"MORE THAN JUST THE ANGKOR TEMPLES" Top 5 Page for this destination Cambodia by bkoon
Cambodia Travel Guide: 8,480 reviews and 23,606 photos
Now - I start to wonder how much this country has changed. More tourists? More touts? More establishments sprouting up? I yearn to see Cambodia again one day soon. I miss the Angkor temples. When should I visit Cambodia again? There are so many places to visit in Cambodia. So far, I only explored Siem Reap, PP and Battambang.
Capital : Phnom Penh
Languages : Khmer and little English and French
Religions : 97% Theravada Buddhism and others include Islam, Christianity, etc
Population : Approx 13.1 million as in 2001
Land Area : 181 035 Sq Km
Currency : Riel and US Dollars widely used
"Cambodia is a gem of the South East Asia!" - This is what I strongly feel.
Due to the recent history of Cambodia, the Pol Pot Regime, the civil war, etc, the Cambodia people are still feeling the "sadness" behind their dark history.
Besides the gorgeous Angkor Temples, what I enjoyed most was observing the Cambodia children. I guess there was a massive baby boom after the wars. There were so many kids around. (Note : I did not enjoy observing those in Phnom Penh, along the Sisowath River though.) The children were all enjoying the peaceful, despite poor, living conditions, especially those along the Tonle Sap River.
Visting the villages was a great experience and it suddenly stroke me that I should be doing something, paying back to the society, helping the Cambodia people. Well, maybe I was greatly influenced by the numerous social enterprises and welfare organisations there. I made many friends along the way. Sok Thy, our friendly moodop driver, was especially kind. To tell you frankly, as tourism in Cambodia picked up so much faster than what their people could do, many were mercenary. Exceptional one was Sok Thy.
If you are visiting Cambodia, enjoy the country and the people. And go to Battambang, especially its outskirts. Do stop at one of the village schools.
Personally, I hope to go back there again.
Period of Travel : 7-14 Dec 03
Travel Mate : Good friend, Soo Wee
Main Cities Visited : Phnom Penh, Siem Reap (Angkor) and Battambang
Tales of Asia - Cambodia (Highly Recommended)
The Angkor Guide - All About the Angkor Temples
Official Website of Cambodia Tourism - Comprehensive
Andy Brouwer's Cambodia Forum
I. CAMBODIAN LANGUAGE
The language of Cambodia is known as Cambodian or Khmer. Khmer is linguistically affiliated to the Mon-Khmer (written in an Indic-based alphabet ) family of the Austroasiatic phylum. This group of languages are spoken widely in Southeast Asia. Khmer's close relative is actually Vietnamese. The Khmer Language seems to appear with many of its characters and words derived from Sanskrit.
During the period of French domination, many French words were borrowed into the language and have become a part of the colloquial language, as well as medical and technical terms. There is also a smattering of Chinese and Vietnamese loanwords in colloquial speech.
To note :
- There are thirty-three letters in the Cambodian writing system.
- There are 24 vowels in Khmer.
II. A BIT OF ITS HISTORY
Jayavarman II is crowned King of Cambodia
Jayavarman II orders the contruction of the then capital, Angkor
The Siamese (Thais) invaded Angkor
The French invaded Cambodia and made it a Protectorate as part of French Indochina
Japanese troops occupied Cambodia. King Norodom Sihanouk was crowned.
9 November 1953:
Cambodia gained independence from France
King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in favour of his father Norodom Suramarit
The United States bombeb Cambodia. Between 1965 and 1975, between 700,000 and 1.4 Million Cambodians were either injured or dead due to the U.S. Bombardements.
18 March 1970:
Sihanouk was overthrown by General Lon Nol who then started a republic.
17 April 1975:
The 3 Million citizens from Phnom Penh moved into the countryside, as the Khmer Rouge led by Pol Pot invaded.
Cambodia renamed Democratic Kampuchea
7 January 1979:
Vietnamese Troops invaded Cambodia against the Khmer Rouge. Heng Samrin was named the head of state.
The Vietnamese troops left
Cambodia was monitored by the United Nations with a peacekeeping force (also known as UNTAC "United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia")
The Khmer Rouge boycotted the elections
24 September 1993:
Cambodia was restored as a monarchy, however this time Constitutional. Norodom Sihanouk was crowned as King.
Pol Pot died before facing trial
14 October 2004:
King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated. His son Norodom Sihamoni was crowned as his successor.
The Irrawaddy Dolphins
Although sometimes called the Irrawaddy River Dolphin, it is not a true river dolphin but an oceanic dolphin that lives near coasts and enters rivers, including the Mekong River and in Cambodia, the dolphins are usually sighted near Kratie, a place known as Kampie.
The Irrawaddy Dolphin has a small, slightly curved dorsal fin and a tapered body. It has long flippers and its blowhole is set slightly to the left. The body color is dark gray above, light gray below. There is no beak and the face can easily change expression. Like the Beluga, the head can move freely due to the fact that only two vertebrae are fused. The upper jaw has 17-20 pairs of teeth, the lower jaw, 15-18 pairs. Body length is between 2.15-2.75m, and weight is between 90-150kg.
The Irrawaddy dolphins usually swim in groups of six, or less. They rarely show themselves above the surface of the water, but sometimes may make low horizontal leaps. They may also do something called 'spyhopping', which is the name given to the activity of poking their heads out of the water - perhaps to have a good look around! They have also been seen to spit out water from their mouths whilst spy-hopping! The Irrawaddy dolphin species do not ride the waters infront of the bows of boats, but they do have a special relationship with fisherman on the Irrawaddy and Mekong rivers, by driving fish into their nets.
... About the Mekong River
The Mekong is one of the world's major rivers. It is the 12th longest in the world, and the 10th largest by volume (discharging 475 km³ of water annually). It drains an area of 795,000 km²: from Tibet it runs through China, Myanmar, Thailand, Laos, Cambodia and Vietnam. All except China belong to the Mekong River Commission. The extreme seasonal variations in flow and the presence of rapids and waterfalls have made navigation extremely difficult.
...I urge all travellers
to be aware of the eco-system when visiting the dolphins site when in Cambodia. As the Irrawaddy Dolphins are near to extinction, please play your part to save and protect them.
- Pros:Awesome Temples and Friendly People
- Cons:Beggars in Phnom Penh
- In a nutshell:Great Place! Go... go... go. You won't regret it!
US$8 for Room with Fan (Can sleep 2 pax) US$12 for Room with Air-Conditioned (Can sleep 2 pax) Good hospitality and... more travel advice
Yummy and situated along the Sisowath Quay. Nice place to chill out. Hawaiian Pizza more travel advice
- See All Vietnam to Cambodia Overland
- See All Best Place to Shop for Souvenirs
- Slippers, Sturdy Camera Bag, Head Scarf
bkoon's Related Pages
Cambodia Travel Guide
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