Temples, dark history and deserted beaches – 15 facts about captivating Cambodia; Chris Leadbeater; Telegraph

Cambodia – Angkor

Acrucial piece of the jungle-swathed jigsaw that is south-east Asia, Cambodia (tourismcambodia.com) has stepped increasingly into the tourism spotlight since the turn of the millennium, pushing away (to an extent) the darkness which swallowed it during the second half of the 20th century.

It is a fascinating country to visit, offering epic heritage as well as dark history – plus flashes of luxury which make it a surprisingly chic place to stay for those with the budget.

Today (November 9) is Cambodia’s Independence Day – which seems a splendid enough reason to run through 15 fascinating facts about the country. Read on…

1. Its independence was from France

Paris ruled Cambodia as a colony for the best part of a century, between 1867 and 1953 – taking charge of it as a protectorate via clever exploitation of the country’s ongoing fears about aggression from its neighbour Thailand.

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