Like the rest of South East Asia, Cambodia is experiencing significant growth in tourism. Thousands of people choose these countries for several reasons. A tropical climate is maintained all year round. Relatively economical countries to travel. An inestimable natural and cultural wealth. Southeast Asia gives you a lot of reasons to go. Cambodia is one of those countries you need to know. This is the reason why we present some curiosities of Cambodia that you should know.
Curiosities of Cambodia that you did not know
Cambodian language: One of the curiosities of Cambodia that surprises its visitors the most is its language. With an alphabet unknown to most Westerners. The Cambodian language has the largest number of letters, 72, of which 32 are vowels.
Flag and crest: Cambodia has the only flag and crest in the world, on which is a historic building. Angkor Wat, which we will talk about later.
Official currency: The official currency of Cambodia is the “riel”. However, in most restaurants, hotels, tourist shops, you can use the US dollar.
Religion: Buddhism is the main religion of Cambodia. Nearly 95% of its inhabitants are religious.
Phnom Penh: It is the capital and the most populous city of the country. With a population of 1.5 million, it is the country’s main economic, political and cultural center.
Palafitos: Cambodia is a country where there is a lot of misery. A large part of the population suffers from extreme poverty. It is therefore very common for the predominant type of accommodation to be palafitos. Palafitos are very simple houses built on the water by rivers.
History of Cambodia
Khmer Empire: One of the curiosities of Cambodia is that Cambodians treat themselves like Khmers, and Cambodia is a land of Khmers. The Khmer Empire included what is today Cambodia, Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.
French colony: Cambodia was a French colony for 90 years. Between 1863 and 1953.
Cambodian genocide: An episode of pain and violence took place in the 1970s. Part of Cambodian history which resulted in the death of 30% of the Cambodian population. The genocide was committed by the Khmer Rouge regime, a communist regime that bled the country 4 decades ago.
Population: Due to the genocide of the 1970s, the current population of Cambodia is predominantly young.
Culture, economy, and nature
Martial Arts: You certainly didn’t know that Cambodia has its own martial art. It is true, portal, or Khmer boxing. It is a very common form of wrestling in the country, very similar to Muay Thai in Thailand. In fact, the word “portal” in Cambodian, or Khmer, means to fight, to fight.
Gestures: In Cambodian culture, there are a lot of gestures that are not correct and hence when visiting Cambodia you must know them. For example, the legs should always closed, because the soles of the feet cannot be shown. It is also important not to touch another person’s head or shoulders, Cambodians consider that to be rude. Make sure that when you travel to Cambodia, picking up objects with your right hand is a good education.
Shoes: We only use the shoes in the street. When you enter a house or a temple, you must take off your shoes.
Tropical territory: One of the curiosities of Cambodia is almost entirely covered with tropical forests. The country is also crossed by 3 mountain ranges. When you arrive in Cambodia you will notice that green is predominant throughout the national geography.
Rice: Although Cambodia is a relatively small country compared to neighboring countries, it a rice powerhouse. Cambodia is one of the largest rice producers in the world. This is also linked to their traditions and customs. On a Cambodian table, there must therefore always be rice. A Cambodian eats rice every day.
Angkor Wat: The most popular tourist destination in Cambodia. The most visited place in the country. Angkor Wat is the largest temple complex in the world, covering an area of 400 square kilometers. It was built in the 12th century and declared a World Heritage Site by UNESCO in 1992.
Responsible archeology: When the treasure that represents Angkor Wat discovered, it was covered with jungle. This jungle that protected the complex has been removed, so its deterioration is now much faster. Without the vegetation layer that protected the structures, erosion causes the construction to disappear.
When to travel: bad weather means that strong winds prevent us from enjoying the place. The best time to travel to Cambodia is therefore between December and April.
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