Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby Lucky Lucan » Tue Jul 11, 2017 7:38 pm

henryhungfunny wrote: Lots of bomb craters all around Kompong Thom.Maybe more than any other other place in Cambodia.Could be the fact Pol Pot was born about eight K downstream from Kompong Thom on the Stung Sen.


That's an interesting idea but highly unlikely. The US bombing was ended in August 1973, and the identity of the General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea/ Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea wasn't revealed till April 1976. Even then he was revealed as "Pol Pot", rubber plantation worker, and it took a bit longer for any outsider to figure out that he was actually Saloth Sar from Kampong Thom. Until then it was thought that well-known figures such as Norodom Sihanouk, Khieu samphan, Hou Youn, Penn Nouth and Hu Nim headed the organization.
One other point is that most of his family that survived in Kampong Thom have said he never came back there and they never saw him after he went to join the maquis in the early 60s. I think he had a cousin who was given a high-ranking role in the organization, but the rest of his family got no special treatment.

His older brother, for example: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Saloth_Chhay
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby henryhungfunny » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:12 pm

I have seen hundreds of "impact " craters from the air.I have worked with CMAC and HALO Trust.The bomb craters have a pattern thats easy to recognize after you have seen them a few times.Many of the craters could be from 105s and other heavy artillery.The way I remember it,the government would make a big push after the rains ended and open #6 and then when the rains came the KR would run the show. The area Southwest of Kompong Thom city looks to have been the hardest hit.Maybe it was a free drop zone.Nothing there but rice fields.My maps show heavy American bombing all around Kompong Thom.As you know,planes didn't land with a load.
I agree,there's no way of knowing if the fighting was any more intense there because of it being his birth place.I recall a story about a lot { maybe 5000 } government solders getting captured or giving up and all of them got whacked.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby Lucky Lucan » Tue Jul 11, 2017 9:47 pm

henryhungfunny wrote: I agree,there's no way of knowing if the fighting was any more intense there because of it being his birth place.I recall a story about a lot { maybe 5000 } government solders getting captured or giving up and all of them got whacked.


That was probably Chenla II in late 1971, the last major offensive by the Khmer Republic. It was an initially successful attempt to recapture highway 6. So they ended up with a frontline that was 200 km long and 30m wide. The enemy (incidentally mostly PAVN) blew up a few bridges and cut off any retreat and then pounded them. There were thousands of casualties.

Indeed, the final attack on Cambodian Army positions during the month of December virtually wiped out ten infantry battalions (including the sacrifice of the best Khmer Krom battalions) and resulted in the loss of another ten battalions-worth of equipment, which included two howitzers, four tanks, five armoured personnel carriers, one scout car, ten jeeps, and about two dozen other vehicles. Militarily and psychologically, the damage suffered during Operation Chenla II was a big one from which the Cambodians would never recover. From then on, the Republican government focused on consolidating its hold over the key urban centers, the main garrisons and the lower Mekong-Bassac river corridors, thus leaving most of the countryside virtually open to Khmer Rouge recruiting drives.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby henryhungfunny » Wed Jul 12, 2017 6:11 am

That would be it.Thanks.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby crazyjohn » Wed Jul 12, 2017 10:15 am

It is a very beautiful place, very quiet and no tourists years ago when all the roads were unsealed. I like it better than the Angkor temples.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby henryhungfunny » Wed Jul 12, 2017 12:23 pm

I would like to see them build a good road from Beng Mealea to Preah Khan at Kompong Svay.I tried to do it on a 230SL a few years ago but turned around when I came across some loggers and the road was blocked.The road coming in from the East is easy now.Coming through the VN rubber plantation from the Southwest isn't too hard.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby henryhungfunny » Mon Jul 17, 2017 5:23 pm

From the face book page of Song Chhang,May 18,2015.
This was the place where Marshall Lon Nol launched TCHENLA II Operation in August 1971. It was his most ambitious military operation aimed at relieving the siege of Kompong Thom from the Vietcong/North Vietnamese, referred to as VC/NVA which had succeeded in splitting the country into two halves along Route Six and isolating the rich area of Chamkar Andaung to the East. We first stopped at SPEAN KOMPONG KDEI, a 12th Century stone bridge, some 250 km North of Phnom Penh. The 20-meter long bridge, apparently in useable condition, attested to the dynamic transportation network of the Angkor’s civilization.

During the Tchenla II Operation, that bridge must have supported hundreds of military tanks and trucks moving along the highway when thousands of Lon Nol’s troops converged from the West, from the South and from the East under the command of Generals DIEN DEL, ITH SUONG and OUM SAVUTH as they moved swiftly and attacked the VC/NVA troops on the east flank of the road before they would rush northward and engaged the North Vietnamese in one of the bloodiest battles to retake the hill Phnom Santuk and relieve the siege of city of Kompong Thom.

The initial momentum of Tchenla II was a sweeping success. Three months after it was launched, over 100,000 farmers and 20 governmental positions were freed. But soon, the VC/NVA launched lightening counter-offensive from the Chamkar Daung area, cut Lon Nol troops into pieces and destroyed over 100 soldiers every day of the battles. By the end of December 1971, Tchenla II Operation collapsed, leaving some 7000 Lon Nol’s Khmer Republican troops dead in the battle fields.

Since that day to the end of the Khmer Republic regime in 1975, Marshall Lon Nol had never recovered from the loss of Tchenla II Operation to launch any other major offensive while the local Khmer Rouge progressively gained their strength and efficiency and replaced the VC/NVA in Cambodia’s war. It was learned for the first time that the three French-trained leftist intellectuals known as the Three Ghosts Head of State Prince Sihanouk ordered shot – Khieu Samphan, Hou Yun and Hu Nim -- were in fact alive and personally directed the Khmer Rouge attacks.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby crazyjohn » Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:53 pm

That was the terrible offensive that sealed the fate of the Republic. Thank you.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby Lucky Lucan » Mon Jul 17, 2017 8:56 pm

henryhungfunny wrote: It was learned for the first time that the three French-trained leftist intellectuals known as the Three Ghosts Head of State Prince Sihanouk ordered shot – Khieu Samphan, Hou Yun and Hu Nim -- were in fact alive and personally directed the Khmer Rouge attacks.


That was probably the best assumption they could come to at the time with the new intelligence, but I don't believe it was accurate. They were all intellectuals who had government positions in the 1960s, and during the civil war as part of GRUNK. In GRUNK Hu Nim was Minister of Information while Hou Youn was Minister of Collectives. Khieu Samphan was Minister of Defense, so it's possible he may have directed some attacks. However, at the time, the main bulk of the fighting was being carried out by Vietnamese PAVN and NLF forces, who had much more experience in battle and most likely had their own commanders who were more closely involved in their tactics.
All three of these "ghosts" came to loggerheads with the party center around this as they opposed the extreme direction the revolution was moving in. Hou Youn was killed soon after liberation and Hu Nim was sent on a one-way-trip to S21. Only Khieu Samphan survived, he's still doing ok despite having just started a life-sentence.
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Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby LexusSchmexus » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:21 pm

henryhungfunny wrote:I would like to see them build a good road from Beng Mealea to Preah Khan at Kompong Svay.I tried to do it on a 230SL a few years ago but turned around when I came across some loggers and the road was blocked.The road coming in from the East is easy now.Coming through the VN rubber plantation from the Southwest isn't too hard.
The road is really easy actually, I've done it a few times. Liking the off-road riding, I hope they never finish it off but u know that's unrealistic. Why would you turn back because of some loggers? Just go around the tractor...
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby henryhungfunny » Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:49 pm

The loggers had felled tress across the road.I went around a few but it started to get too thick to bushwhack.This was in 2012.I flew over it last year and even from tree top level it was hard to make out the road.But that was end of Sept.so lots of water.That was a busy road 700 years ago.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby Lucky Lucan » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:08 pm

I wasn't sure what the fireworks were when I heard them, but there was a big celebration this evening to celebrate Sambor Prei Kuk getting this status.
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Re: Sambor Prei Kuk temples given World Heritage site status

Postby shitegeist » Mon Jul 17, 2017 11:26 pm

LexusSchmexus wrote:
henryhungfunny wrote:I would like to see them build a good road from Beng Mealea to Preah Khan at Kompong Svay.I tried to do it on a 230SL a few years ago but turned around when I came across some loggers and the road was blocked.The road coming in from the East is easy now.Coming through the VN rubber plantation from the Southwest isn't too hard.
The road is really easy actually, I've done it a few times. Liking the off-road riding, I hope they never finish it off but u know that's unrealistic. Why would you turn back because of some loggers? Just go around the tractor...


Depends on what time of year it is and what the weather’s been like and any number of other factors. Peoples’ opinions of what’s easy/impossible on remote trails mean nothing, unless you catch them coming the other way out of a place where you’re headed and you can gauge your own capabilities compared to theirs.

At this time two years ago for example there was a goldrush of illegal Chinese miners between Khvau and Preah Khan, and the road was great but locals wouldn’t travel it without uniforms and guns. Short time before that it was a nice technical dirt bike ride through the forest that disturbed no one, and there have been times when drunken expats have completed the trip on scooters.

"Loggers" by the way are not so much into blocking roads with tractors, lol.
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