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20 million visitors to Cambodia in 2018

History of Cambodia


Early history

The history of Cambodia, a country in mainland South East Asia can be traced back to at least the 5th millennium BC..Centered around the lower Mekong, it traded with partners in the Indosphere.  The Khmer empire was established by the early 9th century. Sources refer to a mythical initation and consecration ceremony to proclaim Jayavarman II at Mount Kulen to be King of all Cambodia around 802 C.E.

For 2,000 years Cambodia’s civilization absorbed influences from India and China and, in turn, transferred them to other Southeast Asian civilizations. From the Hindu-Buddhist kingdoms of Funan and Chenla (1st-8th century) through the classical age of the Angkor period (9th-15th century it held sway over territories that are now part of Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos.

At the apex of its powers, around the 12th century, the construction of Angkor Wat and Bayon were constructed.  Due to unknown circumstances, the Kingdom decline over the next 400 years.

Monarchies of Cambodia

King Jayavarman II


Jayavarman II (802-835):xiii,59 is widely regarded as a king who set the foundations of the Angkor period in Cambodian history, beginning with a grandiose consecration ritual that he conducted in 802 on the sacred Mount Mahendraparvata

King Suryavarman II

King Suryavarman II

Suryavarman II posthumously named Paramavishnuloka, was a Khmer king of the Khmer Empire from 1113 AD to 1145-1150 AD and the builder of Angkor Wat, the largest religious monument in the world which he dedicated to the Hindu God Vishnu

King Norodom Sihamoni

King Norodom Sihamoni

Norodom Sihamoni is the King of Cambodia. He became King on 14 October 2004, a week after the abdication of King Norodom Sihanouk. He is the eldest son of King Sihanouk and Queen Norodom Monineath.

French Occupation

France colonization of Cambodia


During the 20th century, France was at its apex in colonizing South East Asia.  Cambodia, Laos, and Vietnam became heavily influenced for better or worse by the French.  You can see the modern day influence in certain villages of Battambang province influenced by French designs.

Students at French School Cambodia

Students at French School Cambodia

King Norodom

King Norodom

King Norodom, the monarch who initiated overtures to France to make Cambodia its protectorate in 1863 to escape Siamese pressure.

French influences


Cambodia, Kampot Province, Bokor National Park, a church dating of the French colonial times.

French Influences


Old French colonial building of National Bank of Cambodia, Battambang province, Cambodia.

Year Zero


Khmer Rouge/civil war


Between 1975 and 1979 the country was devastated by the reign of the Khmer Rouge,  a rural communist guerrilla movement. During the Khmer Rouge’s period of power, at least 1.5 million Cambodians were killed or died, a monumental tragedy from which the country still suffers.



Cambodia began the process of recovery under the Vietnam-backed regime of the People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979–89), and in the 1990s it regained political autonomy, reestablished a constitutional, and subsequently instituted free elections. The Cambodian economy has steadily improved, and the country seems to be living by the words of the Cambodian proverb, "Fear not the future, weep not for the past."



45 years after the fall of Cambodia in the year marked Zero, many young Cambodians do not fully understand the actions of their generations before.  It is said over half of the population is under the age of 20.  While some families barely survives on less than $2 US dollars a day, others are driving brand new SUV's.  Internet and social media is very powerful and readily available through the cities.  Dirt roads that were once impassable during rainy seasons, now are flat and shiny.  This has always been the case of Cambodia:  A tale of two extremes.


No one knows for sure what the future may lie for in Cambodia.  It's history has been marked by different external powers overtaking and influencing the Cambodian people.  Right now the biggest influence in Cambodia maybe of the internet.


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