Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country with a population of more than 13 million people, many of whom live in the capital city of Phnom Penh.
Historically, Cambodia is the successor state to the powerful Buddhist and Hindu Khmer Empire which ruled most of the Indochinese Lower Peninsula between the eleventh and the fourteenth centuries AD.
Geographically, it is dominated by the Mekong River flowing throughout the country. Of late, tourism has gripped the country with almost two million visitors in 2006.
Places to visit
The Khmer culture is an old one with its own distinctive style of dance, architecture and culture. Visitors can see the Angkor Wat or “city temple”, which is the best example of historic Khmer architecture dating back to the Angkorian era. There are hundreds of temples from this culture in which to visit. For museum-goers, there is the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, which speaks to the genocide that took place during the Khmer rouge. Visitors can tour the infamous prison of the Khmer Rouge as well as Choeung Ek, one of the main killing fields of the Khmer Rouge.
The best attended festival in Cambodia is called the Bonn Om Teuk or the “Festival of Boat Racing”. This is an annual boat rowing race held at the end of the rainy season in Cambodia, when the waters of the Mekong River is sinking back to normal levels allowing the Tonle Sap River to flow in reverse.
Approximately ten percent of the entire country attends this event where games are played, inhabitants give thanks to the moon, share in fireworks displays and attend the boat racing. Other games include cockfighting, soccer and hacky sack-like games are played. There are famous singers and bazaars for visitors and Cambodians alike to enjoy and experience.
Soccer is one of the more popular sports in Cambodia and they have a Cambodia National Football Team. Other sports, like volleyball, bodybuilding, field hockey, rugby and baseball have gained in popularity over the years. Even so, boat racing remains one of the most popular sports in this country. Martial arts are practiced in the traditional ways.