Cambodian Randomness (December 2011)

RanJungle Temple - Cambodia

Random things I learned about Cambodia (December 2011):

  • It’s primary industry is agriculture though tourism is a close second particularly in Siem Reap, mostly due to the popularity of Angkor Wat.
  • Transactions are typically completed in US Dollars. It’s the standard currency accepted everywhere aside from the local currency.
  • Toyota Camry is the most popular used car in Cambodia.
  • Americans need a visa to enter the country. (Note: Visa on Arrival is available)
  • Children go to school through Saturday. There are usually two sessions (morning and afternoon) and children are assigned to the A.M. or P.M. depending on their age.
  • You can rear pigs in the floating village (Siem Reap) – literally on the river. Really!
  • Children as young as 5-years old were padding canoes/boats in the river by themselves or with another sibling (usually a little older). Kids living on the river, go to school via paddle boat/canoe.
  • Khmer houses are typically raised as much as three meters on stilts for protection from floods every year.
  • Those who run their own businesses or own them are believed to be “wealthy” by local standards.
  • Cambodia’s imports mostly come from Thailand.
  • The king of Cambodia is merely a figurehead. It’s the prime minister who really has power in government.
  • Tipping is encouraged.
  • Approximately 95% of people in Cambodia are Buddhist.
  • Rice is a primary staple.
  • It was a former French colony.
  • Khmer houses are usually raised as much as three meters on stilts for protection from floods.
  • There are close to 200 temples in Siem Reap.
  • “Wat” means “temple.”
  • Cambodian weddings generally last three days with multiple ceremonies, worship rituals and celebrations.
  • Driver’s honk when passing another vehicle.
  • It’s common to see a vehicle merge unsafely into incoming traffic to make a turn, pass or get into a shopping lot.  Not much in the way of safety on the road (e.g., no helmet laws, kids riding pillion with another sibling while dad rides his scooter etc.)
  • Cambodia became a tourist hot spot thanks to Angelina Jolie’s movie, “Tomb Raider”.