Angkor, Cambodia

Children in the temples of Angkor appear, then disappear like phantoms among the ornately carved colonnades. Centuries ago, when Khmer kings ruled these lands, men and elephants transported monolithic stones from far off quarries to construct the holy temples of Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Banteay Srei, and Beng Mealea.
Today the temple shrines, shrouded in incense, continue to serve as sites of worship for local and distant followers who make the pilgrimage to these fabled stone splendors. In addition to these awesome sites rising out of tropical forest, foreign visitors discover an enchanting people who, having survived decades of war and ravage, nonetheless graciously extend their kindness to strangers in ways that haunt one’s memory.
Photo © 2011 Jeff Meide
Peace Corps Volunteer, Botswana 1986-1989


Kingdom of Cambodia
Southeastern Asia

Area 181,035 km2 (RANK 90)

Arable 20.4%

Capital Phnom Penh (1.5M)

Population 14,952,665 (83/km2)

Literacy 74%

Life expectancy 63 yrs

HIV/AIDS 0.5% (63,000 adults)

In poverty 31%

Military 3.0% of GDP (RANK 45 of 195)

Languages Khmer 95%, French, English

Religions Buddhist 96%, Muslim 2%

Gov’t Constitutional Monarchy

GDP/capita $2,400

Agriculture rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, cassava, silk

Industry clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear

PCVs 2007-present, current 114, TTD 255; education, health

Focus word for 2014 - "Home"

Khmer: pthaes (b-tayaah)
French: maison (may-zohn)

indigenous design from

Copyright © Julie Olsen

Map of the world


Rice People.
Director: Rithy Panh (1994)
Read review at IMDB.

A Cambodia Journey Documentary.
Producer: YMCA Cambodia Project (2012)

The Khmer Rouge Killing Machine.
Director: Rithy Panh (2003)



The River’s Tale
by Edward Gargan, 2002
Book Description
In a legendary trip down the Mekong, a NYT correspondent profiles Cambodia, once a very troubled and impoverished nation, now grappling with technology and on-rushing modernity.

Kids' Books

The Clay Marble
by Minfong Ho
1993. 163 pages
ISBN-13: 978-0374412296
Ages: 10-14