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Cambodia has gone through turbulent times, but once again is at peace and is set to take its place as one of the most fascinating destinations in South East Asia. The once mighty Khmer Empire flourished during the Angkorian period between the 9th and 14th centuries when it was the cultural center of the region and exerted its influence over Vietnam, Laos, and Thailand.

The Tonle Sap Great Lake dominates Cambodia and is over 150km in length. Here bird life is profuse and in the midst of the lake one cannot even see the shores. There is a great stillness and tranquility on the lake as I passed though floating fishing villages intermixed with traditional palm trees.

85% of the total Cambodian population depends on agriculture. The farming system comprises rice cultivation, sugar palm production, livestock farming, and vegetable growing.

The sugar palm trees that you see in this picture are the “national tree of Cambodia” that represents a major cultural and traditional image of the country. It is called thnot in Khmer, or thốt nốt in Vietnamese. Its leaves, leaf branches and trunk become materials for house construction. Its juice can be collected for 3 months of the year from a male tree and 5-6 months from a female tree. The average yield was 5 kg of juice per day per tree — an equivalence of 13.5% sugar content. They produce 21,600 tons of sugar (sucrose) per year per hectare.



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Additional Photos by Huy V Tran (huynt) Gold Star Critiquer/Silver Workshop Editor/Gold Note Writer [C: 846 W: 15 N: 932] (5081)
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