Cambodia is located in the south of Southeast Asia and the country borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It has a beautiful landscape with highlands and mountains and has a 443 kilometer long coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia is the land of the impressive Angkor Wat temple, which is a silent witness of how inventive and artistic the people in Cambodia are. The recent history of Cambodia is intense and has left its mark in this beautiful country. However, I find that this fierce history contrasts sharply with the relaxed and calm atmosphere that now prevails. What are fun facts about Cambodia?
I have described 25 facts about Cambodia!
1. Cambodia was under French occupation from 1863 to 1953.
2. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism and is adhered to by about 95% of the Cambodian population.
3. The infamous leader Pol Pot, who came to power in 1975, is considered the most notorious war criminal of modern times.
4. More than one and a half million people died during the regime of the Khmer Rouge under the leadership of Pol Pot.
5. The bodies of the people who were killed during this genocide were buried in the “Killing Fields”.
6. UNESCO has declared Cambodia the third largest country in the world with the most landmines. More than 4 million landmines are still in the ground and still cause casualties every day.
7. Cambodia has the highest percentage of people with amputated limbs in the world. Every month between 300 and 700 amputations are carried out as a result of injuries by the landmines.
8. The birth rate is three times higher than the mortality rate.
9. 50% of the Cambodian population is younger than 15 years.
10. The Cambodian flag is the only flag in the world that contains a building, namely the Angkor Wat temple.
11. Birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia and many people do not know their date of birth either.
12. There are 1.3 million mopeds in Cambodia on a population of around 1.5 million people.
13. The KFC loses money in Cambodia and Cambodia is the only country where they are not profitable. There are only 6 of these fast food restaurants in Cambodia.
14. Cambodia is one of the three countries that never had McDonalds.
15. The current king of Cambodia, His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni is single and has no children. There is therefore no direct successor to the king.
16. In Cambodia people greet each other by joining and bending the palms of both hands. This is called “Sompeah” and this greeting is usually started by the younger person.
17. The Cambodian currency is the Riel (about 4,000 Riel is 1 US Dollar), but the US dollar is used on a larger scale. Transactions of less than a dollar usually take place in Riel.
18. Rice is omnipresent in all Cambodian meals and delicacies and it is even eaten as a dessert where the rice is mixed with fruits and coconut milk.
19. In the Khmer language, rice and food mean the same thing.
20. There is a “blind salon” in Cambodia where you can get massages from the blind, so that these blind people can make something of their lives.
21. Cambodia has the largest inland lake in Southeast Asia called the Tonle Sap.
22. Dolphins are present in rivers in the northeast.
23. The Buddhist New Year is celebrated in April and is referred to as the Khmer New Year. During this party people throw water and talcum powder together.
24. The rate of deforestation in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world.
25. The two most important industries in Cambodia are tourism and the export of clothing.
These are my fun facts about Cambodia! Do you know more fun facts about Cambodia?