Angkor Database

Zhou Daguan's Customs of Cambodia new translation

by Solang & Beling Uk

Languages : English, Khmer, Chinese

146 pages - Hardback DatASIA

ISBN: 978-1-934431-18-4

Though the Chinese merchant and emissary's travelogue to Cambodia has been previously translated to French (the oldest one by Jean-Pierre Abel-Ramusat in 1819) and then English, this is the first direct translation from ancient Chinese by authors born in Cambodia and China

This linguistical and historical prowess was initiated in 2004, when Solang Uk discovered a copy of Zhou Daguan's vivid relation of the "customs of Cambodia" in a Khmer translation authored by a famous writer killed by the Khmer Rouge, Ly Thiam Teng.

Foreword by Amir D. Aczel

For cooking, "people of Zhenla (Cambodia) bury three stones in the ground to form a fire stove", notes Zhou Daguan after his trip to Angkor in 1296. Here below, a cooking pit in a farmer's house near Kratie in 2018 (Photo DR)


About the author

Solang & Beling Uk

Solang (b. Tuk Meas, Cambodia) and Beling (b. Hunan, China) Uk are the authors of the first translation of Zhou Daguan's account on Angkor in the 13th century sourced from Chinese and Khmer versions of this essential text.