While cruising on the Mekong river you might find yourself reading a good book in the comfortable lounge of the Jayavarman. A lounge that has a decidedly scholarly air about it with dark furniture and harmonious East-Asian fabrics. This lounge is named after “Henri Mouhot”, as an homage to one of the most famous French explorers of the region in the 19th century.

As a teenager, Henri was constantly travelling during his studies and fascinated by discoveries. Driven by adventure, nothing seemed more exciting to him than going to South East Asia where maps of the world blurred and provocatively indicated “beyond India”. He started his voyage in Singapore and went North where he entered the Kingdom of Cambodia. Braving terrible conditions, he hacked his way through the jungle when he came across the most stunning of sights, Angkor Wat.

Henri Mouhot has been mistakenly credited as “the one who rediscovered Angkor”. A popular yet incorrect statement since the locals knew the location of the complex and moreover, there were historical references of Angkor being visited by other foreigners before him.

However, he is the one who popularized Angkor to the west by giving thorough descriptions and comparing Angkor to other great archeological sites in Egypt or Greece. Also, his talent for illustrations depicted the amazing ruins accurately which ignited the imagination of the western press and incited further expeditions and research to be made on the matter. Therefore, Henri Mouhot managed to rightfully place the interest of the world at the marvel of Angkor Wat and the Khmer culture.

Follow the footsteps of Henri Mouhot as you contemplate the unspoiled landscape of the mighty Mekong on board the Jayavarman.

More information, on the Jayavarman here.