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Interesting facts about Cambodia

Interesting facts about CambodiaCambodia is a country that is new to tourists, and of course as people do not know a lot about the place, there are already many stereotypes about it and its people. Therefore we decided to bring you the list of the interesting facts about Cambodia that can help you as a tourist or just as an explorer of this magnificent and greatly historic country.

Therefore let’s try to break the stereotypes and consider the most interesting facts about Cambodia:

Food in Cambodia:

- During the meal, Khmer people can use up to 10 kinds of sauces, as well as salt, sugar, pepper and lime;

- Rice in Cambodia is the main course! This food in Cambodia is eaten simply boiled and fried, or in more exotic ways, for example when it is fried with bananas and other. There is also a special kind of rice vodka, local people also prepare a rice flour, and more;

- In Cambodia people collect one harvest of rice per year, though in a number of provinces like Lake Tonle Sap it is possible to collect two harvests of rice per year;

- In Cambodia there are the largest growing coconuts, if we are to compare those with the countries of Indochina. The weight of such a coconut may be up to 4-5 kg, and the volume of milk can even reach up to 1.5 liters;

- In Cambodia there are more than 15 kinds of bananas, large and small and of different colors, from yellow to red and green.

Interesting facts about Cambodia

Temples Ankgor:

  • The temple of Angkor Wat is officially recognized as the largest religious building on the planet Earth because of the occupied territories. Its size dimensions are 1500 to 1270 meters, which are trully the largest dimensions;
  • 2 times a year one can witness over the Angkor Wat a very interesting natural phenomenon of the world’s most wonderful sunrise;
  • Angkor Wat is the Thai name of the temple which it had received in the XIX century. The original name of the temple translates roughly as “temple grounds”.

Khmer names:

  • Khmer names have their roots traced back to the ancient language of Sanskrit. The name to the newborn child is most often given by the monk, who is specially invited for this purpose.
  • Many of the names in Cambodia are both male and female. It's the interesting fact about Cambodia that distincts this country from others.
  • Most Khmers have 2 names. The first name is used only in the family, and the other name is meant for the rest.   

The main population of the country:

  • It is believed that the illiteracy in Cambodia is very high and reaches even 60%. This is not true at all! Even though such a situation was in the country about 10 years ago, but  very strong systematic measures are taken to fight the illiteracy, and thus now this level decreases every year and is now at the level of 15-20%. This interesting fact about Cambodia can be surprising for those who think about Cambodia as a very uneducated country: sometimes you can meet here quite modern devices like portable irons or solar portable chargers;
  • At the beginning of 2012 Cambodia officially has over 4000 touristic guides. Most of them known a number of foreign languages, English is the most common among them, the second most common foreign language is French.

Money in Cambodia:

  • From 1875 and 1885, the national currency of Cambodia was called Cambodian franc;
  • Currently the currency of Cambodia is called riel (the international denomination is KHR);
  • The exchange rate is about 1 USD= 3,986.85060 KHR;
  • No coins are used in circulation;
  • In the everyday life and for daily shopping Khmer people use riel as well as American dollars, therefore there is no special need to exchange your dollars to the local currency;
  • From the ATMs in Cambodia you can only withdraw the U.S. dollars.

Interesting facts about Cambodia – 2nd PartNext we are going to talk about the nature of the country, its interesting places, as well as the most influential and powerful people and the way Cambodia received its great popularity. 






TonleSab Lake:

  • The area of Lake Tonle Sab during the dry season from November to May is reduced by about 2 times;
  • Lake Tonle Sab in the number of fish species counts as second in the world, losing only to the Amazon river;
  • Tonle Sab is not the correct spelling, written in Khmer Tonle Sab, can be roughly translated as the “fresh water with fresh”.

Cambodian King:

The King of Cambodia Norodom Sihamoni:

Interesting facts about Cambodia – 2nd Part

  • The correct and full title of the current King of Cambodia is: Preah Karuna Preah Bat Sâmdach Preah Bâromneath Norodom Sihamoni Nai Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea. Such a long name is not a picularity, it is a main feature of every monarch (one can already remember the Queen of England), the full title is roughly translated as: His Majesty, King Norodom Sihamoni of the Kingdom of Cambodia)
  • King of Cambodia knows fluently and can write in 5 different languages.
  • King of Cambodia has no real power, but the people of Cambodia respect him.

Films shot in Cambodia:

  • In the late 90s in Cambodia was filmed the real adventure blockbuster "Lara Croft: Tomb Raider" in which the main role was performed by Angelina Jolie;
  • Thanks to the film "Lara Croft" Cambodia was vastly opened to the world;
  • In 1999, here took place the shooting of the film "Two Brothers" about the life of two small tigers and the period of French colonization;
  • In 2011, Cambodia experienced yet another shooting of a new film history of this country. It was promise that the film will be released closer to 2014. Preliminary title of the film is "The Great Khmer Empire".  

Cambodian Flag:

  • Since 1863 Cambodia's flag was changed 10 times;
  • Now the flag of Cambodia looks like many years ago and was adopted in year 1993;
  • On almost all the flags of Kingdom of Cambodia it is possible to the depiction of Angkor Wat in the center;
  • The blue color of the flag symbolizes the brotherhood of the people and is also usually attributed to the King and this glory;
  • Red color of the flag shows the bravery of the people and their strength and spirit to fight against the injustices and invaders.

Phnom Penh, capital of Cambodia:

  • Another very interesting fact about Cambodia is street names. In fact in Cambodia is not usual to give the names to the streets. So basically, all the streets are simply numbered 1, number 120 or 365. Only the main streets were given the names thanks to the European influence and in order for the tourists to find the destinations easier and quickly;
  • The river that tourists visiting the capital of Cambodia will be presented as the Mekong, is not the Mekong;
  • Many names are now pronounced not the way they are usually presented in press and news. The real name of the Cambodia's capital Phnom Penh should in reality be read as [pnum pɨɲ] (Pnom Pnym). And the main tourist center of Cambodia is Siem Reap and Lake Tonle Sab.

 Cambodia's Prime Minister Hun Sen:

  • Hun Sen is the Prime Minister of Cambodia from the year 1993;
  • In 2004, after learning that his daughter is a lesbian, Cambodian Prime Minister Hun Sen has repudiated her;
  • Just like many, Hun Sen is a former Khmer Rouge.

Interesting facts about Cambodia – 3rd PartThe military influence of the historic times and actions are traced in different features of Cambodia even now. It is impossible to look at the country without understanding and knowing at least the basics of what Cambodia and its people experienced before the current times. Many influential events happened back in years 1960s during the Khmer Rouge regime and continued up till 1993, including the time of the Vietnamese occupation and the restoration times, when in year 1993 the country appeared again on the world maps as the Kingdom of Cambodia. This is very scary but interesting facts about Cambodia that had very hard periods of time in its history.    

Khmer customs:

  • In the Khmer language there are lots of curse words and bad expressions, and local people use those freely;
  • The most offensive for the Khmers is to say badly about one’s parents! The family is a sacred theme, therefore almost no bad expressions are connected to this;
  • Khmer alphabet is recognized as the largest in the world.

Khmer Rouge:

Interesting facts about Cambodia – 3rd Part

  • Pol Pot is the leader of the Khmer Rouge and he is the one on whom all the sins of the Khmer Rouge were wrote off;
  • Pol Pot is not the real name of that man. It comes from the French words Politique Potenciale (Pol Pot). The original name of this leader is Saloth Sar;
  • Pol Pot’s official title was General Secretary of the Communist Party of Kampuchea;
  • Americans dropped to 539,129 tons of bombs on Cambodia from 1968 to August 1973. It is approximately 13 tons per square kilometer throughout the whole territory of the country;
  • Many Khmer born in years 1975 through '90, do not celebrate their birthdays. As because all these people simply do not know the exact date of their birth. It was a time of civil war;
  • In the 60-ies of XX century, the Kingdom of Cambodia was a very advanced country in every sense. Industry, science, medicine, agriculture were ones of the best in the neighboring territories;
  • At the end of the 70s it was all destroyed due to the Khmer Rouge;
  • Khmer people live not only in Cambodia but also in neighboring Vietnam, Laos and Thailand;
  • South Vietnam is the territory of the former Cambodia.

Everyday life:

  • Cambodians are used to making haircuts right in the street in the self made tents. The picture is not one of the most appealing. The price for such a hair-cut will be not more than 2 US dollars;
  • Weddings are celebrated 3 days. Celebrations are done in the hinged tents. They are placed right on the road and decorate with colored lights. Loud music and dances will follow all the neighbors for all these three days of celebrations;
  • Cambodians in the evening like to wear pajamas for a before-sleep walk;
  • Fruits are sold with bicycles and mopeds, moving constantly from place to place;
  • In Cambodia, a very popular mean of transportation is a special pedicab. It is a cabin that is connected to the bicycle. All drivers of this transport are lean and small guys or old men;
  • In this country, labor is very cheap. People have small salaries. This interesting fact about Cambodia makes this country very affordable for tourists. People usually work in the garment factory. Usually these places are squeezed in the first floor of the building, between the grocery stores. ;
  • By far the most economical and convenient transportation for moving around in Cambodia remains a bicycle.

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