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What is Cambodia known for?

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Quick Answer

Cambodia is globally renowned for housing the temple complex of Angkor Wat. The country is also famed for its rich history and culture, which dates back to Cambodia's golden age when the ancient Angkor Empire reigned in the Southeast Asian region.

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Full Answer

Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is bordered Vietnam, Thailand and Laos. The majority of its people are Khmers, whose ancestors lived during the great Angkor civilization. Evidence of the kingdom's splendor dot the landscape of modern Cambodia with its numerous temples, monuments, churches, reservoirs, old roads, bridges and agricultural waterways.

The temple of Angkor Wat is the largest and most prominent among the thousands of "prasats," or temples, sprawling all over the country. Around 380,000 laborers and 4,000 elephants are said to have toiled for more than 30 years to complete the structural marvel. Angkor Wat was built by King Suryavarman II in honor of his devotion to Hinduism. Historians claim that the temple served as the king's final resting place.

In recent times during the 1970s, Cambodia also came under the global spotlight when the communist party Khmer Rouge seized control of the country under the despotic leadership of Pol Pot. The government take-over resulted to the genocide of an estimated 2 million people, who died from execution, forced labor or extreme hunger.

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