5 Unusual History Facts About Cambodia

Updated: 3 days ago

A history lesson you say? Yawn…

But when facts are interesting, then a good history lesson is well worth a read. Let us know what you think of these fascinating history facts about Cambodia.


1. Cambodia has been changing its name whenever a new government came into power over the past 60 years, starting and ending with “The Kingdom of Cambodia”:

  • The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1953-1970 (ruled by a monarchy)

  • The Khmer Republic: 1970-1975 (ruled by President Lon Nol's government)

  • Democratic Kampuchea: 1975-1979 (under Pol Pot's terrible Khmer Rouge regime)

  • The People's Republic of Kampuchea: 1979-1989 (under the rule of the Vietnamese sponsored government)

  • The State of Cambodia: 1989-1993 (under the United Nations Transitional Assembly)

  • The Kingdom of Cambodia: 1993-present (under the restored constitutional monarchy)

2. Not something you’ll find in classic history books, but if you’re into trivia quizzes, this fact may just be the one that wins you the million. Cambodia has never had a McDonalds.

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3. On a more sombre note: The country has a shocking past that happened not that long ago. During the four years of the Khmer Rouge’s rule , one fifth of the population – around two million people, were killed. Due to this genocide which occurred from 1975-1979, up to 63% of Cambodia’s population is under the age of 30 years.

4. Angkor Wat is the largest religious structure ever built, measuring a whopping 1,626,000m2 (162.6 hectares) and was built by the Khmer King Suryavarman II in the early 12th century to honour the Hindu god Vishnu. It’s a UNESCO World Heritage Site, constructed about 800 years before Tomb Raider was filmed there. (and only about 6km from the Destination TEFL training centre)

Along with Afghanistan, Cambodia is one of only two countries which depict buildings on their national flags – in this case, Angkor Wat.

5. Right so this one is about the future, not technically history, but the outcome will no doubt be in future history books: There is no future King or Queen. The current king of Cambodia, Nodorom Sihamoni, is single with no children. This means there is no direct successor to the throne.

So there you have it. A few interesting history snippets about Cambodia. We’ll be sharing more interesting facts about Cambodia in future blog posts to inspire your wanderlust!

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