Cambodian Randomness (December 2011)
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”.