Time Magazine features an article on Zhou Daguan, the Yuan Dynasty official who visited Angkor in the late 13th century and penned his report entitled A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People.
Time, 09 September 2009
As you stand atop elephant terrace and gaze east across the Royal Square of Angkor Thom â€” the last capital of the Khmer empire that dominated Southeast Asia for some 600 years until the Siamese sacked the city for good in 1431 â€” you feel a bit like Shelley’s traveler, standing before Ozymandias’ half-sunk, shattered visage. All around are lifeless things â€” retaining walls of blotchy laterite, and sandstone temples that speak little of Angkor’s former grandeur and its golden spires. There’s no hint of the regal festivals that once took place right here, viewed from this same vantage by mighty kings beneath parasols of red silk. But there is an eyewitness report of life at the gilded Angkor court. In fact, it is the only one: Zhou Daguan’s A Record of Cambodia: The Land and Its People.