Interesting facts about Cambodia

cambodia flag

Cambodia is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia.

The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Cambodia.

Cambodia is bordered by Vietnam to the east, Laos to the north, Thailand to the northwest, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

The official language is Khmer or Cambodian.

As of 1 January 2016, the population of Cambodia was estimated to be 15,703,820 people.

Cambodia has a total area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 square miles).

Phnom Penh is the capital and most populous city of Cambodia. It sits at the junction of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers. It was a hub for both the Khmer Empire and French colonialists.

phnom penh

Cambodia’s main geographical features are the low lying central plain that includes the Tonlé Sap basin, the lower Mekong River flood-plains and the Bassac River plain surrounded by mountain ranges to the north, east, in the south-west and south.

The highest peak is Phnom Aural at 1,810 meters (5,938 feet) above sea level.

phnom aural

Cambodia has 443 kilometers (275 miles) of coastline.

Cambodia’s beaches are often neglected in favor of Thailand’s. But slowly, surely, the country’s idyllic islands and shining white sands are becoming known to the world’s beach lovers.

cambodia beach

There are 7 National parks in Cambodia.

Kep National Park is a national park of Cambodia in the Kep region of Cambodia. Established in 1993, it covers an area of 50 square kilometers (19 square miles). The park includes a small mountain range with tracks and trails which are popular with tourists.

kep national park

Cambodia is losing forests very fast. The rate of deforestation in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world.

Cambodia has 2 UNESCO world heritage sites.

Angkor Wat is a temple complex in Cambodia and the largest religious monument in the world, with the site measuring 162.6 hectares (402 acres). It was originally constructed as a Hindu temple of god Vishnu for the Khmer Empire, gradually transforming into a Buddhist temple toward the end of the 12th century. It was inscribed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 1992.

angkor wat

Preah Vihear Temple is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-meter (1,722 feet) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

preah vihear temple

The Bayon is a well-known and richly decorated Khmer temple at Angkor in Cambodia. Built in the late 12th or early 13th century as the official state temple of the Mahayana Buddhist King Jayavarman VII, the Bayon stands at the centre of Jayavarman’s capital, Angkor Thom.

bayon temple

Ta Prohm is the modern name of the temple at Angkor, Siem Reap Province, Cambodia, built in the Bayon style largely in the late 12th and early 13th centuries and originally called Rajavihara.

ta prohm

 

The Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, is a complex of buildings which serves as the royal residence of the king of Cambodia. Its full name in the Khmer language is Preah Barum Reachea Veang Chaktomuk Serei Mongkol. The Kings of Cambodia have occupied it since it was built in 1860s, with a period of absence when the country came into turmoil during and after the reign of the Khmer Rouge.

royal palace cambodia

The area that is present-day Cambodia came under Khmer rule about 600, when the region was at the center of a vast empire that stretched over most of Southeast Asia. Thailand and Vietnam encroached upon the kingdom until 1863, when France made Cambodia a protectorate. Independence came in 1953.

The Vietnam War spilled into Cambodia, igniting conflict, and in 1970 a pro-Western military government overthrew longtime ruler Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Five years later Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge guerrillas began brutally enforcing radical communism, killing some two million Cambodians.

Although the Kingdom of Cambodia is rich in natural resources, decades of war and internal conflict have left it one of the world’s poorest countries.

Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001–2010 was 7.7% making it one of the world’s top ten countries with the highest annual average GDP growth. According to the Ministry of Economy and Finance, the real GDP growth is estimated at 7.4% in 2013 and 7% in 2014.

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Cambodia’s two largest industries are textiles and tourism, while agricultural activities remain the main source of income for many Cambodians living in rural areas.

Cambodia welcomed an estimated 4.5 million international tourists in 2015.

The name “Cambodia” is used most often in the Western world while “Kampuchea” is more widely used in the East.

The current Cambodian flag, together with the flag of Afghanistan, hold the distinction of being the only two state flags to feature a building.

Apsara Dance or Robam Tep Apsara is a Khmer traditional dance created in the mid-20th century by Royal Ballet of Cambodia, under the patronage of Queen Sisowat Kosamak. The dance is performed by 5 or 7 females with gracefull and sinuos guestures to narate classical myths or religious stories.

apsara dance

Birthdays are not big events like in the West and people of the older generation may not even know their date of birth.

The staple food for Cambodians is rice. Today rice is consumed by most Cambodians daily and with all meals, using a great number of cooking styles and techniques.

The earliest evidence of habitation in Cambodia has been found at Loang Spean in northwestern Cambodia. It was occupied beginning around 5000 B.C. by people who lived in caves, polished stones and decorated pottery with cord and comb markings.

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