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10 facts you might not know about Cambodia

written by Intrepid Travel September 25, 2018

The imposing faces on the temples in Siem Reap evoke awe-inspiring admiration of the achievements of an ancient civilisation – that suddenly abandoned its own creation.

The temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom and Banteay Srey are amongst some of the most photographed World Heritage-listed wonders found in the north of Cambodia

Venturing to the ruins and beyond is an unforgettable experience. Here’s a few things to know when travelling to the Kingdom of Cambodia.

1. Cambodia’s flag is the only one in the world to feature a building

Image by Tara Buffington

Angkor Wat is the heart and soul of Cambodia. The world heritage-listed site was built in the early 12th century and is the biggest religious complex on the planet.

2. The ancient ruins of Angkor are way bigger than you think

Image by Stephen Parry

While Angkor Wat is the biggest religious complex in the world, the grounds of the temple ruins extend over an area of more than 500 acres – that’s about 50 times larger than the site of Machu Picchu!

3. The country has a shocking past that happened not that long ago

During the four years of the Khmer Rouge’s rule around 2 million people were killed. That’s one-fifth of the population. Because of the genocide that took place from 1975-1979 up to 63% of Cambodia’s population is under thirty.

READ MORE: THE IMPORTANCE OF VISITING CAMBODIA’S KILLING FIELDS

4. You can learn from the locals on a homestay adventure 

Image by Zahra Saleki

On a trip with Intrepid, you have the opportunity to take part in a homestay, trek through jungle and learn more about rural life in Cambodia.

READ MORE: WHAT TO EXPECT AT A CAMBODIAN HOMESTAY

5. There’s nothing like a traditional Cambodian wedding

Traditional Cambodian weddings are full of celebration, intermingled with glamorous garments and a non-stop party that can go for up to three days and three nights!

6. Cambodians celebrate the New Year in April

Image by Sally Johnson

Cambodia’s New Year’s celebrations (called Choul Chnam Thmey in the local language – Khmer) is held in mid-April each year and marks the end of the traditional harvest season. This is the biggest celebration of the year in Cambodia.

7. There are giant geckos that have a distinct chirp

Cambodians believe that counting a gecko’s chirp will tell you if you’ll be lucky to marry. It is considered good luck if a tokay gecko lets out seven or more calls in the same room as you.

8. Insects are widely eaten throughout the country 

Image by Thor Jorgen Udvang / Shutterstock

While Cambodians are renowned for cooking up creepy crawlies such as crickets, ants and even tarantulas. Most people eat fish, vegetables and rice as part of their daily diet.

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9. You’ll find the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia

Image by Tanya Smith

The Tonle Sap provides sustenance to nearly half of Cambodia’s crops and is a major source for fishing. The amazing thing about this lake is that large parts regenerate during the wet season when the monsoon rain falls and floods the central area between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.

CHECK OUT INTREPID’S SMALL GROUP ADVENTURES ACROSS SOUTHEAST ASIA 

10. You can get nearly anywhere in a tuk tuk

Image by Ryan Bolton

The first thing you’ll see when you arrive in Siem Reap or Phnom Penh is the long line of tuk tuks at the airport and waiting at nearly every street corner around town. While the journey can get your heart pumping – normal road rules are thrown out the window – it’s a quicker way to navigate through the streets. Plus, tuk tuks are more readily available in some towns. But remember to negotiate the price before getting in!

Want to take a holiday with other travellers your own age? Check out our range of adventures for 18 to 29-year-old travellers. 

Feature image by DR Travel Photo and Video

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7 comments

Anonymous June 10, 2021 - 11:16 am

this is not helpful

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My High Info May 29, 2021 - 2:08 pm

Nice article thanks for this information

Reply
Mr. Nobody December 10, 2020 - 1:48 pm

Wow that was amazing

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Bhavesh August 18, 2020 - 6:01 pm

Very interesting article about Cambodia, it is a very good place to visit, i really like it. Thank you for such information.

Reply
Anonymous April 14, 2020 - 9:13 pm

Just FYI, Cambodia’s flag is not the only nation’s to have a building on it; San Marino, Afghanistan, Portugal and Spain’s also feature buildings.

Reply
Thanks May 7, 2019 - 4:19 pm

Hi this is amazing

Reply
Anonymous June 10, 2021 - 11:16 am

cool

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