CAMBODIA

Date of establishment: November 9, 1953

Brief history:

  • Angkor Empire (9th – 13th century): The period of the Angkor Empire was the most significant in Cambodia’s history.
  • Colonization by France (19th century): Cambodia became part of French Indochina during the colonial era.
  • Independence (1953): Cambodia gained independence from France and became the Kingdom of Cambodia.
  • Civil War (until 1975): Cambodia was marked by political conflict and a civil war that lasted for several decades.
  • Khmer Rouge (1975-1979): The brutal Khmer Rouge regime led by Pol Pot brought enormous suffering and genocide.
  • United Nations intervention (1990s): Cambodia went through a period of recovery and restoration of stability after the United Nations intervention.

 

International abbreviation: KHM

 

Currency: riel (KHR)

The Cambodian riel exists in the form of coins and notes.

Cambodia is a popular tourist destination, so you may find that some hotels, restaurants, and shops also accept the US dollar.

 

Internet domain: .kh

 

Dialing code: +855

 

Time zone: GMT +7

 

Geography:

Cambodia is located in southeast Asia and shares borders with Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east and southeast, and it has a coast on the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

The country has a mostly flat surface that is characterized by river floodplains and lowlands in the deltas of the Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers.

The Mekong, one of the longest rivers in the world, flows through Cambodia from north to south and plays a key role in agriculture, transport, and fishing.

It has a tropical monsoon climate with two main seasons – a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October.

There are 443 kilometers (275 miles) of coastline on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand. Coastal areas such as Sihanoukville are popular destinations for beach tourism.

 

Highest peak: Phnom Aural 1 813 meters (5 948 feet) above sea level.

It is located in the southwestern part of the country. This peak is part of the Cardamom range, which has one of the largest tropical forests in Southeast Asia.

While Phnom Aural is not high compared to some other world peaks, it represents an important geographical point and ecosystem for Cambodia.

 

Climate:

In the dry season (November to April), the weather is dry and warm. Temperatures can be very high, often exceeding 30°C (86°F) and sometimes reaching 40°C (104°F) during the hottest days.

The rainy season (May to October) brings monsoon rainfall, which is typical for Southeast Asia.

Between November and January, the weather can be colder, especially in the northern part of the country.

The coast in the southwest of the country, on the Gulf of Thailand, has a slightly different climate. Here, temperatures may be higher and coastal areas may experience more rainfall.

 

Fauna and flora:

Cambodia was historically home to the Indian tiger, but due to hunting and deforestation, their numbers have been greatly reduced.

The Indochinese elephant lives in protected areas such as Mondulkiri National Park. Elephants are protected from illegal hunting.

The Siamese crocodile inhabits rivers and lakes.

The red monkey is a species of primate and is known for its red eyes and inhabits forests in the northern part.

The country is rich in birdlife, including various species of raptors, parrots, and waterfowl.

The country has extensive forests that include jungles, as well as deciduous and evergreen forests.

Various types of trees grow in Cambodia, such as Dipterocarpaceae, mahogany and various types of bamboo.

It is also known for its beautiful orchids, some of which are endemic and of high aesthetic value.

 

Agriculture:

Rice is the main crop grown in Cambodia and forms the staple food for most of the population.

Maize is another important crop and is used both in human nutrition and as fodder for cattle.

Cassava has an important place in the local food culture and flour is made from it.

In addition to rice, corn, and cassava, beans, peanuts, sugar cane, bananas, pineapples, mangoes, and other fruits and vegetables are also grown.

Fishing is an important source of food and livelihood for residents, especially in coastal and riverine areas. The Mekong and Tonlé Sap rivers are rich in fish and other aquatic life.

Palm oil production is increasing, although this raises questions about sustainability and environmental impact.

 

Extraction of raw materials:

Cambodia is known for mining precious stones, especially sapphires, rubies, and emeralds.

The land has potential for mining certain ores and minerals, including iron ore, gold, copper, and bauxite.

It also has potential for gold mining. Several gold mining projects have been launched in recent years, both on small and larger industrial scales.

Logging has been problematic, especially due to illegal logging and deforestation.

Salt is extracted from shallow salt lakes and ponds. Salt is important for the local food culture.

 

Industry:

Textiles and clothing is one of the main branches of industry. The country is known for producing clothing for foreign markets, especially Western countries.

Construction is also an important industry as the country undergoes growth and urbanization.

The production of food and agricultural products is an important branch of industry, including the processing of food products such as meat, dairy products and others, as well as brewing and other activities. Wood and furniture is another industry that has potential for development. Cambodia has abundant forests, although logging is regulated due to sustainability issues.

 

Services and other sectors of the economy: tourism

 

Natural and historical attractions: Phnom Penh, Angkor, Battambang, Preah Vihear Temple, Koh Rong Island, and Phom Tamao Nature Reserve

Angkor Wat is the most famous tourist attraction and one of the most important historical monuments in the world.

In addition to Angkor Wat, there are many other temples and historical monuments in the Angkor complex, such as Angkor Thom, Ta Prohm (known as the “temple with overgrown trees”) and many others. Cambodia’s Gulf of Thailand coast offers wonderful beaches and opportunities to relax by the sea.

The country has a rich culture and traditions that are fascinating for tourists. They include traditional dances, handicrafts, cuisine, and holiday celebrations.

 

Waterparks in Cambodia:

 

Form of government: constitutional monarchy

Cambodia has a monarch who is the head of state. The monarch has a primarily symbolic role and their powers are limited by the constitution.

Power is divided between the monarch and the government. The government is headed by the prime minister, who is the head of the government and the executive body. The prime minister is appointed by the king based on the results of parliamentary elections.

The country has its own judicial system, which is independent of the executive and legislative powers. The Supreme Court is the highest court in the country.

 

Capital city: Phnom Penh

It is located on the southern bank of the Mekong River.

Phnom Penh has a rich history that dates back to the 14th century. During its history, the city has been the capital of several Cambodian kingdoms.

 

Area: 181 040 km2 (69 900 square miles)

 

Population: 16 800 000 (2022)

The largest ethnic group in Cambodia is the Khmer, who account for over 90% of the population. In addition to the Khmer, there are also smaller ethnic groups living in the country, such as the Cham, Chinese Cambodians, Vjos, and other minorities.

The official language is Cambodian Khmer, which is spoken by most of the population. English is also quite widespread, especially in tourist areas, although many Cambodians also speak French.

Buddhism plays a key role in Cambodian culture, with more than 90% of the population professing Buddhism, and Theravada Buddhism being the dominant practice. Besides Buddhism, there are also smaller religious communities, including Islam and Christianity.

 

UNESCO World Heritage Sites: 4

 

  1. Angkor (1992) – An extensive archaeological site including Angkor Vat and the cities of the Khmer Empire.
  2. The Preah Vihear Temple (2008) – A temple located on the border of Thailand and Cambodia.
  3. The Sambor Prei Kuk Temple Complex (2017) – A historic temple complex in Cambodia that dates back to the 6th to 7th centuries.
  4. Koh Ker (2023) – An archaeological site of ancient Lingapura or Chok Gargyara.

 

National parks: 8

 

  1. Botum Sakor National Park
  2. Kep National Park
  3. Kirirom National Park
  4. Phnom Kulen National Park
  5. Preah Monivong National Park
  6. Ream National Park
  7. Southern Cardamom National Park
  8. Virachey National Park