Fun Facts and Trivia about Vietnam

Planning a Cambodia tour? Here are some things you might not have known about the nation - and will enhance your visit.
Cambodia has seen name changes with the instalment of new governments. It has been known as the Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, the people's republic of Kampuchea, and is currently called the Kingdom of Cambodia. The nation is currently a constitutional monarchy - the king is Norodom Sihamoni.

During the four year rule under the Khmer Rouge, twenty percent of the population of Cambodia was murdered - those killed were predominantly monks, priests, and educated citizens. Pol Pot, the leader of the Khmer Rouge, sought to kill all educated or intellectual persons in the entire country in order to silence any dissenting voices within the population.

Currently, fifty percent of the population in Cambodia is under the age of fifteen.

Cambodia's largest source of income is the textile industry, followed by tourism.

It is taboo in this country to ever touch the head of another.

When sitting, it is customary to tuck the feet in, as pointing one's feet or soles at another (even an inanimate object) is considered to be disrespectful.

It is common in this country to have extended family groups living together under one roof - parents, grandparents, siblings, aunts and uncles.

Cambodia's national animal is the kouprey, a wild forest cow with long and curved horns. It is one of the world's rarest mammals.

A popular national festival is Bonn Om Teuk, or the Water Festival. It is celebrated each November when the wet monsoon season ends and the Mekong River begins to recede. Rowing races are a fun part of the festival.

The ancient city of Angkor Thom sustained a population of one hundred and fifty thousand people.

Cambodian cuisine is eclectic. Spiders are a local delicacy; fish is cooked using fruit; fermented fish is a staple in the diet; kaffir lime and fresh spices are used abundantly; and Cambodian cuisine is a melding of Thai, French, and Vietnamese influences.

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer; other languages spoke are Vietnamese, French, and English.

The Cambodian population are ninety percent ethnic Khmer or Theravada Buddhist. Five percent are Vietnamese, one percent is Chinese, and the remainder are comprised of many other nationalities.

The river Tonle Sap is the only river in the world to reverse its direction of flow annually.

Cambodia is a remarkable nation of rich history, filled with ancient sites of majestic empires and modern sites of extreme bloodshed and tragedy, interspersed in a picturesque and unique country. A guided Cambodia tour is a wonderful and safe way to experience this place for yourself, and can be a great stepping stone to other surrounding countries within the region.

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