Today marks the 40th anniversary of the Khmer Rouge regime in Cambodia. 40 years ago, the Khmer Rouge tried to create a self-sufficient society, and their genocide lead to 2 million deaths – execution, starvation, disease.
Cambodia has emerged from the intense suffering from the Pol Pot’s regime, and the country is gradually maturing and growing.
Here are 10 reasons to go visit Cambodia.
1. For Angkor Wat and other (less crowded) temples
Breathtaking and mystique, Angkor Wat is with no doubt Cambodia’s national symbol (also represented on their flag).
It is impossible to understand how massive this temple is until you visit it. For people who hate crowds, Angkor Wat is only one of many many great temples in Cambodia – Ta Prohm, Angkor Thom, Ta Keo, just to name a few, are well worth a visit.
2. For its History
Cambodia glorious history was recently tainted with blood. And to fully understand modern Cambodia, you have to step into their bloody communist history.
3. For its people
Despite its recent dark history (think about it, everyone over 40 has experience the Khmer Rouge regime, everyone over 40 has lost a close family member during the communist regime), the Cambodian people are charming, and will make your trip memorable.
Their joie-de-vivre is infectious, and nearly everything there feels genuine.
4. For the fantastic food
Many people believe that Cambodia and Thailand share the same food. While they share some similarities, Cambodian food has much more refined flavors.
Lok Lak beef, fish or chicken amok and different types of Curry are a few of the delicacies one should try when in Cambodia.
5. For the museums
There are part of history that shouldn’t be forgotten, and that’s the story museums in Cambodia are telling you. Tuol Sleng museum and the Killing Fields museum are an eye opener about human atrocities.
If you want something much less depressing, the National Museum offers nice exhibits of Khmer art, dress, religion and much archaeology.
6. For its markets
The markets in Cambodia are where the locals like to shop. Be prepared to bargain! The Central Market has an interesting architecture, and has something for everyone.
7. For Battambang
There’s something about Battambang every visitor just love! This city is much more relaxing than Phnom Penh, and is the perfect place to discover rural Cambodia.
8. For its value
Cambodia remains a very affordable destination. If you are trying to travel on a budget, you can easily travel on a 20-30$ day budget.
9. For its pajamas
If you like your pajamas, the Khmers bring Pajamas fashion to a new level. You will often see Cambodian women walk around, shop, work wearing pajamas. Sarong by night, and Pajamas by day!
10. For the life changing experience
When visiting the country, seeing how the people there are happy, it is difficult to believe that this country has lost in a fairly recent past 1/5 of its population in only a few years.
Visiting Cambodia puts all your little problems in a new perspective.