Whether you are knowledgeable about Cambodia’s history or not, you will be hard pushed not to find it extremely interesting when you are here. Whether you are walking around the ancient temples surrounding Angkor Wat, visiting the genocide museum or simply chatting to locals, it’s always good to learn a little about a county’s background and Cambodia has plenty of stories that will blow you away!
Sadly, when one thinks of Cambodia, one of the first subjects that springs to mind is that of the Khmer Rouge and the infamous Killing Fields.
The Khmer Rouge was a Cambodian communist movement, which, led by Pol Pot, took control of Cambodia in 1975 and ruled for four years until they were overthrown in 1979 when the Vietnamese took control of Phnom Penh. During those four years, Cambodia was turned into a mass detention centre and roughly a quarter of the population lost their lives. Approximately 2-3 million innocent citizens died due to lack of access to medication, exhaustion, starvation and execution. It’s a brutal story and a very sobering experience to learn more about the history while visiting the Killing Fields or S21 Genocide Museum in Phnom Penh.
The ancient Angkorian temples are also mind-boggling. From the UNESCO World Heritage Site of Angkor Wat (the largest religious monument in the world), to the lesser known smaller temples still hidden in the jungle, the archaeological achievements of roughly one thousand years ago still stand tall today. It’s believed that the city of Angkor in Cambodia was once home to roughly one million people and was the largest city in the world! While Angkor Wat is undoubtedly the most impressive, we enjoy taking our motorbike tours in Cambodia to the more remote temples, still hidden away in the forests. To witness these ancient monuments with no other tourist sight and nothing but the sound of the jungle is quite a special experience.