Country Name: The Kingdom of Cambodia
Location: 11° 33' N, 104° 55' E (Phnom Penh); Southeast Asia, bordered by Vietnam, Thailand and Laos and the South China Sea
Capital: Phnom Penh
Government: Constitutional Monarchy
Other Major Cities: Siem Reap (gateway to Angkor), Sihanoukville (commercial port and beaches), Battambang, Kampong Cham.
Religion: Thervada Buddhism (97%), Islam, Christianity, Animism
Ethnic Groups: Khmer (~95%), ethnic-Chinese, ethnic-Vietnamese, Cham, several ethnic minority groups, most located in the northeastern section of the country (groups include: Kuy, Mnong, Stieng, Brao, Tampuan, Pear, Jarai, Radee, Brao, Krung and Kavet.)
Terrain: Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Population: 14.1 million (2010 estimate)
Land Area: 181,035 km2
A world of treasures Cambodia today occupies only a small corner of the former Khmer Empire, with the surface area of 181,035 square kilometers, and 12 million inhabitants, 90 percent of whom are Khmer and the remaining 10% are Vietnamese, Cham, Chinese and hill tribes. 95% of Cambodians are Theravada Buddhist. Being the former Empire of Southeast Asia, Cambodia is a highly civilize nation, a nation of long history and rich culture. Over a thousand of magnificent ancient stone temples decorated with fine bas relief are found in almost every part of the country.
Among those, the famous Angkor Wat is the one that make Cambodia re-known to the world. Beside, it is also a country boast with stunning natural scenery. The tropical climate and rich alluvial soil are good for the agricultural production. Its dense rain forests are the home of elephants, tigers and many other wild animals. Its lakes, rivers, hundreds kilometer long of white sandy beach are other attractions make Cambodia a full-fledged tourist destination. Despite the hard times that have confronted by Cambodian people in the past, they are very hospitable hosts who always welcome visitors with a warm, heartfelt smile.
The divergent facets of the Kingdom provoke both the serious and casual traveler, generally charmed and sometimes bewildered by its mysteries. Not only Angkor Wat, Bayon, Taprohm, Sandstone of ancient holy places, the giant roots of ancient trees, the graceful shapes of Apsaras and some temples buried in the jungle, hill tribes settled in the remote areas, colorful pagodas, strings of pristine islands and the century beach, as part of cultural tour that Cambodia is proud of her presentation, but also the splendor of the Khmer civilization and its people who have shown their friendliness everywhere you move in the country.
For most, Cambodia first conjures up the legendary Angkor (the magnificent Empire erected by Kings between the 9th and 13th centuries) that continues to admiration from Khmers and foreigners alike. The humanity and disaster of the nature have failed to compromise the awe of Angkor. The temples remain with an enigmatic grandeur, as a testimony to the Empire that symbolized the country at the present day.
Cambodia is located in the heart mainland of Southeast Asia, which conjures images of a glorious and mysterious past and rich of the cultural heritages, particularly the world's renowned ancient temple city whose magical image draws ever-increasingly tourists from all over the world.
Cambodia has a land area of 181,035 square kilometers in the southwestern part of the Indochina peninsula, about 20 percent of which is used for agriculture. It lies completely within the tropics with its southern most points slightly more than 10° above the Equator. The country capital city is Phnom Penh.
International borders are shared with Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the West and the North, and the Social Republic of Viet Nam on the East and the Southeast. The country is bounded on the Southeast by the Gulf of Thailand. In comparison with neighbors, Cambodia is a geographical contact country administratively composed of 20 provinces, three of which have relatively short maritime boundaries, 2 municipalities, 172 districts, and 1,547 communes. The country has a coastline of 435 km and extensive mangrove stands, some of which are relatively undisturbed.
Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops and this year round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for the tourism industry. Visitors do need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However those planning to travel extensively by road should avoid the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable.
The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with an overage temperature around 27.C (80.F) but in the dry season it is cool and very much like a European summer.
There are two distinct seasons: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season. However, the Dry Season is divided into two sub-seasons, cool and hot and these seasons are:
The Rainy season:
From June till October 27-35.C (80-95.f)
The Dry season (cool):
From November till February 17-27.C (80-95.F)
The Dry season (Hot) :
From March till May 29-38.C (84-100.F)
The country has a tropical climate-warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travelers need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
Thearavada Buddhism is the official religion in Cambodia which is practiced by 95 percent of the population-- just like that of Thailand, Burma, Sri Lanka. However, Christianity and Cham Muslim are being active and popular among a large number of population as well in the capital and provinces, showing a sign of growth. Daoism and Confuism are also commonly practiced among the Chinese people.
Buddhist monks are highly disciplined and must follow 227 rules in addition to the ten basic precepts of being a good Buddhist. Monks cannot take part in entertainment. They lead simple lives dedicated to Buddhism and the temple.
Drink lots of water. Never drink tap water purified, bottled water is available everywhere.
Use an insect repellent against mosquitoes. It is the only way to be sure of protection against mosquito borne diseases. Since Cambodia has a hot and humid tropical climate, casual and light-weight clothing is best. Clothing made from natural fibers is the best option. A jacket might be needed on cool winter evenings or in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning. A hat and high-factor sun block is advisable as protection against the hot sun when sightseeing.
When visiting temples or pagodas, including those of Angkor Wat, shorts and T-shirts are acceptable. Shoes are generally removed at the entrance to pagodas. For visits to the Silver Pagoda, which is within the Royal Palace grounds, visitors are asked to dress more formally. Gentlemen are required to wear long trousers and ladies should wear long trousers or long skirts.
Standard film, (such as Kodak, FUJI or Konica 100, ), slide and digital camera memory are widely available. Photos are inexpensive to process in the country. Any specialized photo equipment should be brought with you. Photography in airports, railway stations and near any military installations is forbidden and discretion should be used when photographing people, particularly monks. The cheapest & best quality photo service in Phnom Penh is SPK Photo Studio FUJI Shop at Monivong Blvd.
Although no vaccinations are officially required for entry to Cambodia, they are highly encouraged. Visitors are advised to check with their doctor or a travel immunization clinic regarding protection against malaria, typhoid, tetanus, hepatitis A and B. Any essential medications should be brought with you as there is no guarantee they will be available in Cambodia.