UniEel Experiencing: Cambodia

Cambodia is a country located in South-Eastern Asia. The nation features some amazing views, with a beautiful coastline, long plains and mountainous regions. Cambodia shares borders with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos, with the Western block of the nation featuring coastal areas. The main religion of Cambodia is Theravada Buddhism. Cambodia’s climate is very diverse – with a monsoon season usually from September to October. From November to April, the weather will frequently be above 30 degrees Celsius, but floods can be common. The population of Cambodia is approximately 16,000,000. There is a lot to see and do in this country. Overall, Cambodia is a nation well worth visiting, helping to form this edition of ‘UniEel Experiencing’.

 

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QUICK FACTS

Nation: Cambodia
Continent: Asia
Capital: Phnom Penh
Land Mass: 70,000 square miles
Population: 16,000,000
Religion: Theravada Buddhism
Language: Khmer Language
Currency: Cambodian Riel

 

Cambodia has an interesting history, summed up by its range of names. The nation has gone by the names of Kampuchea, the People’s Republic of Kampuchea, United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia, and now, the Kingdom of Cambodia. In the 13th century, Theravada Buddhism was introduced to South-Eastern Asia – an association which has remained in Cambodia to the present day. The Khmer Empire ruled during this time, with their centre being Angkor. Researchers once concluded that Angkor was the largest pre-industrial city in the world. A period featuring several wars would follow, before the protection of France was sought to stave off the threat of Thailand – leading to the colonisation of Cambodia by France. Cambodia declared independence in 1953. The Vietnam War would have inevitable consequences, and a successful coup was soon staged. A civil war would soon break out, culminating in Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge securing power. An anti-Western purge would follow, while it is believed 2m people died during their reign. Vietnamese troops invaded and eventually toppled the Khmer Rouge regime. By 1993 a monarchy was re-established. While another coup subsequently took place, in more recent times, there has been more stability.

 

Things to Do and See:
Cambodia features an abundance of things to see! The most well-known tourist attraction is the Angkor Wat – as mentioned earlier. This offers a stunning view – and out of the range of temples in Angkor, is the most well-maintained, and features a stunning design. Other well-known temples and archaelogical sites can be found at Banteay Srei and Beng Mealea. It is one of Asia’s most popular sites. In the capital Phnom Penh – the Royal Palace features a stunning complex – that dates back to 1866. As mentioned earlier, the Khmer Rouge unfortunately engaged in genocide, the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum offers a poignant reminder of those unfortunate years, with the Choeung Ek memorial site also well-known. Cambodia also has a National Museum which is worth visiting. The Tonle Sap features some picturesque views, and includes lakes and rivers. As its position as a highly religious country, there are many temples in the nation. The south features a range of beaches. Finally, consider visiting the Preah Monivong National Park in the South-West of the nation – which features a jungle!

 

Cambodia is a stunning location to visit. As shown in this article, Cambodia certainly is an interesting country that offers a lot to its visitors. This short guide should provide you with key information regarding Cambodia, complete with ideas of things to do. Look out for more countries being analysed in our ‘Experiencing’ series. For more information on Cambodia, consult the UK’s Travel Advice for Cambodia at this link. Happy travelling!

 

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