Angkor, Cambodia

Angkor Archeological Park, in Cambodia, stretches over 400 square kilometers and contains the magnificent remains of the different capitals of the Khmer empire. The sites contained in the park date from the 9th to the 15th centuries and consist of many spectacularly carved structures. Over 100 temples can be seen, both Hindu and Buddhist.

Entrance into the Angkor Archeological Park is restricted to a central gatehouse. Foreign tourists are charged, but the local people are not. Most of the sites are accessible by dirt roads. Some of the sites are currently under archeological excavation while other locations are being reclaimed by the forest and have massive banyon trees growing through them.

Angkor has suffered greatly from the effects of looting, civil war, weather, vegetation, and neglect. Angkor was added to the World Heritage List in December 1992 and has since received much interest, funding, and research. It has also seen a dramatic increase in tourism-a two-edged sword. Angkor and the nearby town of Siem Reap are in desperate need of planning to encourage, yet control, the flood of tourists.

The Sphere Park/Parque de Esferas shares a similar layout to that of Angkor-a large archeological site with distinct points of interest. Both have suffered from vandalism and neglect, but are now enjoying renewed attention. Angkor also serves as a warning that tourism needs to be planned for during the original creation of the park.