One of the Orient’s most elegant cities in the 1920s – Phnom Penh is like a widow who have seen all the painful trials in life but remained strong and still standing.
What makes a city “wealthy”? – oversized shopping malls and pretentious towering buildings or rich heritage and affluent culture?
When can a city be called “developed”? – Happy, contended people living in it or busy, unsatisfied inhabitants who got nothing to do but complain? Sad to say – that if we look closely on the real significance of a city, only Phnom Penh is worthy to be called the “wealthiest”.
Phnom Penh’s history dates back to the 1300s. It is the successor of Angkor, the capital of the greatest empire Southeast Asia has ever seen. The Khmer Empire ruled from the southern part of China in the north, down to the borders of Malaysia to the south. It is one of the largest continuing empire the world has ever seen.
Most of Southeast Asian art and architecture are based on Khmer. Our notable designs and intricate crafts exist today because of them. The Khmer Empire was so advanced that they built the largest temple on Earth over 900 years ago – when most of us are still hunting wild boars and living in caves.
When Kuala Lumpur was just a muddy riverbank; Manila and Bangkok was just tiny fishing villages. When Singapore was just a small uninhabited island and Jakarta was just a sleepy trading outpost – Phnom Penh was already flourishing with ancient art and culture.
*WHAT TO DO IN PHNOM PENH: Aside from Visiting Temples and Museums
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