Last updated on March 10th, 2020
11 Interesting facts about Angkor Wat
42. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest religious monument, covering an area of 162.6 hectares.
43. The temple was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century.
44. The temple was initially a Hindu temple. However, gradually it got transformed into a Buddhist temple by the end of the 12th century.
45. Angkor Wat means “Temple City” or “City of Temples” in Khmer.
46. A Portuguese monk – António da Madalena – one of the first Western visitors to the temple, said that it “is of such extraordinary construction that it is not possible to describe it with a pen.
47. Almost half of the international tourists coming to Cambodia come to visit the Angkor Wat. Angkor Wat ticket sales generated $20 million in revenue during the first three months of 2016.
48. The temple, unlike various other temples in its vicinity, faces the west – a direction that is associated with death. The norm at the time was to build temples pointing east.
49. The exact reason for such orientation by the builders of the temple is yet unknown. However, generally, the structure is regarded as a funerary temple.
50. The region of Angkor has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 1992. There are a total of three such sites, the other two are:
- Temple of Preah Vihear (2008)
- Temple Zone of Sambor Prei Kuk, Archaeological Site of Ancient Ishanapura (2017)
51. The temple is undergoing restoration work. Most of the restoration work is sponsored through foreign aid. And only about 28% of the revenue generated from the sale of tickets to visitors is spent on the temple’s restoration work.
52. The temple also featured in the movie “Tomb Raider.” The movie’s production house was charged $10,000 per day for seven days of filming there.
Some funny facts about Cambodia
53. There are 1.3 million mopeds in Cambodia for a population of over 1.5 million people. Thus, you can find mopeds almost everywhere you find people in the country.
54. KFC, the American fast food giant is losing money in Cambodia, which is the only country where they are not profitable. There are only 6 of these fast food centers in Cambodia. Surprised? Cambodia also does not have McDonalds (nor does Ghana and Yemen).
55. An estimated four million landmines are still to be cleared from Cambodia.
56. Cambodians do not celebrate their birthdays. Many older people do not even know how old they are.
57. Cambodia has a young population. Most of its population is under 20 years of age.
58. Funerals are quite expensive in Cambodia, and one may cost an average of $9,000. The procedure typically lasts more than 49 days, and the body is preserved for the first seven.
Cambodia – country at a glance
|Independence||09 November 1953 (from France)|
|Capital City||Phnom Penh|
|Largest City||Phnom Penh|
|Total area||181,035 sq km|
|Population||16,926,984 (July 2020 est.)|
|Official Language||Khmer (official) 96.3%, other 3.7% (2008 est.)|
|National Anthem||Nokor Reach|
|Religion||Buddhist (official) 96.9%, Muslim 1.9%, Christian 0.4%, other 0.8% (2008 est.)|
|Suffrage||18 years of age; universal|
|Borders||Thailand, Vietnam, Laos|
|Literacy rate||total population: 80.5%|
|Life expectancy at birth||65.9 Years (2020)|
Life expectancy at birth indicates the number of years a newborn infant would live if prevailing patterns of mortality at the time of its birth were to stay the same throughout its life.
|Climate||tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation|
|Terrain||mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north|
|Mean elevation||126 m|
|Lowest point||Gulf of Thailand 0 m|
|Highest point||Phnum Aoral 1,810 m|
|Natural resources||oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential, arable land|
|Birth rate||21.3 births/1,000 population (2020 est.)|
|Death rate||7.3 deaths/1,000 population (2020 est.)|
|Sex ratio||0.94 male(s)/female (2020 est.)|
|Government type||parliamentary constitutional monarchy|
|Monarch (King)||Norodom Sihamoni|
|Prime Minister||Hun Sen|
|President of the Senate||Say Chhum|
|National symbols||Angkor Wat temple, kouprey (wild ox)|
|National colors||red, blue|
|National anthem||"Nokoreach" (Royal Kingdom)|
|Industries||tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles|
|Exports||$11.42 billion (2017 est.)|
clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
|Imports||$14.37 billion (2017 est.)|
petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
|GDP - per capita (PPP)||$4,000 (2017 est.)|
|Internet country code||.kh|
|Drives on the||Right|
|Table last updated||March 30, 2020|