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Angkor Wat Temple in the Kingdom of Cambodia - Hostels247.com blog
Kingdom of Cambodia Ancient but looking to the future

Covering an area of 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), with a geography dominated by the Tonlé Sap Lake and Mekong River, Cambodia (officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia) is a south-east Asian country bordering Thailand to the north and west, Laos to the northeast, and Vietnam to the east and southeast.

Once a powerful and rich Khmer and Hindu empire, Cambodia has struggled through years of political instability, poverty and bloodshed. With the Vietnamese and Thai kingdoms fighting over it, the struggle of Cambodia continued for several years. Kampuchea (Cambodia’s old name) continued to be a French colony after the war, and eventually gained independence in the year 1953.

Phnom Penh is the kingdom's capital/largest city, and the centre of commercial, industrial, political and cultural activities, with Siem Reap as the gateway to the Angkor region. Battambang, the largest province in north-western Cambodia is known for its rice production, and Sihanoukville, a coastal city, is the primary sea port and beach resort.

With a climate dominated by monsoons, known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences, Cambodia is home to the imposing temple of Angkor Wat and other Angkorian temples. A UN heritage site built between the ninth and 13th centuries by the Khmer kings, the temple complex is the main destination for tourism, and a big draw for visitors.

Aside the Angkorian temples, the Angkor archaeological park and Bokor National Park are places to enjoy as well. With its floating village, a visit to largest freshwater lake in Asia “The Tonle Sap” is also a must. You can also see the Mekong dolphins at Kratie, take an elephant ride in the jungles of Mondulkiri Province or simply choose a beach near Sihanoukville, or the city of Kampong Cham, which has a bamboo bridge and the beautiful Nokor Wat.

Alternatively, you can just choose to relax in the sleepy seaside town of Kampot, in a country beautifully strewn with vast tropical wilderness, an abundance of natural attractions, thundering waterfalls and pristine crater lakes.

Khmer is the official language in Cambodia but Thai, English and French are also well understood.  The official Cambodian currency is Riel, and the American dollar is also widely used.

Textiles and tourism are the two main earners for Cambodia's economy. The tourism industry has grown rapidly, but the long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge.

Cambodia, while becoming a popular travel destination its not quite on the same power as Thailand, Malaysia, or other popular destinations in south east Asia, but its quickly catching up, at least for backpackers and budget travellers. You may not find your usual western outlets and fast food chains, but food is reasonably priced and very tasty. There are few luxury hotels and a lot of budget hotels accommodations and cheap place to stay. The ways on getting around depends on which city, transport are better in big cities than if your travelling to rural areas or remote villages.

Cambodian’s are welcoming to foreigners and always willing to learn, worth remembering that different cultures have different ways of life. Rural areas and villages lack infrastructures which exist in big cities but Road network are being extended to rural areas also

The Cambodian people have an unbreakable spirit and infectious optimism, which has helped them to prevail during the dark times, keeping their smiles intact. It is well known that; no visitor comes away from Cambodia without a measure of admiration and affection for the inhabitants of this enigmatic kingdom.

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