Lap of luxury
For about 600 years after 800 AD, some of the hottest property in Asia was centred on the Khmer capital city of Angkor, in what is now Cambodia. The Khmer empire spread out from Angkor to encompass, at its peak, the whole area now occupied by the nation states of Cambodia, Thailand and Laos.
With the death of Jayavarman VII around 1220, the empire began to decline and Angkor itself was finally sacked, looted, burned and generally defiled by an invading army in 1431. The Khmer nation, which eventually became Cambodia, has hardly looked back in the ensuing six centuries, declining from its Angkorian grandeur to 181st in the world for GDP per capita, according to the Central Intelligence Agency.
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