Remember the scene in the Disney movie Jungle Book where Mowgli and some naughty apes race through an abandoned city? Ancient, abandoned cities like the one in the movie really do exist. In Cambodia lies the remains of Angkor, a huge city built by the Khmer Empire between the ninth and 15th centuries.
The city contains many temples built to worship Hindu gods. It also has huge reservoirs and canals to control the waters that flood Cambodia during monsoon season. Today, people live near Angkor in small villages, but the city is completely empty except for tourists.
Cambodia is a country located in Southeast Asia, bordered by Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. It has a rich history, including the Khmer Empire, which built the famous Angkor Wat temple complex. In the 1970s, Cambodia experienced a devastating genocide under the rule of the Khmer Rouge. Today, Cambodia is a developing country with a growing economy and tourism industry but still faces challenges such as poverty and corruption.
Cambodia Facts for Kids
- Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia.
- Its capital is Phnom Penh.
- The official language is Khmer.
- The currency is the Cambodian Riel.
- It’s famous for Angkor Wat, a huge temple complex.
- The Tonle Sap Lake is the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia.
- The country’s flag features Angkor Wat.
- The main religion is Theravada Buddhism.
- Traditional food includes “amok”, a coconut curry.
- Over half of its population is under 25 years old.
Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation with a rich cultural past, is of interest to people of all ages. The ancient Khmer Empire, from the 9th to the 15th century, left architectural wonders like Angkor Wat. Known for advanced agriculture and water management systems, it thrived. Recently, Cambodia faced the dark Khmer Rouge regime (1975-1979), causing suffering and loss of life. Now peaceful and developing, children can explore its history, landscapes, and traditions, understanding the resilience of Cambodian people.
Cambodian culture is a captivating blend of ancient traditions and modern influences, making it an exciting topic for exploration. Central to its culture is the rich history of the Khmer Empire, which ruled from the 9th to the 15th century. The magnificent temples of Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage site, exemplify the architectural and artistic achievements of this time.
Dance and music, such as the elegant Apsara dance and traditional instruments like the roneat and Khmer flute, play significant roles. Cambodia also has a strong textile industry, with the krama scarf being a versatile accessory. The country’s cuisine offers a delicious mix of flavors, with fish amok being a national favorite. Overall, Cambodian culture provides a unique and captivating experience for children to learn about and appreciate.
Angkor Wat and Khmer Architecture
Cambodia houses the renowned Angkor Wat temple, an impressive example of Khmer architecture that may intrigue kids. Angkor Wat, translating to ‘Temple City’ in Khmer, was initially constructed as a Hindu temple in the 12th century by King Suryavarman II but later became a Buddhist temple.
This remarkable site in Siem Reap is the world’s largest religious monument, spanning around 500 acres. The temple exhibits the classical Khmer architectural style, featuring elaborate carvings, towering structures, and vast stone buildings. Angkor Wat’s walls display exquisite bas-reliefs illustrating Hindu mythology and King Suryavarman II’s life. Visiting this ancient site provides children with a distinctive insight into Cambodia’s rich past and the Khmer people’s skilled artistry.
Cambodian cuisine, also known as Khmer cuisine, is a unique part of the country’s culture that kids may find intriguing. Popular dishes include Amok, a creamy coconut curry often made with fish, chicken, or tofu and served in a banana leaf. Rice, a staple food, is typically eaten with most meals. Cambodian food is known for its blend of flavors, such as sweet, salty, sour, and spicy elements in one dish.
Fresh fruits, vegetables, and herbs like mango, pineapple, cucumber, and mint are also common in Cambodian cooking. Street food is popular, offering snacks like Num Pang (a Cambodian sandwich) or Lort Cha (stir-fried rice noodles). Cambodian cuisine reflects the country’s history and the influence of various cultures, including Indian, Chinese, and French culinary traditions.
The Cambodian Genocide
Cambodia, a Southeast Asian nation with a rich cultural past, experienced a dark period during the Cambodian Genocide. Between 1975 and 1979, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, controlled the country, aiming for an agrarian society. Nearly 2 million Cambodians, including children, lost their lives due to forced labor, starvation, and mass executions.
The genocide targeted educated individuals and minority groups. This event had a lasting impact, with survivors still coping with trauma and loss. It is crucial for children to learn about this tragic chapter in Cambodia’s history to understand the importance of peace, tolerance, and human rights.
Cambodian Politics for Kids: Cambodia is a Southeast Asian country with a constitutional monarchy, which means it has a king and a prime minister leading the government. King Norodom Sihamoni and Prime Minister Hun Sen hold these positions.
The National Assembly made up of elected officials, creates laws and makes decisions for the country. Citizens 18 and older can vote in elections. Despite past political challenges, such as civil wars and the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia is now working to strengthen its democracy and improve citizens’ lives.
Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country, is known for its rich cultural history and landscapes. The economy has experienced rapid growth recently, with key industries being tourism, garments, construction, and agriculture. Clothing exports and tourist attractions like Angkor Wat contribute significantly to the economy.
Rice is the main agricultural crop, supporting many rural families. Despite progress, challenges in poverty reduction and infrastructure improvement remain. Continued growth and development are driving the economy in a positive direction.
Buddhism in Cambodia
Buddhism is a significant aspect of Cambodian culture and influences many daily activities. As the national religion, Theravada Buddhism is practiced by approximately 95% of the population. Introduced during the Khmer Empire, Cambodian customs, traditions, and holidays are linked to Buddhist beliefs, such as the three-day ‘Khmer New Year’ celebration involving temple offerings, family gatherings, and traditional games.
Cambodia has thousands of temples, known as ‘wats,’ for worship and community gatherings. The famous Angkor Wat, originally a Hindu temple, later became a Buddhist temple and symbolizes the country’s rich cultural heritage.
Cambodian Natural Environment
Cambodia’s natural environment offers diverse ecosystems for kids to explore, located in Southeast Asia. Home to ecosystems such as tropical rainforests and freshwater wetlands, the country hosts the Tonlé Sap Lake, Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake. During the rainy season, this lake expands significantly, providing a habitat for various fish species and migratory birds.
Cambodia’s forests house exotic wildlife, including rare species like the Indochinese tiger, Asian elephant, and Malayan sun bear. With its rich biodiversity, Cambodia also features breathtaking landscapes like the Cardamom Mountains, containing waterfalls, caves, and rivers for young adventurers to learn and connect with nature.
Tourism in Cambodia
Cambodia, a Southeast Asian country, offers a unique travel experience for families with its rich history, vibrant culture, and stunning landscapes. Attracting millions of tourists yearly, it is home to the famous ancient temple complex, Angkor Wat, a UNESCO World Heritage Site and the largest religious monument globally.
Children can also enjoy beautiful beaches, lush jungles, and wildlife sanctuaries, spotting exotic animals. Visiting the bustling capital, Phnom Penh provides insight into modern life and Cambodian history and culture through traditional markets, local food, and attractions like the Royal Palace and National Museum. Overall, Cambodia is an unforgettable family vacation destination.
Cambodia is a flat, forested land. Most of the people living here are farmers, growing rice, fruit and vegetables. People live in small houses built on stilts to protect them from the floods that come each year.
Cambodia has seen years of war and bloodshed. The Vietnam war trickled into Cambodia in the 1960s and Prince Norodom Sihanouk was removed from power in 1970. A few years later, Pol Pot’s Khmer Rouge gained control. This group killed more than 2 million people. Today, Sihanouk is the king again and the country has a constitutional monarchy. The king is the ruler, but he makes decisions with other leaders.
Fun Facts about Cambodia for Kids
- 13,329,000 people live in Cambodia.
- The country has 69,898 square miles of land.
- Most people speak Khmer, French and English.
- Buddhism is the main religion.
- People in Cambodia can expect to live 56 years.
- 70 percent of adults can read.
- Abandoned: left behind, empty
- Monsoon: a season of heavy rains
- Reservoirs: man-made lakes
- Monarchy: system of government ruled by kings or queens
- Stilts: wooden poles
All About Cambodia Video for Kids
Watch this awesome Cambodia video for kids:
This is a video presentation showcasing the culture, sites and animals in Cambodia.
Question: What is Cambodian culture like?
Answer: Cambodia has a rich history and culture. People believe in close families and show respect and courtesy. Cambodian dancers wear brightly colored costumes and perform traditional dances as they have for thousands of years. Cambodia has its own form of martial arts, similar to karate.
Map of Cambodia
Here’s a map of the country of Cambodia and all its cities and villages. Zoom in to get into street level or zoom out to see other countries around Cambodia! You can see the terrain, but also see the roads, images of the buildings and even take a 3D tour through the streets of the cities of Cambodia, as though you are actually there!