Cautious Cambodia - 2007

As we flew we had seen an amazingly huge lake which we would later explore and understand. It is seasonal due to the monsoon rains—Tonle Sap Lake, contains 60% waters from the Mekong River and 40% rainwater at its times of greatest volume. When the rain stops, the lake shrinks to a much smaller area. But we would explore the lake later in the Cambodian portion of this trip. S OME C AMBODIAN H ISTORY What a brutal and unhappy history the Khmer peoples of Cambodia have endured since their glory days during the 10 th through 13 th centuries when the Khmer Kingdom was the most powerful in Southeast Asia! Most (95%) of the 14,000,000 citizens of the country today are the direct descendants of the people who built the Angkor complex, the engine of the growing tourist industry in the country. Four percent are Vietnamese immigrants and one percent are listed as “other” in the official census figures. Repeated invasions by the Thais and the Chams of

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