map of Lost Memories features the journey of a woman researcher whose undying curiosity was to prove her belief that there was a lost civilization and temple (Angkor Wat) in the jungles of Cambodia.

The Map of Lost Memories received 1,348 ratings and 332 reviews on Goodreads, 131 customer reviews on Amazon, and it will give a clear insight     on the rise and the fall of the Khmer empire.

  1. The Map of Lost Memories 

A RECORD of Cambodia is a non-fiction travelling notebook written by a Chinese traveler named “Zhou Daguan” who visited Cambodia between 1296-97.

The rare document provides a very detailed study of Khmer high society in the Angkor era, the way people lived and adapted to their culture. Zhou arrived at Angkor right after it was completely built. His written document was finished within 15 years after his return to China in 1297 and it provides readers with an exceptional image of Cambodia that doesn’t exist anymore.

The book will stir your curiosity before you set foot in the country as it will allow you to compare the evolution of Cambodia civilization in the past and present.

  1. Temple of a Thousand Faces

GIFTED with thousands of impressive tourist sites to visit, Cambodia is strikingly prominent in its antique temples and architecture.

Written by John Shors, Temple of a Thousand Faces is a historical book that will time-travel you back to the peak period of Angkor civilization when you will be able to discover the historical tale of King Jayavarman 7, his great ruling power and influence during the Angkor period. The book also relates the journey of King Jayavarman VII and his wife Jayarajadevi and the story of countless battles that both fought hand-in-hand to repel the invaders of the Angkor Kingdom. Receiving 823 ratings and almost 200 reviews at Goodreads, Temple of a Thousand Faces is one of the unique books to explore before taking a real-time journey into Cambodia’s empire of rich tradition and beliefs.

Thank you so much,

Doung 

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