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Cambodia - Angkor Thom - South Gate - Churning of the Sea of Milk - Elter photo

Cambdoai - Tonlé Sap - minimalist canoe - Elter photo

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Practicals

Transport

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Cambodia - bridge - v.g. photo

Public safety

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Cambodia - alertness

Background

Cambodia - national flag with the white depiction of Angkor Wat in the middle - That is one of two national flags in the world that consists of the image of a structure; the other is one of Afghanistan.

Destination in brief

Cambodia in brief 

Cambodia, a kingdom, is a South East Asian country, part of so-called Indochina (with Vietnam and Laos). Cambodia’s neighbors are Thailand (north and west), Laos (north) and Vietnam (east and south). Cambodia has a coast on the Gulf of Thailand. 

Size: 181,035 km² (69,898 mi²)

Capital city: Phnom Penh

Population: 16.6 million (2020) - Around 50% of Cambodia’s population is younger than 15 years old! The population is ethnically very homogenous (96% Cambodian).

Religion: Buddhism is the state religion

Language: Khmer is the only official language 

Cambodia was under French occupation from 1863 to 1953.

Although French was the dominant foreign language in Cambodia for a long time, English has by now replaced it. Street signs in the country are usually bilingual, written in both Khmer and English.

The Khmer alphabet is unique, and considerably more complicated and difficult than the Latin one.

Currency: Cambodian riel (KHR) – USD is a de facto currency

Cambodia is one of the fastest-growing economies in Asia, with an average growth rate of more than 6% in the last ten years.

Average net monthly salary: 200 USD (2020), but more than two and a half million people in the country live on less than 1,20 USD per day.

Most frequent surname: Sok

Birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia, and older people often do not even know their date of birth.

In Cambodia, a person’s head, the highest part of their body both physically and spiritually, is considered sacred. It should never be touched by visitors (even children’s heads!), even if it is done in a kind and loving manner.

Cambodia is a safe country for tourists. Health and hygiene conditions are quite good, but not as good as in Thailand. Cambodians have insane driving habits. As a result, Cambodia’s streets are like a lawless land. 

 

Best time to visit: November-March

Must-see: Angkor Wat, The Temple of Preah Vihear

Cambodian leader Pol Pot, who came to power in 1975, is considered to be the most notorious war criminal in modern times (after WW II). More than one and a half million people died under his leadership of the Khmer Rouge regime.

Cambodians believe that counting a gecko’s chirps will tell you whom you will marry. The first chirp means you’ll marry a bachelor, the second chirp means a widower, the third chirp is a bachelor again, and so on. Keep counting until the gecko stops.

The method by which geckos count human singing sounds, and their purpose, has not yet been revealed.

Climate

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Cambodia - rain - t.n. photo

Nowadays

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Phnom Penh - seedy houses - d.t. photo

Attractions

Phnom Penh

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