Travels In Siam, Cambodia, Laos and Annam Vol. 2 by Henri Mouhot
Natural History Observations
Originally published as Travels in the Central Parts of lndo-China: Siam, Cambodia and Laos during the Years 1858, 1859 and 1860, is a classic description of parts of Cambodia, Laos, and Siam in the Reign of King Mongkut. Volume 2 covers his scientific research: New Species of Mammals, Reptiles, Fresh-Water Fishes, Insects, and Shells, Atmospherical Observations, Translations of Chinese tales and fables, The Damier, or Cape Pigeon, and The Albatross. As well as Cambodian vocabulary, letters from M. Mouhot, letters addressed to M. Mouhot, letters addressed to the family of M. Mouhot and a paper read at the Royal Geographical Society. Volume 1 covers the travelogue.
Henri Mouhot is best known for re-discovering the ruins of Angkor Wat and, indirectly, causing a minor tourist boom there. Of course, the Khmers have always known about the ruins. Mouhot was a natural history researcher and explorer in virgin areas. He was followed in the later 1860s and 1880s by the Gamier and Pavie Missions. His exploration first comprised the central area of Siam and the southeastern seaboard (Chantaburi). From there he reached Cambodia and the provinces then under the control of the Siamese Government around the Tonle Sap. He also ventured into areas of Annam (present-day Central Vietnam) inhabited by "wild" tribes but returned to Battambang and Angkor, and eventually to Bangkok. Another journey took him to Petchaburi on the eastern part of the upper peninsula.
His last journey, (because he was struck down by fever), covered the so-called Lao parts of Siam, now referred to as Isan, but at that time only loosely associated with Siam. His final destination was Luang Prabang, where he is buried. A description of part of his journey was originally published in the travel magazine Le Tour du Monde, but the present English version is more comprehensive in coverage.
142 pages, 3 pp. illus.
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