Cambodia (/kæmˈbodiə/; Khmer:, Kampuchea, IPA: [kɑmˈpuˈciə]), officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country with a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi) located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.
With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 65th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Buddhism which is practiced by around 96% of the Cambodian population. The country minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 20 various hill tribes. The capital city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic, cultural, and diplomatic center of Cambodia.
The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni an elected monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.
In 802 AD Jayavarman II declared himself chakravartin which marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire. Successive kings flourished which marked the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth who dominate much of South East Asia for over 600 years. By the 16th-17th centuries Cambodia fell in to its "dark ages" until it was colonized by the French in mid-19th century. Aside from the period of Japanese occupation, Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into Cambodia which gave rise to the Khmer Rouge taking Phnom Penh in 1975. After years of isolation the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy.
Rebuilding from decades of civil war, Cambodia has seen rapid progess in the economical and human resource areas. The country has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with economic growth growing an average 6.0% for the last 10 years. Strong textiles, agriculture, construction, garments, and tourism sectors led to foreign investments and international trade. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, and once commercial extraction begins in 2011, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy.
- Where To Stay
- Where To Eat
- What To See
- What To Do
- Where To Shop
- Outside The City
- How To Get There
- Tourist Info
- When To Go
- Travel Information
Facts all about Cambidia
Cambodia's capital is Phnom Penh. As of 2010, Cambodia has an estimated population of 14,805,358 people. Ninety percent of Cambodia's population is of Khmer origin and speak the Khmer language, the country's official language. Cambodia's population is relatively homogeneous. Its Minority groups include Vietnamese (2,200,000), Chinese (1,180,000), Cham (317,000), and Khmer Loeu (550.000). Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001-2010 was 7.7%
When you should to visit Cambidia?
The climate in Cambodia is best described as tropical, so depending on which area you're in, there are large differences in temperature and the amount of precipitation. The average daily temperature is 27° degrees Celsius. The best time of the year to travel to Cambodia is October through March; the dry season, when temperatures are more moderate.
Getting around Cambodia and popular cities
You can travel to Cambodia by means of different transportation.
Two domestic airlines operate within Cambodia, making daily flights between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. (A third airline, PMTAir, has suspended its domestic routes for the time being.)
Around the major urban centers - Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville –the moto (motorbike taxi) is the most common form of public transport. Motos are speedy, cheap, and available everywhere. English-speaking moto drivers are most commonly found around tourist hotspots. Negotiate your price before your trip, whether for a one-off trip or a whole day's service.
Like its motorized counterpart, the cyclo is quite common in the cities – while it’s slower, it’s a far more pleasant and laid back way to get around. Like the moto, you should negotiate the price before beginning your ride.
Taxis are easy to find when arriving at Phnom Penh – they’re lined up outside the arrival hall. Fares from the airport to Phnom Penh will set you back US$7 and the trip will take about 15 minutes, depending on traffic conditions. In Siem Reap, airport-to-town fares cost US$5.
You might also rent a motorcycle to drive yourself around the city, but be warned: traffic in Phnom Penh is extremely chaotic, and should only be challenged by experienced motorcycle riders.
It's better to rent a motorcycle to visit areas outside of Phnom Penh; renting one will set you back $5-8 a day for a dirtbike, $3-4 for a moto.
By rented car
Nothing beats a rented car for safety and comfort: getting one, driver included, will set you back about US$20-$30 daily. Self-drive car hire is not recommended, giv3n the parlous state of most roads and traffic. Ask your hotel or guesthouse if they can arrange to hire a car for you.
Cambodia’s railway network runs along two lines - from Phnom Penh to Battambang, and from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. The trains are old and decrepit, and the tracks are constantly under repair. Still, this is a cheap and scenic way to travel, and you'll get to meet a lot of locals you'll never otherwise encounter. While this is slow going, you’ll have a view of the countryside and the coast that no other travelers will ever see. Inquire at the station for the train schedule.
The rapidly developing bus services in Cambodia offer low-cost travel to key cities in the country. From Phnom Penh, you can catch a bus to Siem Reap (six hours, $4), Sihanoukville (four hours, $4), or Battambang (six hours, $4). Bus services also run from Phnom Penh to Cambodia border crossings - Moc Bai (Vietnam) and Poi Pet (Thailand) among them.
You can ride from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and back on the ferries that cross the Tonle Sap Lake. Trouble is, most of them charge exorbitant rates (about $25), don’t meet international safety standards, and set you up for extreme overcrowding.
You can ride a boat from Siem Reap to Battambang and back, although it's a far second choice next to the land route. Better to take the boat connecting Koh Kong to Sihanoukville; this is the best way to travel between the two points when the monsoon season makes the roads almost impassable.