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[KIT] Recommended book: Ancient Angkor

History has been a big part of my life. Ever since I was young, I have always been intrigued whenever I learn something new about Cambodia’s history. Recently I have been reading one of the famous books that describe Khmer civilization during the Angkor era, written by Claude Jacques and Michael Freeman, called “Ancient Angkor”.

Ancient Angkor by Claude Jacques and Michael Freeman

One of the cool things about the book is that many foreigners actually learned about Cambodia through the book itself. Even though it was established in 2008, it still maintains its popularity in the history reading community since it describes each temple that existed during the Angkor Era in full detail which let our imagination run free and picture what it might have been looking like if we were there. Titled as the largest religious monument in the world Angkor Wat is my favorite of all temples. In the era that existed between the 8th and the 13th centuries, Angkor civilization never failed to amaze historian enthusiasts. From Hinduism society and got shifted to Buddhism society, the Angkor era said a lot about how Cambodia came to be. In addition, the book contains a handful of complete maps of the prime sites and also great suggestions about the best time to visit each and every site as well. Moreover, not only these but the book also recommended essential accommodations tips as an extra.

This book acted as both teacher and tour guide which is very essential for foreigners who want to know more about Cambodia’s cultural history and also for those who are history enthusiasts like me. Have I told you about the writers yet? Let me first introduce you to Michael Freeman, who is an expert in photography and has been working closely with Southeast Asia culture and has been taking photos for the 15 long years of time that he has been here in Cambodia. Meanwhile, Claude Jacques, a French scholar, has researched and studied the history of Angkor and its site for 30 years until his death in late 2018. His legacy is living on and passing on to the next generation through the article. Magnificent photos of each site taken by Freeman and great history background from Jacques made this book one of the best sellers when it comes to Cambodian cultural history books.

The greatest thing about the book is only it acts as both a history lecture and informative guidance, it has all the details and hidden reliefs and discoveries about the excavation from the remarkable sites. While others did not take the extra work to mention small and little-to-be-known temples, this book depicted and described those leftover small to notice sites that make it very interesting.  Therefore I absolutely recommend this book to those who are excited to learn about the rich cultural history of Cambodia.

Ancient Angkor has a lot of essential and interesting information about Khmer civilization during its era and stands as a legacy for the next generations about books and history enthusiasts. For me, this is surely one of the greatest books that I have ever read. Do you find this interesting? What do you think? Tell me after reading this masterpiece.

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