Nestled between Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, the small country of Cambodia packs a punch. From the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Wat, to the friendly and proud locals, and the delicious cuisine, get to know Cambodia a little more with these fast facts.
Cambodia by Dennis Bunnik
- Cambodia declared independence from France in 1953. Each year on November 9, locals flock to the Independence Monument in Phnom Penh to celebrate the anniversary of independence.
- Between 1975 and 1979, Cambodia was ruled by the Khmer Rouge and its infamous leader Pol Pot. This period in Cambodia’s history was profound and heartbreaking, with up to two million people dying because of the rule, and has left a lasting mark on the country’s population.
- The country is home to Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake, Tonlé Sap. The lake’s size changes from season to season, ranging from an area of 2,500km2 to 16,000km2.
- Cambodia’s national dish is amok, a curry that is steam cooked in banana leaves. Varieties of the dish include fish, chicken, tofu and more.
- The Cambodian flag is red and blue in colour and features a depiction of Angkor Wat. The flag is the only flag in the world that features a building.
- More than 2 million visitors flock to the UNESCO World Heritage listed Angkor Wat each year. The temple complex is the world’s largest religious monument.
- Cambodians frequently cook up insects to eat. These delicacies range from the likes of tarantulas to crickets!
- The New Year is celebrated in April. Choul Chnam Thmey (Khmer for ‘enter new year’) is the biggest celebration of the year lasting for three days.
- Cambodian riel is the official currency however the US Dollar is widely accepted.
- Tuk tuks are the preferred method of transport in Cambodia for their effectiveness in navigating the streets and bypassing the road rules!