6 September 2009

Festival Angkor 2000

For most people, Cambodia is Angkor Wat and Khmer Rouge. The country is much more than that, nevertheless one cannot deny the fact that Angkor attracts world's attention most.

Since 1993 tourism has been Cambodia's second greatest source of hard currency, and Angkor is the biggest tourist magnet. To further immortalize these ancient Khmer monuments, the Ministry of Tourism held "Festival Angkor 2000" when the old country moved into the new millenium.

The three day festival, from 30th December 1999 to 1st January 2000, was basically a parade of performing arts with Angkor Wat as a backdrop. It successfully attracted a hundred thousand tourists to flock to Angkor. (click here for the rundown)

The Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications joined to advertise the grand event by stamping a special cachet on outgoing mail. The illustrated cover to China postmarked 8th December 1999 bears this "Festival Angkor 2000" cachet.

Since it is to promote the event internationally, the cachet is all in English with only "Cambodia Posts" in Khmer. So far only red cachet is observed, no other colours found. A neat copy of the cachet is below:

This is not the first time for Angkor to graphically star on a cachet. Back in the mid 1950s when Cambodia just gained her independence, a "Visit Angkor" cachet in French was in use with the meter stamp to promote the nation:

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