Siem Reap is a relatively small town 315 kilometres north of Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia. Here, growing tourism has created a boomtown because Siem Reap is close to Angkor, the ancient capital of a huge and mysterious jungle realm. The Temples of Angkor are the remains of various religious buildings that were built by more than ten kings of the Khmer realm between the 7th and 16th centuries A.D. The gigantic roots of kapok trees cling to the moss-covered walls of the temple complex and everything is dominated by the encroachment of nature. The monastery was once home to 5,000 including more than 2,000 monks and more than 600 female dancers who played an important part in the sacred rituals and ceremonies of that time. The fishermen on the tributaries of the Tonle Sap live peacefully together in large families. They are not particularly interested in commerce or trade as their lives are dominated by Buddhism. In the Middle Ages, Angkor was the largest city in the world. The majestic silence amid the temples and dense jungle vegetation seems to highlight Angkor's immortal splendor and its magnificent contribution to Asian history and culture. Siem Reap, a resort town in northwestern Cambodia, is the gateway to the ruins of Angkor, the seat of the Khmer kingdom from the 9th–15th centuries. Angkor’s vast complex of intricate stone buildings includes preserved Angkor Wat, the main temple, which is pictured on Cambodia’s flag. Giant, mysterious faces are carved into the Bayon Temple at Angkor Thom.
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