Who knew of this little town of 200,000? It wasn’t until Angelina Jolie came and filmed Tomb Raiders here did Siem Reap get noticed. Tourism went from a negligible number in the 1990s to four million each year today. It was number two on the list of most popular tourist destinations last year.
Cambodia was occupied by the French for ninety years, so the majority spoke French for many years. The people are Khmer and speak the Khmer language. The Khmer Rouge (red for communists) is different, who were the ones aligned withRussia who took over during the Viet Nam war years. During that time, Russian became the popular language here. In 1993, they became a democracy and gained their independence. Since then, English has become the dominant language, and the American dollar, the favored currency. Many tour guides speak Russian or English. Thank goodness we got the English speaking one!
We are in for a long day tomorrow…Ankgor Wat.