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Sime Reap river basin (409.29 km2) is one of the
distributary of Tonlesap great lake. The water source of river is from Kulen
mountain and flow through the Angkor temple complex before it drains to the
Tonlesap. This watershed has very important function because it connects and
maintains the three sites of global natural and cultural conservation namely
the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor, Phnom Kulen National Park, and the
Tonle Sap Lake Biosphere Reserve. Phnom Kulen National Park, Kulen mountain or
Kulen Wildlife Sanctuary is a national cultural heritage site and protected
area with the size of 4025 km2. It was established in 1993 and has managed
by the Ministry of Environment (Clements
et al., 2010).
There are some temples which were built during the Jayavarman II period
(770-835), and the series of ancient sculpture along the riverbed. Khmer
architecture was inspired by Indian architecture, including Buddhist and Hindu.
However, the Khmer civilization had developed its own style of art,
architecture and presented in various religious monuments and the design of
cities and landscapes. Most of the Khmer kings built their own temples
to reflect their power and worship to their gods. Not only did they built the
temple, but they also constructed and developed extensive/amazing hydrological
network/systems to manage water for irrigation and to supply the temple
complexes. Rivers were diverted into canals and store in the reservoirs which
were called “Barays”. West Barry is the largest reservoir that was built during
Angkor period with labour, 8 km x 2.2 km, and could store water up to its
capacity of 70 million cubic metres. Dikes were built across the flood plain to
deflect and retain water to irrigate agricultural crops. Angkor is one of the
most famous and important archaeological sites in Cambodia as well as the
South-East Asia. It contains the magnificent spectacular view of the capitals
of the Khmer Empire which was flourished from the 11th to the 14th century (Wager,
1995a).
Angkor has attracted the international tourists with the growth of 10,000% just
over a decade (Winter, 2008).
Angkor Wat temple and other surrounding temples attract millions of
international attention and tourism to the country every year (Gaughan
et al., 2009).
Millions of tourists have flocked to Siem Reap province and visited Angkor
every year. As a result of that the government of Cambodia could generate a
significant amount of income from Angkor. This Siem Reap river is not only
providing benefit to the people who live in the watershed in term of daily
consumption, agricultural purposes, but it also maintains and supports cultural
heritage site, Angkor temple complex which could earn a large amount money for
the nation.

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