Cambodia today is a famous destination in South East Asia for travelers from all over the world. It just a small country but it has a huge history. However, Khmer Rouge and the Angkor Temples can be the only things that bear in mind of travelers when asked about Cambodia even they have just visited the country. Besides the spectacular wonders of Angkor in Siem Reap, the giant Tonle Sap, there are still many interesting things about Cambodia that tourists don’t even know when or after they travel in Cambodia.
1. The Cambodian flag is the only national flag that has an image of a building – the Angkor Wat.
2. Cambodia has been changing its name whenever a new government was installed: It was called the Khmer Republic during its republican years, Democratic Kampuchea under the Khmer Rouge regime, and People’s Republic of Kampuchea under the leftist group called Salvation Front. Today, in its latest government form, it is officially called the Kingdom of Cambodia.
3. Buddhism is the official religion in Cambodia and it is practiced by more than 85% of the population. Most of them believe in Thearavada Buddhism. So, monks are respected by local people. Besides, no matter a man is high or low in social status, he will offer his life to his religion by becoming a monk once in his life. There are temples all over the country which require tourists to dress properly (dress with long pants and long-sleeved clothes and take off hats and shoes) if they want to get into temples.
Buddist monk in Siem Reap
4. Female should remember not to contact with monks. If you want to donate to them, you should ask men to do that for you or put your donation on the table.
Monks with tourists
5. According to statistics, there are about 60,000 monks in total in Cambodia. However, the smoking rate unexpectedly reached up to 36%. The monks can smoke, and in some Buddhist ceremonies, the cigarettes are available besides of the soft drinks and fruits.
A smoking monk in Siem Reap
6. Cambodia is a very young country, with the average age about 25-years-old. Even half of Cambodia’s current population is younger than 15 years old.
Little Cambodian boys
7. Traditionally, birthdays are not celebrated in Cambodia. Older people might not even know their birthdays.
8. In Cambodia, the head is regarded as the highest part of the body and shouldn’t be touched even in the kindest manner.
9. No shoes are allowed into the bathroom in a family! For the public bathroom, you can use it with shoes. However, in the traditional Cambodian home, always remember to taking off your shoes when using the bathroom.
10. According to the Cambodia history, the Cambodia hardly records anything, except for the history story that was carved in the Angkor Wat. Because the ancient Cambodia recorded their history in the leaves of a kind of tree, which were completely ruined in the wars.
11. The countryside people don’t believe the official gas station, because they can’t see how much they have got after all. Their heart is beating strongly when watching the number is increasing. Therefore, they prefer the bottled gas by roadside, even though the gas might not be pure.
Bottled gas station in Cambodia
12. The largest lake in South East Asia, Tonle Sap expands from a minimum of 2,800 square kilometres, just 1 meter deep at the end of the dry season to 15,000 square kilometres in the later weeks of the monsoon season. At that time the depth is 8 meters.
Tonle Sap lake
13. The Angkor Beer is actually run by the Malaysia company, however, their advertising slogan is “My country, My beer”, which makes the Cambodia local beer company strongly dissatisfied.
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