Junk is a type of ancient Chinese sailing ship, still in use today. Junks were used as seagoing vessels as early as the 2nd century AD and developed during the Song dynasty, they evolved in the dynasties, were used throughout Asia for extensive ocean voyages. They were found, in lesser numbers are still found, throughout South-East Asia and India, but in China. Found more broadly today is a growing number of modern recreational junk-rigged sailboats; the term junk may be used to cover many kinds of boat—ocean-going, cargo-carrying, pleasure boats, live-aboards. They vary in size and there are significant regional variations in the type of rig, however they all employ battened sails; the term junk was used by European explorers for large unrelated native Austronesian warships, like the Philippine karakoa and the Maluku kora kora. The term may stem from the Chinese chuán based on and pronounced as in the Minnan variant of Chinese, or zhōu, the old word for a sailing vessel. Junk entered the English language in the 17th century through the Portuguese junco from the Javanese or Malay jong.
The modern Standard Chinese word for an ocean-going wooden cargo vessel is cáo. Views diverge on, it entered Malay language by 15th century, when a Chinese word list identify it as Malay word for ship. The Malay Maritime Code, first drawn up in the late 15th century, uses junk as the word for freight ships. European writings from 1345 through 1601 use a variety of related terms, including jonque, ioncque and ionco; the historian Herbert Warington Smyth considered the junk as one of the most efficient ship designs, stating that "As an engine for carrying man and his commerce upon the high and stormy seas as well as on the vast inland waterways, it is doubtful if any class of vessel… is more suited or better adapted to its purpose than the Chinese or Indian junk, it is certain that for flatness of sail and handiness, the Chinese rig is unsurpassed." Junk sails have full-length battens. Their ability to sail close to the wind is poorer than other fore-and-aft rigs. Classic junks were built of softwoods with the outside shape built first.
Multiple internal compartment/bulkheads accessed by separate hatches and ladders, reminiscent of the interior structure of bamboo, were built in. Traditionally, the hull has a horseshoe-shaped stern supporting a high poop deck; the bottom is flat in a river junk with no keel, so that the boat relies on a daggerboard, leeboard or large rudder to prevent the boat from slipping sideways in the water. Ocean-going junks have a curved hull in section with a large amount of tumblehome in the topsides; the planking is edge nailed on a diagonal. Iron nails or spikes have been recovered from a Canton dig dated to circa 221 BC. For caulking the Chinese used a mix of ground lime with Tung oil together with chopped hemp from old fishing nets which set hard in 18 hours, but usefully remained flexible. Junks have narrow waterlines which accounts for their potential speed in moderate conditions, although such voyage data as we have indicates that average speeds on voyage for junks were little different from average voyage speeds of all traditional sail, i.e. around 4–6 knots.
The largest junks, the treasure ships commanded by Ming dynasty Admiral Zheng He, were built for world exploration in the 15th century, according to some interpretations may have been over 120 metres in length, or larger. This conjecture was based on the size of a rudder post, found and misinterpreted, using formulae applicable to modern engine powered ships. More careful analysis shows that the rudder post, found is smaller than the rudder post shown for a 70' long Pechili Trader in Worcester's "Junks and Sampans of the Yangtze". Another characteristic of junks, interior compartments or bulkheads, strengthened the ship and slowed flooding in case of holing. Ships built in this manner were written of in Zhu Yu's book Pingzhou Table Talks, published by 1119 during the Song dynasty. Again, this type of construction for Chinese ship hulls was attested to by the Moroccan Muslim Berber traveler Ibn Battuta, who described it in great detail. Although some historians have questioned whether the compartments were watertight, most believe that watertight compartments did exist in Chinese junks because although most of the time there were small passageways between compartments, these could be blocked with stoppers and such stoppers have been identified in wrecks.
All wrecks discovered so far have limber holes. It is believed from evidence in wrecks that the limber holes could be stopped either to allow the carriage of liquid cargoes or to isolate a compartment that had sprung a leak. Benjamin Franklin wrote in a 1787 letter on the project of mail packets between the United States and France: As these vessels are not to be laden with goods, their holds may without inconvenience be divided into separate apartments, after the Chinese manner, and
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces
The Royal Cambodian Armed Forces is the national military forces of Cambodia. The Supreme Commander-in-Chief is HM King Norodom Sihamoni, Since 2018 General Vong Piseng is the Commander in Chief of the RCAF as head of the Army, Air Force and the Gendarmerie; the armed forces operate under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of National Defence. Under the constitution the RCAF is in charge to protect the sovereignty and territorial integrity of the Kingdom of Cambodia; the RCAF was created in 1993 by a merger of the Cambodian People's Armed Forces and the two non communist resistance armies. At the time, there were resistance forces opposing the Government, consisting of the Khmer Rouge and a separate royalist resistance movement; the forerunner of the Cambodian Armed Forces is the Division 125. It was established in 1978 by Hun Sen and the Vietnam People's Army's support; the Royal Cambodian Army is the largest force with troops stationed in each province of the country. The Royal Cambodian Navy is the second largest force and operates at sea, along the Mekong and Bassac rivers and in the Tonle Sap Lake.
The military police runs parallel to the civilian police force. The military police have posts in every municipality across the country; the Royal Cambodian Air Force has 5,000 members. The Air Force operates in every province; the Royal Khmer Armed Forces, was established on 9 November 1953 under a Franco-Khmer convention. This contributed to the termination of the French colony and protectorate, Cambodia obtained its own authentic military organisation; the FARK's roles were defined as follows: to guarantee the sovereignty of the nation and of the king. With 50,000 troops, FARK was organised at battalion level under the Supreme Commander of the Armed Forces, the Head of State. At this early stage of the birth of an independent nation, its armed forces were armed with little more than wooden rifles to fool aggressive Viet Minh forces; this forced King Norodom Sihanouk to sign border treaty agreements with Vietnam which were unfavorable to Cambodia, resulting in the loss of much of its territory.
The military situation changed following the coup d'état in March 1970. In the Khmer Republic regime, FARK was renamed the Khmer National Armed Forces; when the Cambodian Civil War followed, in response to a declared state of emergency, the FANK's size was expanded to reach 200,000 military personnel, organized in brigades and divisions. The armed forces of all categories were placed under control of the president; when facing NVA, Viet Cong, or Khmer Rouge forces, FANK operated at full strength as reported. In the beginning, NVA, Khmer Rouge forces were routed by FANK forces. Prince Norodom Sihanouk would appear on the radio to spread propaganda, urging people to go to the jungle and join the communists to fight against the FANK forces; some corrupt FANK commanders who were royalist supporters sold their weapons and intelligence to the Khmer Rouge forces where they were fighting. Many FANK commanders, for example Norodom Chantaraingsey, were at the front lines when launching operations against the communist forces.
In late 1973, the American Congress lost all confidence in FANK and stopped all military aid to them due to corrupt soldiers who sold their equipment and supplies to Sihanouk's communist forces. After the downfall of the Khmer Republic in April 1975, the Khmers rouges régime established a new military force called Revolutionary Army of Kampuchea, it was purely composed of original Khmer Rouge fighters plus defectors from Lon Nol's FANK. These defectors who joined the Khmer Rouge were never trusted by the original Khmer Rouge cadres, they were purged by Pol Pot, when thousands of Khmer Rouges soldiers and officers were ordered killed by the Khmer Rouge leadership. To the other forces, the RAK was organised up to division level and was under command of the Chief of the General Staff General Son Sen and General Ta Mok; the RAK's strength was an impressive 375,000 man armed military force, supplied by Communist China and some Eastern bloc states. However, the RAK did not operate efficiently, due to many Vietnamese double agents hidden among them.
When Democratic Kampuchea launched an invasion into an area of southern Vietnam known as Prey Nokor when it was Cambodia territory prior 1949, the Vietnamese forces were caught off guard. Their double agents in the Khmer Rouge forces proved valuable; these double agents were found out to have become members of the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Armed Forces, the armed forces of the People's Republic of Kampuchea. Following the intervention of the Vietnamese forces in January 1979, which resulted in the collapse of the Khmer Rouge regime and because of the effect of the Cold War, a new force was re-created in Cambodia: The Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Armed Forces, which changed its name to the Cambodian People's Armed Forces of the Phnom Penh government, was rebuilt; this military organisation evolved, from battalions to divisions. In the meantime, anti-Vietnamese movements were formed along the Cambodian-Thai border. Apart from the remained NADK, two other non-communist resistance forces, the Khmer People's National Liberation Armed Forces and the Armées Nationale pour Khmer Independent – ANKI (previous
The Khmer Rouge was the name popularly given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and by extension to the regime through which the CPK ruled in Cambodia between 1975 and 1979. The name had been used in the 1950s by Norodom Sihanouk as a blanket term for the Cambodian left; the Khmer Rouge army was built up in the jungles of Eastern Cambodia during the late 1960s, supported by the North Vietnamese army, the Viet Cong and the Pathet Lao. Despite a massive American bombing campaign against them, the Khmer Rouge won the Cambodian Civil War when in 1975 they captured the Cambodian capital and overthrew the government of the Khmer Republic. Following their victory, the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan renamed the country as Democratic Kampuchea and set about forcibly evacuating the country's major cities; the regime murdered hundreds of thousands of their perceived political opponents. The Cambodian genocide led to the deaths of 1.5 to 3 million people, around 25% of Cambodia's population.
The Khmer Rouge regime was autocratic, xenophobic and repressive. The genocide was in part the result of the regime's social engineering policies, its attempts at agricultural reform through collectivisation led to widespread famine while its insistence on absolute self-sufficiency in the supply of medicine, led to the death of many thousands from treatable diseases such as malaria. The Khmer Rouge's racist emphasis on national purity included several genocides of Cambodian minorities. Arbitrary executions and torture were carried out by its cadres against perceived subversive elements, or during genocidal purges of its own ranks between 1975 and 1978; the regime was removed from power in 1979 when Vietnam entered Cambodia and destroyed most of the Khmer Rouge's army. The Khmer Rouge fled to Thailand whose government saw them as a buffer force against the Communist Vietnamese; the US and China and their allies, notably the Thatcher government, backed Pol Pot in exile in Thailand, providing the Khmers with intelligence, food and military training.
The Khmer Rouge continued to fight the Vietnamese and the new People's Republic of Kampuchea government during the Cambodian–Vietnamese War which ended in 1989. The Cambodian governments-in-exile held onto Cambodia's United Nations seat until 1993, when the monarchy was restored and the name of the Cambodian state was changed from Democratic Cambodia to Kingdom of Cambodia. A year thousands of Khmer Rouge guerrillas surrendered themselves in a government amnesty. In 1996, a new political party called the Democratic National Union Movement was formed by Ieng Sary, granted amnesty for his role as the deputy leader of the Khmer Rouge; the organisation was dissolved by the mid-1990s and surrendered in 1999. In 2014, two Khmer Rouge leaders, Nuon Chea and Khieu Samphan, were jailed for life by a United Nations-backed court, which found them guilty of crimes against humanity for their roles in the Khmer Rouge's genocidal campaign; the Khmer Rouge dissolved sometime in December 1999. The term "Khmers rouges", French for "Red Khmers", was coined by Cambodian head of state Norodom Sihanouk and adopted by English speakers.
It was used to refer to a succession of communist parties in Cambodia which evolved into the Communist Party of Kampuchea and the Party of Democratic Kampuchea. Its military was known successively as the Kampuchean Revolutionary Army and the National Army of Democratic Kampuchea. In power, the movement's ideology was shaped by a power struggle during 1976 in which the so-called Party Centre led by Pol Pot defeated other regional elements of the leadership; the Party Centre's ideology combined elements of Marxism with a xenophobic form of Khmer nationalism. Due in part to secrecy and changes in the government's presentation of itself, academic interpretations of its political position within Marxist thought vary ranging from interpreting it as the "purest" Marxist-Leninist movement to characterising it as an anti-Marxist "peasant revolution", its leaders and theorists, most of whom had been exposed to the Stalinist outlook of the French Communist Party during the 1950s, developed a distinctive and eclectic "post-Leninist" ideology that drew on elements of Stalinism and the postcolonial theory of Frantz Fanon.
In the early 1970s, the Khmer Rouge looked to the model of Enver Hoxha's Albania, which they believed was the most advanced communist state in existence. Many of the regime's characteristics, such as its focus on the rural peasantry rather than the urban proletariat as the bulwark of revolution, its emphasis on Great Leap Forward-type initiatives, its desire to abolish personal interest in human behaviour, its promotion of communal living and eating and its focus on perceived common sense over technical knowledge appear to have been influenced by Maoist ideology. However, the Khmer Rouge displayed these characteristics in a more extreme form. While the CPK described itself as the "number 1 Communist state" once it was in power, some communist regimes such as Vietnam saw it as a Maoist deviation from orthodox Marxism; the Maoist and Khmer Rouge belief that human willpower could overcome material and historical conditions was at odds with mainstream Marxism, which emphasised materialism and the idea of history as inevitable progression.
Khmer ultranationalism was a defining characteristic of the regime, which combined an idealisation of the Angkor Empire with an exis
Preah Sihanouk Province referred to as Sihanoukville Province, is a province in the south-west of Cambodia at the Gulf of Thailand. The provincial capital called Sihanoukville, is a deep-water port city and a growing and diversifying urban center located on an elevated peninsula; the province is named in honor of former king Norodom Sihanouk, who orchestrated the establishment of Sihanoukville city and the Sihanoukville municipality as this took place alongside the construction of the Sihanoukville Port, which commenced in June 1955. The only deep water port of Cambodia includes a mineral Oil terminal and a transport logistics facility. Sihanoukville Province is divided into four districts, each with a distinct economic character, defined by location and access to resources. In addition to the port and the growing tourism industry, the activities of countless NGO's and international investment have contributed to an unprecedented economic growth of the province over the course of the last decade.
Economic sectors that deserve mentioning are the transport & logistics industry, process manufacturing, agriculture & fishery, textile industry and the real estate market. The islands and beaches of Sihanoukville province are an international tourist destination as visitor numbers have risen since the late 20th century; the initial Sihanoukville municipality was elevated to a regular province on 22 December 2008 after King Norodom Sihamoni signed a Royal Decree converting the municipalities of Kep and Sihanoukville into provinces, as well as incorporating Kompong Seila district. As one of Cambodia's agriculturally and industrially most diverse province its economic future has a solid basis, although the essential sectors agriculture and tourism require a strict and permanent administrative protection of the local natural resources; the official name in Khmer is: Khaet Preah Sihanouk, which adds up to: "Province of the holy Sihanouk" or "Honorable Sihanouk Province". It honors the former king Norodom Sihanouk, still is revered as the Father of the modern Nation.
Sihanouk himself suggested the official Western variant Sihanoukville. The name "Sihanouk" is derived from Sanskrit through two Pali words: Siha, Hanu; the former name, Kompong Saom, means "Port of the Moon" or "Shiva's Port". Saom is derived from the Sanskrit word "saumya", the original meaning of, "Soma, the juice or sacrifice of the moon-god", but evolved into Pali "moon", "moonlike" "name of Shiva"; the word Kampong or Kompong means village or hamlet. Its meaning underwent extension towards river landing bridge. Prior to the ports' and city's foundation works of 1955, no recorded settlement on the peninsula existed, larger than a traditional trade and/or - fishing community. During the many centuries of pre-Angkorian and Angkorian history – from Funan to Chenla and during the Khmer Empire, regional trade was centered at O Keo in the Mekong Delta, now the province of Rạch Giá in Vietnam; the township of Prei Nokor was a commercial center of the Khmer Empire. The Chronicle of Samtec Cauva Vamn Juon – one of the 18th- and 19th-century Cambodian Royal Chronicles – mentions the region as the country was split into 3 parts during a 9-year civil war from 1476 to 1485: "In 1479, Dhammaraja took on the throne at Catumukh and controlled the provinces of Samrong Tong, Kompong Saom, Kampot up to the Bassak, Preah Trapeang, Kramuon Sar, Koh Slaket and Peam".
From the end of the seventeenth century, Cambodia lost control of the Mekong River route as Vietnamese power expanded into the lower Mekong. During the Nguyen-Siamese War a Siamese fleet burned the port of Kompong Som in 1717 but was defeated by the Vietnamese at Banteay Meas/Ha Tien. A Cambodian king of the late eighteenth century, Outey-Reachea III allied with a Chinese pirate, Mac-Thien-Tu, who had established an autonomous polity based in Ha Tien and controlled the maritime network on the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand. Ha Tien was located at a point where a river linking to the Bassac River flows into the Gulf of Thailand. Landlocked Cambodia tried to keep its access to maritime trade through Ha Tien. In 1757 Ha Tien acquired the ports of Kampot and Kompong Som as a reward for Mac's military support to the King of Cambodia; until its destruction in 1771 the port developed into an independent duty-free entrepot - linked with several Chinese trading networks. Alexander Hamilton, who traveled on the Gulf of Thailand in 1720, wrote that "Kompong Som and Banteay Meas belonged to Cambodia, as Cochin-China was divided from Cambodia by a river of three leagues broad."
And "King Ang Duong constructed a road from his capital of Oudong to Kampot". Kampot remained the only international seaport of Cambodia. "The traveling time between Udong and Kampot was eight days by oxcart and four days by elephants." French Résident Adhemard Leclère wrote: "... Until 1840s, the Vietnamese governed Kampot and Péam; the Vietnamese constructed a road from Ha Tien to Svai village - on the border with Kompong-Som - via Kampot."The British Empire followed a distinct policy by the 1850s, seeking to consolidate its influence. Eye witness reports give rare insights, as Foreign Secretary Lord Palmerston's agent John Crawfurd reports: "Cambodia was...the Keystone of our policy in these countries, - the King of that ancient Kingdom is ready to throw himself under the protection of any European nation... The Vietnamese were inte
Koh Rong Sanloem
Koh Rong Sanloem is an island off the coast of Sihanoukville, Cambodia, 4 km south of Koh Rong island. It is 4 km wide and 1 km wide at its narrowest point, its distance from the local port of Sihanoukville is 25 km and 23 km from the Serendipity/Ochheuteal beach pier. The word "Sanloem" translates to: 1. Drowsiness and to: 2. Far out and hard to discern, in a wider sense. Inconsistencies on how to spell the island's name in its Latinized version date back to the 19th century; the first controversial spelling variants were issued by map makers during French rule. Alternatives are in common usage. Confusion ensues as Google Maps offers the phonetically most consistent variant, whereas Google Search redirects to an alternative. Koh Rong Sanloem lies within Sihanoukville province's Mittakpheap district in Commune 5. Alongside its sister-island Koh Rong it has developed into a popular holiday destination for individual travelers. With respect to the island's tiny population, the tourism sector is by 2014 the core economy.
In 1975 the crew of SS Mayaguez was shipped to Koh Rong Sanloem and interrogated by Khmer Rouge soldiers during the Mayaguez incident. The island resembles its northern sister, Koh Rong in many ways, although it has noticeably less landmass in relation to its coastline; the terrain is predominantly hilly with a few mountains of moderate size and a maximum elevation of 210 m in the North-West. The interior is entirely covered in dense jungle; the coastline is characterized by a succession of beautiful beaches. There are three yellow sand beaches at the island's long western coast, its eastern side, facing towards the mainland and less exposed to the weather and the monsoon, is characterized by bays and headlands. A attractive feature is the crescent shaped Saracen Beach bay with an inner diameter of around 3 kilometers. Saracen bay got its name from a British survey brig, HMS Saracen, that charted the area in the late nineteenth century. North of the island lies the uninhabited Koh Koun island, followed by Koh Rong.
There are two discernible villages on the island. Another little hamlet is situated in the southwest, called Phumi Kang Krau. There used to be a basic road network, built during the period of the French Protectorate, by now completely overgrown with vegetation. Sole reminder of this period is a lighthouse at the island's southern tip. Depending on the season, some structures that resemble a landing field near the light house are still recognizable. Most transport is done by boat, although the island's narrow center permits water buffalo carts to operate. Koh Rong Sanloem is not to the internet. There is local mobile phone coverage. Smart and Cellcard work best at the moment; the island is administered by the Cambodian Navy. As of 2017, Saracen Bay has established itself as the main tourist area on Koh Rong Sanloem, with more than a dozen bungalow and villa resorts. Accommodation and prices range from cheap dorm beds to modern villas with air-conditioning, wide-screen TV’s, comfortable beds, en-suite bathrooms with a hot shower and a western toilet.
Other notable tourist destinations include ‘Lazy Beach’ and ‘Sunset Beach’. The other significant tourist destination is the quaint little village of M'pai Bai, it cheaper than Saracen Bay. The village hostels. It's laid back and a great place to recharge your batteries. You'll find. With its own beach and two stunning beaches with in walking distance from the village. Not to mention a small water fall at the top of the hill and another one hidden away...... There are 5 main ferry services between Sihanoukville and Koh Rong Sanloem, each taking 40 minutes to get to the island. All services leave from the Ochheuteal pier in Sihanoukville. There are a couple of ‘Slow Boat’ services that take 1.5 – 2.5 hours. These services depart from the local port of Sihanoukville and the piers at Serendipity beach and Victory beach. There are no banks or ATMs on Koh Rong Sanloem, though its neighbouring island Koh Rong now has a way to get cash out. Therefore, travellers to the island are advised to bring cash in order to pay for food, drinks and any activities.
Businesses that are operating on the island appreciate small denominations as it can be difficult to give change for large bills. The island's formidable jungle is the ideal habitat for a great variety of endemic invertebrate species. Vertebrates are less abundant and for island populations, are small in comparison. Amphibians and reptiles are the most numerous and the island's brooks and streams are home to a variety of small freshwater fish. Birds include the kingfisher and the osprey. There is a group of macaques living on the island and rodents are common as a consequence of human activities. Small reefs and the rocky surface of the surrounding waters are home to a remarkable variety of marine species. Divers and snorkelers emphasize the abundance of delicate miniature eco-systems and nudibranches. Sihanoukville Ko
Sihanoukville known as "Kampong Som", is a coastal city in Cambodia and the capital] city of Sihanoukville Province, at the tip of an elevated peninsula in the country's south-west on the Gulf of Thailand. The city is flanked by an uninterrupted string of beaches along its entire coastline and coastal marshlands bordering the Ream National Park in the east; the city has one navigatable river, the mangrove lined Ou Trojak Jet running from Otres pagoda to the sea at Otres. A number of thinly inhabited islands – under Sihanoukville's administration – are near the city, where in recent years moderate development has helped to attract a sizable portion of Asia's individual travelers, young students and backpackers; the city, named in honour of former king Norodom Sihanouk, had a population of around 89,800 people and 66,700 in its urban center in 2008. Sihanoukville city encompasses the greater part of six communes of Preah Sihanoukville Province. A young city, it has evolved parallel to the construction of the Sihanoukville Autonomous Port, which commenced in June 1955, as the country's gateway to direct and unrestricted international sea trade.
The only deep water port in Cambodia includes a mineral oil terminal and a transport logistics facility. As a consequence, the city grew to become a leading national center of trade, commerce and process manufacturing. Sihanoukville's many beaches and nearby islands make it Cambodia's premier seaside resort with rising numbers of national visitors and international tourists since the late 20th century; as a result of its economic diversity, the region's natural environment, the recreational potential, an increasing number of seasonal and permanent foreign residents make Sihanoukville one of the most culturally varied and dynamic population centers in Cambodia. As of 2014 the tourism sector remains insignificant in comparison with neighboring Thailand. Sihanoukville's future will be defined by the authorities' capability of a balanced management in order to protect and conserve natural resources on the one hand and the necessities of urban and insular development, increasing visitor numbers, expanding infrastructure, the industrial sector and population growth on the other.
Despite being the country’s premier sea side destination, after decades of war and upheaval the town and its infrastructure remain much disjointed and architecturally unimpressive. Infrastructure problems persist, in particular related to water and power supply, while international standard health facilities remain limited. Sihanoukville faces challenges related to crime and safety with the city being the focus of scandals linked to serious organized crime, petty crime, corruption. In recent years, Sihanoukville has seen unprecedented levels of Chinese investment into the city with numerous casinos having opened up throughout the city. Demographically, the city's ethnic make up has changed with thousands of Mainland Chinese workers and investors settling in the city much to the resentment of the locals. Mandarin signage is replacing Khmer and English signage in the city and crime in the form of drunken violence and organized crime are increasing. Sihanoukville is one of the major cities on China's One Belt One Road Initiative.
The official name of the city in Khmer is: Krong Preah Sihanouk, which adds up to: "City of the holy Sihanouk" or "Honorable Sihanouk City". King Norodom Sihanouk was and still is revered as father of the nation; the name "Sihanouk" is derived from Sanskrit through two Pali words: Siha, Hanu. The alternative name, Kompong Saom, means "Port of the Moon" or "Shiva's Port". Saom is derived from the Sanskrit word "saumya", the original meaning of, "Soma, the juice or sacrifice of the moon-god", but evolved into Pali "moon", "moonlike" "name of Shiva"; the word Kampong or Kompong means village or hamlet. Its meaning underwent extension towards river landing bridge. Prior to the ports' and city's foundation works of 1955, the port of Kompong Som must have been only of regional significance - due to the absence of navigable waterways that connect the port with the kingdom's settlement centers. During the many centuries of pre-Angkorian and Angkorian history – from Funan to Chenla and during the Khmer Empire, regional trade was centered at O Keo in the Mekong Delta, now the province of Rạch Giá in Vietnam.
The township of Prei Nokor was a commercial center of the Khmer Empire. The Chronicle of Samtec Cauva Vamn Juon, one of the 18th and 19th century Cambodian Royal Chronicles mentions the region as the country was split into three parts during a nine year civil war from 1476 to 1485: "In 1479, Dhammaraja took on the throne at Chatomuk and controlled the provinces of Samraong Tong, Kompong Saom, Kampot up to the Bassak, Preah Trapeang, Kramuon Sah, Koh Slaket and Peam". From the end of the 17th century, Cambodia lost control of the Mekong River route as Vietnamese power expanded into the lower Mekong. During the Nguyen-Siamese War a Siamese fleet burned the port of Kompong Som in 1717 but was defeated by the Vietnamese at Banteay Meas/Ha Tien. A Cambodian king of the late 18th century, Outey-Reachea III allied with a Chinese pirate, Mac-Thien-Tu, who had established an autonomous polity based in Ha Tien and controlled the maritime network in the eastern part of the Gulf of Thailand. Ha Tien was at a point where a river linking to the Bassac Riv
Bangkok is the capital and most populous city of Thailand. It is known in Thai as Krung Thep Maha Nakhon or Krung Thep; the city occupies 1,568.7 square kilometres in the Chao Phraya River delta in central Thailand, has a population of over eight million, or 12.6 percent of the country's population. Over fourteen million people lived within the surrounding Bangkok Metropolitan Region at the 2010 census, making Bangkok the nation's primate city dwarfing Thailand's other urban centres in terms of importance. Bangkok traces its roots to a small trading post during the Ayutthaya Kingdom in the 15th century, which grew and became the site of two capital cities: Thonburi in 1768 and Rattanakosin in 1782. Bangkok was at the heart of the modernization of Siam renamed Thailand, during the late-19th century, as the country faced pressures from the West; the city was at the centre of Thailand's political struggles throughout the 20th century, as the country abolished absolute monarchy, adopted constitutional rule, underwent numerous coups and several uprisings.
The city grew during the 1960s through the 1980s and now exerts a significant impact on Thailand's politics, education and modern society. The Asian investment boom in the 1980s and 1990s led many multinational corporations to locate their regional headquarters in Bangkok; the city is now a regional force in business. It is an international hub for transport and health care, has emerged as a centre for the arts and entertainment; the city is known for cultural landmarks, as well as its red-light districts. The Grand Palace and Buddhist temples including Wat Arun and Wat Pho stand in contrast with other tourist attractions such as the nightlife scenes of Khaosan Road and Patpong. Bangkok is among the world's top tourist destinations, has been named the world's most visited city in several rankings. Bangkok's rapid growth coupled with little urban planning has resulted in a haphazard cityscape and inadequate infrastructure. An inadequate road network, despite an extensive expressway network, together with substantial private car usage, have led to chronic and crippling traffic congestion, which caused severe air pollution in the 1990s.
The city has since turned to public transport in an attempt to solve the problem. Five rapid transit lines are now in operation, with more systems under construction or planned by the national government and the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration; the history of Bangkok dates at least back to the early 15th century, when it was a village on the west bank of the Chao Phraya River, under the rule of Ayutthaya. Because of its strategic location near the mouth of the river, the town increased in importance. Bangkok served as a customs outpost with forts on both sides of the river, was the site of a siege in 1688 in which the French were expelled from Siam. After the fall of Ayutthaya to the Burmese Empire in 1767, the newly crowned King Taksin established his capital at the town, which became the base of the Thonburi Kingdom. In 1782, King Phutthayotfa Chulalok succeeded Taksin, moved the capital to the eastern bank's Rattanakosin Island, thus founding the Rattanakosin Kingdom; the City Pillar was erected on 21 April 1782, regarded as the date of foundation of the present city.
Bangkok's economy expanded through international trade, first with China with Western merchants returning in the early to-mid 19th century. As the capital, Bangkok was the centre of Siam's modernization as it faced pressure from Western powers in the late-19th century; the reigns of Kings Mongkut and Chulalongkorn saw the introduction of the steam engine, printing press, rail transport and utilities infrastructure in the city, as well as formal education and healthcare. Bangkok became the centre stage for power struggles between the military and political elite as the country abolished absolute monarchy in 1932. Allied with Japan in World War II, it was subjected to Allied bombing, but grew in the post-war period as a result of US aid and government-sponsored investment. Bangkok's role as a US military R&R destination boosted its tourism industry as well as establishing it as a sex tourism destination. Disproportionate urban development led to increasing income inequalities and migration from rural areas into Bangkok.
Following the US withdrawal from Vietnam in 1973, Japanese businesses took over as leaders in investment, the expansion of export-oriented manufacturing led to growth of the financial market in Bangkok. Rapid growth of the city continued through the 1980s and early 1990s, until it was stalled by the 1997 Asian financial crisis. By many public and social issues had emerged, among them the strain on infrastructure reflected in the city's notorious traffic jams. Bangkok's role as the nation's political stage continues to be seen in strings of popular protests, from the student uprisings in 1973 and 1976, anti-military demonstrations in 1992, successive anti-government demonstrations by opposing groups from 2008 on. Administration of the city was first formalized by King Chulalongkorn in 1906, with the establishment of Monthon Krung Thep Phra Maha Nakhon as a national subdivision. In 1915 the monthon was split into several provinces, the administrative boundaries of which have since further changed.
The city in its current form was created in 1972 with the formation of the Bangkok Metropolitan Administration, following the merger of Phra Nakhon Province on the eastern bank of the Chao Phraya and Thonburi Province on the west during the previous year. The origin of th