"MORE THAN JUST THE ANGKOR TEMPLES" Top 5 Page for this destination Cambodia by bkoon

Cambodia Travel Guide: 9,231 reviews and 26,491 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

H*A*P*P*Y........ T*R*A*V*E*L*S



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.

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 km≥ of water annually). It drains an area of 795,000 km≤: 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.

Thanks For Visiting

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Awesome Temples and Friendly People
  • Cons:Beggars in Phnom Penh
  • In a nutshell:Great Place! Go... go... go. You won't regret it!
  • Last visit to Cambodia: Dec 2003
  • Intro Updated May 9, 2016
  • Add to Trip Planner (?)
  • Report Abuse

Reviews (132)

Comments (63)

  • anupnoida's Profile Photo
    Jul 25, 2013 at 1:52 AM

    lovely place you must go

  • berkeleybear's Profile Photo
    Nov 26, 2010 at 7:51 PM

    Awesome pages - I hope to get there someday!

  • Nov 6, 2010 at 12:18 AM

    Thank you for your information. however, i cant find the website of Cozyna hotel? Is Cozyna hotel same onwer of Hotel Cozyna Angkor? thank you very much.

  • sandiboy's Profile Photo
    Mar 22, 2010 at 12:25 AM

    hey ! thanks a lot , will be visiting cambodiad in april 2nd week ,nice tips sandi

  • Robdaz's Profile Photo
    Aug 15, 2009 at 2:31 AM

    Excellent, lots of facts and useful info. Will be planning a trip to see the temples in the near future. cheers Rob

  • goutammitra's Profile Photo
    Jun 22, 2009 at 6:52 PM

    Nice page. I have not finished. Shall come back soon.

  • Helenbb's Profile Photo
    Jun 30, 2008 at 8:39 PM

    yes. its a great place. i will go go go... next month :))

  • Bilimari's Profile Photo
    May 12, 2008 at 2:26 PM

    Hi bee, I'm thinking of visiting Cambodia later this year. Your page offers lots of great information in very organized way. Thanks! -Motoko-

  • Dec 31, 2007 at 12:25 PM

    Happy new year 2008! Nikos from Greece and Emmy from Thailand.

  • Oct 25, 2007 at 1:55 AM

    If he helped you and acted as your guide, why would you not give him a tip? Seems very mean spirited.


“Trust the process... Trust your intuition... Thoughts become things...”

Online Now


Top 1,000 Travel Writer
Member Rank:
0 0 2 1 1

Badges & Stats in Cambodia

  • 132 Reviews
  • 160 Photos
  • 58 Forum posts
  • 25,336PageViews
  • 0 Cities

Have you been to Cambodia?

  Share Your Travels  

Travel Interests

See All Travel Interests (5)