About Me

So, Who am I? You will get to know me more after you reade the information below!

About Me

My name is Yan Phon, you can call me Yan. I am a profession German and English speaking tour guide. I have experienced in my career for a decade. I am a freelance and also work for the tour guide company in Siem Reap –Angkor. I have studied German with a Swiss and Khmer teachers who have been living in Germany for several years and I have studied English with an Australian teacher and Khmer teacher at the university in the capital Phnom Penh and Siem reap. I am licensed and accredited by the Ministry of Tourism. I have worked as a tour guide and a driver in Cambodia for a decade.

About Angkor

The Angkor Archaeological Park is home to the magnificent Khmer temple ruins of Angkor, including the legendary Angkor Wat, Bayon and dozens of other ancient ruins of the Angkorian-era (9th-13th century) Khmer Empire. The Khmer people were and are the dominant ethnic group in Cambodia. The name ‘Angkor’ refers to the Angkorian-era Khmer Empire that stretched across much of mainland Southeast Asia between the 9th and 15th centuries A.D, and also refers to the capital city of the Empire that was centered north of Siem Reap Cambodia. The Angkor Archaeological Park encompasses the main temple ruins of the Angkorian capitals located in the Siem Reap area. It is truly amazing, with hundreds of sites scattered over more than 400 square kilometers and including some of the most impressive achievements in all of human history. You are guaranteed to be impressed and moved by your experiences here. In order to make the most of it it's recommended to do some background reading, and there are some excellent resources available to help you learn about the civilization of Angkor, which lasted from the 9th century to the 15th century and had an empire, centered on Angkor itself, which stretched across most of mainland Southeast Asia at its peak. To summarize all of this material here would be a huge task, so here are some references and links to resources where people have done an excellent job of it already:

Beyond Angkor

There are several places a little further out than the main Angkor Archaeological Park which are well worth seeing, if you have the time and budget. I have worked in almost all of these places with field crews doing archaeology and know them very well. As of relatively recently, there is no longer any concern about security in Cambodia, but most of the road network is still not in great shape, which means that huge temple complexes still remain lying in the jungle in many areas, little visited or virtually unknown to tourists. Also, some of the jewels of Khmer art and architecture are just a short additional drive out of the park. This page summarizes the main ones:

The Roluos Group

One of the first capitals of Angkor (8th to 9th century), about 13km southeast of Siem Reap on a well-paved highway. This one is regularly frequented by tourists and easily accessible. It is well known for the very fine quality of its sandstone carvings, especially the lintels on the temples, for the beauty of its inscriptions and for its tranquil rural setting.

Banteay Srei

The jewel in the crown of Angkorian temples, this 10th century masterpiece is about 30km north of the main temples and is delicately carved out of red sandstone. It's further out, but is easily accessible on a highway and sees a large numbers of visitors.

Beng Melea

A classic 'jungle temple about 50km away from Siem Reap by road, this massive sandstone construction sees very few visitors and retains an air of mystery and abandonment. Accessible by highway (can be combined with a trip to the Roluos group) or by a back road from Banteay Srei.

Koh Ker

For a brief period in the 10th century the capital of the Khmer Empire moved from Angkor to this site, about 3 hours drive from Siem Reap (both Roluos and Beng Melea are on the way). A huge stepped pyramid and enormous sandstone lingas and a collection of small but interesting temples make this a very impressive site, and it is little visited by tourists because of its remote location.

Phnom Kulen & Kbal Spean

Thousands of lingas carved into the sandstone riverbeds at these sites attest to the belief of the ancient Khmers in the cult of Siva and the importance of fertility and water management to the success of the agricultural empire. There are also a range of interesting rock carvings and small temples to see on Phnom Kulen, and a huge waterfall that is swim able all year round. Can be combined with a day trip to Banteay Srei, which is on the way.

Preah Khan of Kompong Svay

Around 4 hours drive in 4WD east of Siem Reap, this incredible sandstone temple complex lies in the jungle almost completely unvisited by tourists. It is now the subject of a major archaeological investigation by the University of Sydney team that I have worked with for many years.

Banteay Chmar

A beautiful, massive sandstone temple constructed by Jayavarman VII, the Khmer Empire's most prolific builder, including the classic 'face towers' that are seen at the Bayon temple at Angkor itself. Although the road to here is good and it takes 3 hours driving to the west from Siem Reap, very few visitors take the time to make it out here, but those who do are richly rewarded by the long galleries of Bayon-style bas-reliefs and the beautiful sandstone carvings above the doors. I have worked at this site with research associates of the Heritage Watch NGO. Overnight, homestay-style accommodation is available with Khmer families in a village perched right on the edge of the temple moat!

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