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Cambodia Overview

 
 

Tourism in Cambodia is one of the most important sectors in Cambodia's economy. In 2012, tourism arrivals increased by 24.8 percent year on year, with business travelers increasing 47 percent.

Travel warnings due to political violence : On Friday, 20 September 2013 the Australian government issued a travel advisory on Cambodia concerning 'civil unrest/political tension ongoing political protests' saying 'We advise Australians to exercise a high degree of caution in Phnom Penh in light of the discovery of two improvised explosive devices in the city on 13 September 2013 and the expectation that protest activity in Phnom Penh may continue. We continue to advise Australians to exercise normal safety precautions elsewhere in Cambodia.

 
 
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Cambodia Tourism

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Popular Locations of Cambodia

 

1. Angkor - Wat
2. Combodia City
3. National Museum
4. Banteay Srei
5. Koh Ker
6. Kratie
7. Bokor Hill Station
8. Silver Pagoda
9. Tonle Sap
10. Sihanoukville
11. Preah Vihear
12. Siem Reap

 

 
 
 

Tourism in Cambodia is one of the most important sectors in Cambodia's economy. In 2012, tourism arrivals increased by 24.8 percent year on year, with business travelers increasing 47 percent.

The main marketing slogan for promoting Cambodia internationally is the "Kingdom of Wonder". It's designed to demonstrate 3 key elements:

1. Cultural Attractions - a unique cultural heritage spanning more than a thousand years of history.

2. Natural Attractions - astonishing scenery with dense, unexplored mountains, forest, rivers, caves and waterfalls.

3. People and Traditions - Cambodians are extremely hospitable, resilient, welcoming and kind. Smiles are heartfelt.

 
 

People have been living within the area covered by the present-day country of Cambodia at least since the 5th millennium BCE. The ancient Kingdom of Funan occupied a wider area, and it was during that period that the culture became heavily influenced by Hinduism.

The state of Chenla then arose. The Khmer Empire had its golden age in the 9th to the 13th centuries, when huge temple complexes were built, most notably Angkor Wat.

Spanish and Portuguese missionaries visited from the 16th century, and Cambodia became a protectorate of France in the 19th century, being ruled as part of French Indochina.

Cambodia became an independent kingdom in 1953 under Sihanouk. The Vietnam War extended into Cambodia, giving rise to the Khmer Rouge, which took Phnom Penh in 1975 and carried out a campaign of mass killing. Following an invasion by Vietnam, the Khmer Rouge were deposed and the People's Republic of Kampuchea was established.

After years of isolation, the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy in 1993 and has seen rapid economic progress while rebuilding from decades of civil war.

 
   
 

Cambodia Culture

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Throughout Cambodia's long history, religion has been a major source of cultural inspiration. Over nearly two millennia, Cambodians have developed a unique Khmer belief from the syncreticism of indigenous animistic beliefs and the Indian religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

Indian culture and civilization, including its languages and arts reached mainland Southeast Asia around the 1st century AD. It is generally believed that seafaring merchants brought Indian customs and culture to ports along the Gulf of Thailand and the Pacific en route to trade with China.

The Kingdom of Funan was most probably the first Khmer state to benefit from this influx of Indian ideas. Cambodia is predominantly Buddhist with 90% of the population being Theravada Buddhist, 1% Christian and the majority of the remaining population follow Islam, atheism, or animism.

The golden age of Cambodia was between the 9th and 14th century, during the Angkor period, during which it was a powerful and prosperous empire that flourished and dominated almost all of inland Southeast Asia.

Angkor would eventually collapse after much in-fighting between royalty and constant warring with its increasingly powerful neighbors, notably Siam and Dai Viet.

Many temples from this period however, like Bayon and Angkor Wat still remain today, scattered throughout Thailand, Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam as a reminder of the grandeur of Khmer arts and culture.

Cambodia's unparalleled achievements in art, architectures, music, and dance during this period have had a great influence on many neighboring kingdoms, namely Thailand and Laos.

The effect of Angkorian culture can still be seen today in those countries, as they share many close characteristics with current-day Cambodia.

Jayavarman I is considered by some to be the first king of the Khmer empire, as it evolved out of the Kamboja kingdom (also called Chenla in Chinese). He ruled from approximately 657 to 681.

Over the course of his reign, and that of his predecessor Bhavavarman II, the Khmer kings' power was consolidated in the areas previously controlled by the Funan culture. However, Jayavarman left no male heirs, which led to the division of Cambodia and a return to earlier anarchic conditions.

Jayavarman II was a 9th-century king of Cambodia, widely recognized as the founder of the Khmer Empire, which ruled much of the Southeast Asian mainland for more than six hundred years.

Historians formerly dated his reign as running from 802 AD to 850 AD, but some scholars now have set it back to 770–835 AD. Before Jayavarman II came to power, there was much fighting among local overlords who ruled different parts of Cambodia. The country was not unified under one ruler.

Cambodia's ancient name is "Kambuja".In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king marking the beginning of the Khmer Empire which flourished for over 600 years allowing successive kings to dominate much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth.

The Indianized kingdom built monumental temples such as Angkor Wat and facilitated the spread of first Hinduism, then Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia. After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, Cambodia was ruled as a vassal between its neighbors until it was colonized by the French in the mid-19th century.

Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into Cambodia, giving rise to the Khmer Rouge, which took Phnom Penh in 1975. Cambodia reemerged several years later within a socialistic sphere of influence as the People's Republic of Kampuchea until 1993.

After years of isolation, the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy in 1993 and has seen rapid progress in the economic and human resource areas while rebuilding from decades of civil war. Cambodia has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with economic growth averaging 6 percent for the last 10 years.

Strong textiles, agriculture, construction, garments, and tourism sectors led to foreign investments and international trade. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, and once commercial extraction begins in 2013, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy.

 
   
 

Cambodia Cuisine

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Popular Food in Cambodia

1. Fried Prahok Meal

2. Amok Cambodian Curry

3. Bai Sach Chrouk - Pork and Rice

4. Fish Amok

5. Khmer Red Curry

6. Kdam Chaa - Fried Crab

7. Fried Fish on the Fire Lake

8. Cha Houy Teuk - Jelly Dessert

9. Ang Dtray Meuk - Grilled Squid

10. Lap Khmer - Lime - Marinated Khmer Beef Salad

11. Nom Banh Chok - Khmer Noodles

12. Fish Salad

 

 
     
 

Cambodia Shopping

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New Central Market (Phsar Thmey):
Krama's (Red and White Checked Scarves), Stationery, Household items, Clothes for Sarongs, Flowers and Second Hand Clothes, usually from Europe and the US.

Tuol Tom Pong Market (Russian market):
Souvenir Shopping, Real and Fake Antiquities, Miniature Buddha's, Silk, Silver Jewelry, Gems, Video, Ganja. T-shirts, Trousers, Jackets or Shoes.

 

 
 

Psar O Russei:
Luxury Food Stuffs, Costume Jewellery, Imported Toiletries, Second-Hand and new Clothes, and some Electrical Devices, Labyrinth with hundreds of small overloaded stalls. It's worth popping in if you want to experience an older Khmer-style Market.

 

 
   
 

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