Travel Guides: Cambodia
The Kingdom of Cambodia, previously known as Kampuchea is a country in Southeast Asia with a population exceeding 13 million with the capital at Phnom Penh.
Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the eleventh century and fourteenth century. The country borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, and Vietnam to the east and south-east. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong River, an important source of fish. Much of Cambodia is at sea level. The country’s population is 13,327,000 inhabitants. Most of the population belongs to the ethnic Khmer. The official language is Khmer and but French is spoken often. The official religion is Buddhism.
Cambodia’s main industries are textiles and tourism. In 2005, they discovered deposits of oil and gas in Cambodia’s territorial waters, and once commercial extraction would start in 2009 or early 2010, oil revenues could profoundly affect the economy. In 2006, foreign tourists have exceeded 1.7 million. Tourists come here to visit palaces and Buddhist temples; Cambodia is becoming an important tourist country. Tourism makes an important contribution to the economy of this state. Cambodia has become the most important tourist country in Southeast Asia. Plains predominate; Dangrek Mountains stretch along the northern border. Form of government: Constitutional monarchy with a multi-party democracy – bicameral National Assembly (123 seats elected by popular vote for a period of five years) and Senate (61 seats, two are chosen by the monarch, two are chosen by the National Assembly and 57 are chosen by MPs and Common Council for a period of 5 years).
Mountains: Approximately 75% of Cambodia’s territory consists of plains. Exceptions are Cardamom Mountains, Damrei (in SW), Dangrek Mountains (in N) on the border with Thailand. The highest peak: Phnum Aoral, 1810 m. Sea: The Gulf of Thailand gives Cambodia 443 km of coastline. Climate: tropical – monsoons season, from May to November is rainy and dry season is from December to April. Area: 181.040 km². Neighborhood: Laos, Thailand, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. Main Cities: Kompong Cham, Phnom Penh, Battambang, Siem Reap. Administrative Divisions: 20 provinces and four municipalities. Time Zone: UTC+7. Country code (phone): 855.
Radio emission: AM 2, FM 17 (2003). Medieval Territory: The Kingdom of Cambodia, also known under the name Kampuchea, is the successor of Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire State that reigned in the Indochina Peninsula in the XI-XIV centuries. Angkor Temples of Khmer civilization are a witness. Angkor Wat is one of the greatest buildings in the world, in terms of architecture. The Empire was shattered after attacks of the Vietnamese (Thai and Cham). The King of the Kingdom of Angkor then placed the country under French protection in 1863. Cambodia became part of French Indochina in 1887. After World War II, when Japan dominated the territory, Cambodia gained independence in 1953.
Modern Politics: The first king who ruled the country after independence in 1953 was King Norodom Sianouk, during which the country has experienced economic decline, a state of corruption. During this period the Khmer Rouge Communist Party grows increasingly longer. In 1970 there was a coup, backed by the Americans, King Norodom Sianouk was exiled in China and came to power Gen. Lon Nol. The country was thrown into civil war, the Khmer communists against the regime, backed by American and South Vietnamese of Lon Nol, who wanted to transform the country into a Buddhist-Fascist State. King Norodom, who was in exile, collaborated with the communist Khmer Rouge, and in 1973 began the liberation of Cambodia.
In 1975 the militia of the extreme Left in Phnom Penh, winning a resounding victory against government forces, Pol Pot come to power and now the nightmare begins, and the ethnic cleansing. He is responsible for the assassination by the Khmer Rouge, 2 million Cambodians in the period 1976-1979 (Chinese, Vietnamese and others). Vietnamese intervened in 1979 and began a period of 10 years of Vietnamese occupation and civil war nearly 13 years. In 1991, the Vietnamese occupation troops are withdrawn and signed the Peace of Paris. Elections in 1993 resulted in the defeat of the Khmer Rouge, whose influence was increasingly impaired. Democratic elections were held in 1998, 2003 and 2004 eventually formed the government. The son of Norodom Sianouk came to power, Norodom SIHAMONI and Prime Minister was Hun Sen.
Independence: Obtained on 9 November 1953 in front of France. Organization: Number of tourists in Cambodia in the first 10 months of 2007 is 1,567,399, mostly from Korea, Japan, USA, Taiwan, China and others. The number of tourists in 2007 increased by 18.54% and over the same period in 2006. Now tourism has begun to take hold, economic and political situation being stable. The numerous temples, including the largest building, Angkor Wat, are a wonderful attraction for tourists, which is a testament to the Khmer Hindu civilization. What to see: Battambang – the second largest city in Cambodia includes colonial architecture, Phnom Penh – the capital city, here is the Ounalom Wat temples, Wat Phnom and Wat Moha Montral, Siem Reap – Angkor temples, Bokor National Park, Choeung Ek, National Park Kirirom, Phnom Sontuk – the most important and sacred mountain in Cambodia, Angkor Temples.
When to go: The most pleasant months to travel in Cambodia are December and January when temperatures and rainfall are low. The period from February to June should be avoided due to very high temperatures (above 40 degrees Celsius), high humidity and the SW monsoon brings torrential rains. The country’s biggest festival, Bon Om Tuk, is in early November. Estimated population: 13.995.904 inhabitants. Population density: 78 persons / km². Population distribution: Urban 19% / 81% Rural (2005). Population living below the limit: 35% (2004). Birth rate: 25.53 to 1000 inhabitants. Death rate: 8.24 to 1000 inhabitants. Average age: 21.3 years. Education rates: 73.6% – People who know how to read and write (more than 15 years old).11