Cambodia is probably best known for Angkor Wat and the terrible actions of the Khmer Rouge in the 1970’s. However, there is a lot more to this beautiful country and culture than you think. Here are a few things you might not know about Cambodia.
1) It’s home to one of the worlds rarest water wonders
Tonle Sap river is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, and is unique in that its flow changes direction twice a year.
From November to May its waters drains into the Mekong River and its enormous lake shrinks. When monsoon season begins in June, the lake is formed once again.
2) It’s a fantastic beach destination!
For many, Cambodia conjures images of winding rivers, forests and mountains, but it has a fantastic coastline too!
Stretching 275 miles along the Gulf of Thailand, it has arguably some of the best beaches in Asia, many of which can be found in the Sihanoukville province, surrounded by stunning national park forests.
3) They love (to eat) their spiders!
Deep fried insect snacks are available in markets all around the country. In fact, fried tarantula or ‘a-ping’ are a delicacy in Cambodia and a little place called Skuon prides itself on them – cripsy on the outside with a soft centre – mmm. There are of course plenty of good reasons to eat the hairy creepy-crawlies including the fact that they are high in protein, calories and packed full of vitamens and iron.
Would you like to try one?
4) Angkor Watt is just one of the many temples
Angkor Watt in Siem Reap may be the first that springs to mind when you think of Cambodia, but as this was the home of the Khmer empire back in the 9th to 15th centuires, there are literally hundreds of temples in the area…and many impressive ones in their own right. The lakes and resevoirs of Angkor are as big a part of the place and the culture as the buildings too. The biggest of the lakes (West Baray) is 5 miles long and 1.5 miles wide!
5) Dolphins, tigers, elephants and monkeys… Cambodia is full of wildlife!
Although often shy and difficult to spot, Cambodia is home to dhole, elephant, Leopard Cats, bear, monkey, tigers and more!
Unfortunately many of the counties unique species are currently endangered, and conservation organisations are working to save wildlife throughout the country. There is plenty of opportunity to get into the jungles and see these animals and some of the animals you will see more than others….like this little chap.