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10 Interesting Facts about Cambodia You Should Learn Today

Over the last few years, a vast number of such enthusiasts have visited Cambodia, and even more keep scouring through the internet on a daily basis to find information about the country that could help them in their travel pursuits. We decided to dedicate this blog to people who seek knowledge about an ancient land steeped in history, tradition, and culture. Over the course of this blog, you will learn 10 interesting facts about Cambodia that will tell you more about the country and will inspire you to visit it in the near future.

★ Fact 1: Cambodia Has Seen More Name Changes than Any Other Country

While we all refer to the country as just Cambodia, you might not know that its official name is ‘The Kingdom of Cambodia’. However, before 1993 and the restoration of the constitutional monarchy, the official name of the country was ‘the State of Cambodia’.

Over the last 7 decades, the official name of the country has changed multiple times. In the following list, you can find out all the official names that Cambodia has had since 1953 to add to your list of interesting facts about Cambodia.

•  1953 – 1970 (under monarch rule): The Kingdom of Cambodia
•  1970 – 1975 (under the rule of then-President Lon Nol): The Khmer Republic
•  1975 – 1979 (under the ruthless regime of the Khmer Rouge): Democratic Kampuchea
•  1979 – 1989 (under the Vietnamese-sponsored government’s rule): The People’s Republic of Kampuchea
•  1989 – 1993 (under the rule of the UN Transitional Assembly): The State of Cambodia
•  1993 – present (under the rule of the restored monarchy): The Kingdom of Cambodia

★ Fact 2: Cambodia Is One of the World’s Youngest Countries (Based on Average Population Age)

Cambodian Teenagers
Cambodian Teenagers
One of the most interesting facts about Cambodia is that unlike most other countries on the planet, half of the country’s population is 15 years old or younger. That’s why you can spot young and lively faces almost everywhere you travel to within the country.

The reason for such a young average age is simple. Under the Khmer Rouge regime that gripped the entire country in terror in the ‘70s, almost 3 million people of the then-8 million-strong Cambodian population was wiped out. Among those were thousands of elderly people, which is why today, the average age is what it is.

★ Fact 3: In Cambodia, Fast Food Chains Are Running on Losses

Fast-food chains such as Burger King, McDonald’s and KFC are present all over the globe and their profit margins in most places are off the charts. However, that’s not the case in Cambodia, where people have stuck to their roots and continue to mainly have their traditional food.

Read More: Top 5 Cambodian Street Foods

★ Fact 4: Cambodia’s National Flag Is Unique

Cambodia’s national flag happens to be the only national flag on the planet that features a monument, which makes for another interesting fact about Cambodia. The country’s most famous tourist destination, the Angor Wat temple, is the monument featured on the national flag.

★ Fact 5: There Are No Birthday Celebrations in the Majority of the Country

While birthday celebrations are extremely common across western societies, you may find it hard to believe that most of Cambodia’s population has no idea regarding their birthdays; an interesting fact about Cambodia that is quite unusual.

Even though some youngsters have caught on with the concept of celebrating birthdays, most of the people just know which season they were born in.

★ Fact 6: People Throw Talcum Powder and Water at Each Other During the Khmer New Year

The Khmer New Year, locally known as Chaul Chnam Thmey, sees some of the craziest celebrations and festivities in Cambodia. One of the practices during this festive period is to throw water and talcum powder at each other.

This interesting fact about Cambodia may sound crazy, but that’s how it is. As a result, you can find a lot of people during this period returning home with completely wet clothes and white faces. Even though the practice has faced legal objections in the capital Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, it continues to be practiced in all the other towns and villages.

Read More: Top 5 Traditional Festivals in Cambodia

★ Fact 7: Cambodia Has the World’s Most Expensive and Elaborate Funerals

Considering the simple nature of Cambodian people, it is an interesting fact about Cambodia that the natives spend a lot of money on their funerals. The average expense for a funeral is around a whopping $9,000.

This is one of the most interesting facts about Cambodia as the average monthly income of working Cambodians is only around $100. For funerals, all close family members contribute their life savings to the cause. The funerals are very elaborate as well, often lasting for seven weeks.

★ Fact 8: There are more than 4 million Active Landmines in the Country

Even though a fragile sort of peace has been established in Cambodia, every year almost 30 people die from landmines. This is due to the fact
Food in Cambodia
Traditional Food in Cambodia

that the rural regions of the country still have over 4 million active landmines.

Read More: Cambodia Landmine Museum

★ Fact 9: Cambodians Use the Same Word for Rice and Food in Their Native Language

One of the coolest interesting facts about Cambodia is that in their native Khmer language, Cambodians use the same word to indicate both rice and food. This is due to the fact that rice is Cambodia’s staple food item. Rice is part and parcel of probably every type of authentic Cambodian food, even desserts.

★ Fact 10: Cambodia Is a Moped Country

The total population of Cambodia is estimated at around 1.5 million. The total number of mopeds in the country is estimated at around 1.3 million. So you can understand how important mopeds are as a mode of transport for the locals.

So now that you have gone through the 10 most interesting facts about Cambodia, we hope you visit the country and experience some of them with your own eyes!

Read More: A Brief Introduction to Cambodia History

See Also:

10 Things to Know Before Backpacking Cambodia