Solang and Beling Uk have recently published a translation of the Zhou Daguan’s description of his visit to Angkor in 1296, Customs of Cambodia. Zhou Daguan was a Chinese traveler on a diplomatic mission. Today, his account survives as the only description of Angkor at that period. His depictions of life in the ancient Cambodian capital include everything from the geography, and flora and fauna of the area, to the inhabitants’ religion, cultural practices, occupations, and trade preferences. This translation is stunning for the insights it gives into both this ancient civilization as well as the culture of the Chinese visitor who carefully records his perceptions. The photographs and illustrations that fill every section, as well as the knowledgeable annotations of the translators, bring the world of 13th century Angkor alive to a modern reader. The book is dedicated to Amir Aczel, who wrote a forward shortly before his November 2015 death.
Customs of Cambodia is available from Amazon.