Kingdom of Cambodia is a state in Southeast Asia with a population of more than 13 million people. A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as
Cambodian, although Khmer is also used. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of Cham and small hill tribes.
Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries. The country shares a border with Thailand to its west, with Laos to its north and with Vietnam to its east. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand.
Most of the area of Cambodia are nearly untouched by tourists, except for Angkor and Phnom Penh.
Cities: Phnom Penh, the capital city, and Siem Reap, 7km from the wonder of Angkor, are the two largest political, cultural and economic centres.
Population: Estimated at 13 million. The Khmer
constitute 90% of the population, Vietnamese (5%),
Chinese (1%), and Other (4%). The biggest population
concentrates in Phnom Penh, with more than one million
Area: Total -181,040 sq km, Land - 176,520 sq km, Water - 4520 sq km.
Land Borders: North borders Laos, all the East to Vietnam, and shares a long part of North and Northwest borders with the land of Thailand. .
Sea Borders: Southwest, to the Gulf of Thailand.
Climate: The average precipitation is highest in southern Laos, where the Anna mite mountains receive over 3000 mm annually. In Vientiane rainfall is about 1500-2000 mm, and in the northern provinces only 1000-1500 mm.
Generally, tourists are recommended to visit Laos during the months of November to March because these are cool months and rainfall is lower than other periods.
Climate: tropical monsoon, with two periods of rainfall. The sequence of the seasons is hot, very hot, light rain, and heavy rain. High humidity is throughout and sometime up to 90%. April, then March and May are the hottest months. Early June to early October have heavy rains and
humidity due to the southwest monsoon arises over the Indian Ocean. The wettest months are August and September. November to March is cool and dry, the best time for your visits.
Language: Khmer, the official language, is a non-tonal language of the Mon – Khmer family, enriched by Pali and Sanskrit.
English is the second major language, closely followed by French, Vietnamese, Chinese, Russian, are also spoken in Cambodia. Literacy rate is 60%, a legacy of the Pol Pot years.
National flag: White triple towers of Angkor set on a red background, edged with blue trim, the symbol of the Khmer culture.
Religion: Religious people accounts for 95% of the population. Theravada Buddhism was almost annihilated under the 1975 – 1979 reign of terror of the Khmer Rouge, but it has since been reinstated as the national religion of Cambodia. Minority groups adhere to other
religion such as Catholicism (mainly Vietnamese) and Sunni Muslim (Cham).
Government: Multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy
King: On October 14, 2004, King Norodom Sihamoni was selected by a special nine-member council, part of a selection process that was quickly put in place after the surprise abdication of King Norodom Sihanouk a week before. Sihamoni's selection was endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen and National Assembly Speaker Prince Norodom Ranariddh (the new king's brother), both members of the throne council. He was crowned in Phnom Penh on October 29. The monarchy is symbolic and has no official political power; similar to Japan and Great Britain. Norodom Sihamoni trained as a dancer and is unmarried.
Prime Minister: Samdech Hun Sen - Born on 1952, Cambodian political leader, premier of Cambodia (1985-93, 1998-; second premier, 1993-98). In 1970 Cambodia was plunged into war. Responding to the appeal of Prince Sihanouk to Cambodians to join the war against the imperialists, at the age of 18, Samdech Hun Sen joined the struggle movement, which liberated the country on April 17, 1975. After the signing(1991) of a peace agreement with both the Khmer Rouge and Norodom Sihanouk 's forces and then national elections in 1993, Samdech Hun Sen became co premier with royalist Prince Norodom Ranariddh. Elections in 1998, Samdech Hun Sen's Cambodian People's party won, and he became sole premier in coalition with Norodom Ranariddh's party; after protracted negotiations, the coalition was renewed after the 2003 elections.
Economy: Agriculture employs about 75% of the workforce. Top exports are timber, rubber, cane furniture and garments.