Cambodia General information
Kingdom of Cambodia
ANTHEM: Nokoreach (Royal Kingdom)
FLAG: The flag of Cambodia contains a red center field with a white silhouette of the temple complex at Angkor Wat. The center field is bordered bottom and top by blue bands.
CAPITAL: Phnom Penh
Located in the Indochina Peninsula’s Southwest corner, Cambodia has an area of 181,040 square km (69,900 square miles), extending 512 km (318 mi) southeast-northwest and 730 km (454 miles) northeast-southwest. It is bounded on the east and southeast by Vietnam, on the northeast by Laos, on the west, northwest, and north of Thailand, and on the southwest by the Gulf of Thailand. It comes with an entire boundary length of 2,572 km (1,598 miles). Comparatively, the region which is occupied by Cambodia is a little bit smaller than the state of Oklahoma. In 1982, Cambodia signed with Vietnam agreement on their mutual maritime frontier. In December 198, a treaty delineating the land border was signed.
In 2005, the population of Cambodia (Kampuchea) was estimated at 13,329,000by the UN (United Nations), which placed it at the 66th position in the population amongst 193 nations all over the world. In 2005, about 3% of the world’s population was higher than 65 years of age, with another 37% under 15 years old. For every 100 females, there were 94 males in the country. According to the United Nations, the annual rate of population growth for 2005– 2010 was expected to be 2.2%, a rate that is viewed too high according to the government. In 2004, Cambodia’s government launched a National Population Policy, aiming at educating the population on the links between high population growth, high fertility, and poverty. It is reported by the government that 30% of women at the reproductive age wanted to plan their pregnancies but lacked the resources and information to do so. The projected population of Cambodia for the year 2025 was 18,939,000. The population density of the country was 74 per square km (191 per square miles).
The United Nations estimated that 15% of the Cambodia’s population lived in cities in 2005 and that cities were growing at a 5.18% annual rate. The capital city of Cambodia, Phnom Penh, had a population of 1,157,000 in 2005 as well. Other cities include Krâchéh, KâmpóngSaôm, Siĕmréab, Kâmpôt, Kâmpóng Cham, and Băttâmbâng. A great majority of the population of the country is living in rural areas, with 90% of the rural population living in the plains of the central 3rdof Cambodia.
Estimates of the country’s population vary with impact’s assessment of the 1970 – 1975 War and the millions of people killed in its tumultuous aftermath. In April 1975, at the end of the War, the population of Phnom Penh – the capital of Cambodia, had swollen to nearly three million due to a mass influx of refugees. The new government embarked on an immediately forced evacuation of every urban area; and by March 1976, just 100,000 to 200,000 were thought to remain in Phnom Penh. After the PRK’s installation in 1979, the Phnom Penh’s population started to increase. As of 2005, Cambodia is the place that has one of the highest rates of HIV/AIDS infection all over Asia.
More than 90% of the whole population is ethnic Khmer, descendants of the original population in the country. The largest minority groups in Cambodia are the Vietnamese, estimated at 5% of the whole population, and the Chinese, about 1% of the population. Other groups designated as the remaining 4% of Cambodia’s population. National minorities are the Cham and some smaller tribal groups.
The national language of Cambodia is Khmer which is spoken by about 95% of all inhabitants. Unlike Vietnamese or Thai, Khmer is a non-tonal language with most of the words is monosyllabic. French, the 2nd language, is usually used in official and commercial circles. The Chinese and the Vietnamese use their own languages, and so do other minorities. English is also a language used in Cambodia.
Since 1989, Buddhism has been the national religion. About 93% of the population practice either Theravada or Hinayana Buddhism. It is considered that most people also practice some animism’s forms. Most Vietnamese and the Chinese in Cambodia practice a traditional mixture of ancestor worship, Confucianism, Taoism, Mahayana Buddhism, and animism. In 2004, there were about 700,000 Muslims, representing the 4 branches: Kadiani, ImanSan, Wahhabi, and Shafi. The ethnic Chams are Muslim (predominantly). Less than one percent of the population is Christian, with more than one hundred separate organizations represented. There are also some small groups of the Baha’is and Vietnamese Cao Dai religion.
In 1975, the government of Cambodia virtually abolished Buddhism, defrocking some turning pagodas and 70,000 monks into warehouses. Islamic spokesmen have indicated that ninety percent of Cambodia Muslims after 1975 were massacred. Among 6,000 Roman Catholics left in Cambodia at the revolution time, just a few were survived. All Catholic churches and mosques were razed. The PRK regime which came to power in 1979 permitted the return of the practice of religions, and several pagodas were reopened since that time. In insurgent regions managed by the Khmer Rouge, Buddhism was available after 1979, and in non-Communist resistance, camps were there reported with full religious freedom.
The constitution offers for the religious freedom and the government reportedly respects this practice right. All religious groups register through the Religious Affairs and Ministry of Cults in order to freely conduct religious activities and build places of worship.
The climate of Cambodia is tropical, with a dry season from December to April and a wet season from May to November. Temperatures range from 10°Cto 38°C (68°F to 97°F), and the humidity of the country is consistently high. The rainfall averages about 508 cm (200 inches) in the southwestern mountains and about 127cm to 140 cm (50 to 55 inches) in the central basin.
The Riel. Denominations are Riel 50; 100; 200; 500; 1000; 2000; 5,000; 10000; 20000; 50000; and 100,000. Foreign currencies could be changed easily at banks, airports, hotels, and markets.
Throughout Phnom Penh Capital, phone cards are available and the cards could be purchased at several outlets. There are also many mobile phone systems.
Country Code: 855
Siem Reap Code: 063
Phnom Penh Code (IDD): 023
New Year, April; Independence Day, 9 November; National Day, 9 January; Feast of the Ancestors, 22 September; Labor Day, 1 May.
Government offices are available from Monday to Friday; open from 07:30 am – 11:30 am; resume from 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm.
The visa on arrival valid at a cost of US $20 for a 3rd-day stay is issued to every visitor and at a cost of US $25 to every businessman at international border checkpoints, at the Siem Reap Airport, and Phnom Penh International Airport. Visas could be obtained at Royal Cambodian Consulates or Embassies in foreign nations. Indeed, the free visa (K) is issued to the Cambodians those living overseas. The visa could be extended in Phnom Penh City (at the Immigration Department).
There are various kinds of transport in the capital Phnom Penh of Cambodia. The favored mode of transportation is still by motorbike Cyclo, bus, car rental, and taxi.
The Cyclo (max at3 US dollars per hour) offers tourists with a chance to view the city at a leisurely pace. Rail transport is also available. Travel by rail is just for being able to reach Sihanoukville and Battambang province.
There are 8 provincial airports throughout the area of Cambodia. River travel is becoming popular, along with the Mekong River, Tonle Bassac, and Tonle Sap. Travelling to some parts of Cambodia, visitors are advised to contact the Ministry of Tourism, the Provincial Tourism offices at the information counters in Siem Reap Airports and Phnom Penh International Airport.
Visitors can enter Cambodia through Siem Reap Airport and Phnom Penh International Airport. If the previous booking is made, arrangements would be made for a pick-up airport. If any tourist makes their own way to the capital, the taxi would take fifteen minutes to arrive in Phnom Penh capital at a cost of US $7 from Phnom Penh International Airport and it will take ten minutes and five US dollars to arrive Siem Reap City from Siem Reap Airport.
Fish and rice, together with a tempting array of spices, sauces, and herbs are typical Khmer cuisine. Soups and curries with poultry, pork, beef, and seafood could be purchased at a normal charge from any street vendor. There is no matter in Phnom Penh. All the main cuisines in the world can be found here with over one hundred restaurants such as Vietnamese, Korean, Thai, Japanese, Chinese, Indian, and European.
As mentioned in a section above, the Cambodia’s government offices are available during Monday to Friday, opened from 07:30 am to 11:30 am and resume from 02:00 pm to 05:00 pm.
Private offices are often opened for business from 07:00 am to 08:00 pm every day. Banks are opened from Monday to Friday, from 08:00 am to 03:00 pm, and from 08:00 am to 12:00 noon on Saturday. All of them are closed on public holidays and Sunday. Every market is opened from the early morning to the evening on a daily basis.
Music is an important thing that plays a crucial role and is an indispensable part in the lives of Cambodian people, and music of Cambodia accompanies all of the ceremonies, rituals, and dances.
Over two hundreds of supervised hotels handle an influx of over a million tourists from all continents around the world every year. The accommodation price in Cambodia is moderate, but those seeking luxury would find 5-star deluxe hotels in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh.
Tourist guides that are government-licensed are always available to help tourists pay their trip. These organized bus tours accompany multi-linguistic guides, or the visitors or the guides can hire a car with the driver on an individual basis. Visitors would be welcomed by over one hundred travel agencies and available guides speaking German, Japanese, French, English, Korean, Thai, Chinese, Spanish, and Vietnamese.
Cambodia is a nation of well-watered plains and forested mountains. The central part of the nation forms a gigantic basin for the Mekong River, and the Great Lake, or Tonle Sap, which flows down from Laos to Vietnam – the southern border. Between the Gulf of Thailand and the Tonle Sap, the Elephant Range and the Cardamom Mountains are available, which rise abruptly from the eastern plains and from the sea. In the north, the Dangrek Mountains, 300m to 750m (1,000 feet to 2,500 feet) high and 320 km (200 miles) long, mark the Thailand frontier. The short coastline contains KompongSom Bay (ChhâkKâmpóngSaôm) – an important natural harbor, where the port of Kompong So (formerly Sihanoukville), or KâmpóngSaôm, is situated.
The Tonle Sap and the Mekong dominate the economy and the life of Cambodia. The Mekong deposits vast quantities of alluvial soil, overflows during the rainy season, and, backing toward the Tonle Sap, causes that lake to have an increased size of about 2,590 square km (1000 square miles) increasing to almost 24,605 square km (9,500 square miles).
About 53% of the nation was forested in 2000. Forestry has been limited due to the damage from war and the transportation difficulties. The major products of the forest industry are charcoal, fuel, wood oil, resins, and timber. Production of round-wood, averaging nearly four millions CU meters (141 million CU feet) in the late 1960s, fell off sharply during the 1970 – 1975 war, but in 2003, it increased to nearly 9.7 million CU meters (342 million CU feet). The production of fuelwood was 9.6 million cu meters (337 million cu feet) in 2003. The exports of sawn wood were valued at $14 million.
TRAVEL, TOURISM, AND RECREATION
Until the War’s encroachments in the late 1960s, Angkor Wat and other remaining areas of the ancient Khmer Empire have been becoming great and main tourist attractions for visitors traveling to Cambodia. Tourism was nonexistent under the Pol Pot regime, and tourism was not substantially revived under the occupation of Vietnamese. Nevertheless, since 1992, according to the United Nations peace plan, tourism was rebounded, spurred by the scores of new diplomatic missions and the opening of hundreds of several new facilities. Tourists are attracted to the National Museum and Independence Monument in Phnom Penh. The temples of Banteay Chhmar and Preah Vihear, as well as the beaches of Sihanouk, are also among the most attractive places that bring about tons of tourists to Cambodia every year. A valid visa and passport are required for travelers from every country in the world except the Philippines and Malaysia. Visa applications are distributed on airplanes and could be processed upon arrival at the Siem Reap and Phnom Penh International Airports. Visas are valid for 1 month after tourists arrive in Cambodia.
In 2003, about 701,000 tourists visited this country receipt $441 million in total. There are a number of private tour groups and 2 government-run tourist agencies. Several hotels have opened in the capital Phnom Penh to welcome tourists as well. As of 2002, the nation had 11,426 hotel rooms with an occupancy rate of 50% and 19,398 beds.
In 2005, the United State Department of State estimated that the cost of staying in Phnom Penh is probably at $162. Travel expenses were estimated at $103 for one day in Sihanoukville.
The first ones among ancient heroes must be Fan Shihman – the greatest ruler of the Funan Empire (150 – 550), and Jayavarman VII and Jayavarman II – the two monarchs of the Khmer Empire who ruled between the tenth and thirteenth centuries. Prince Norodom Sihanouk (born in1922), who won Kampuchea’s independence and resigned the kingship from France, is the best well-known living Cambodian people. In exile in China during 1970 – 1975, from which he resigned in April 1976, this man founded the GRUNK government. In July 1982, he became the CGDK’s president. In 1993, once again, Prince Norodom Sihanouk became king, until his abdication in 2004. Sihanouk was succeeded by his son Norodom Sihamoni (born in1953). Khieu Samphan (b.1931), a leader of the insurgency in Kampuchea and a former Marxist publisher, was named chairman of the State Presidium in April 1976in the GRUNK government, replacing Sihanouk as the state’s chairman. The GRUNK regime’s de facto head during 1975 – 1979 was Pol Pot, the SalothSar (1925 – 1998)’s nom de guerre, who presided over the Kampuchean society’s drastic restructuring that left as many as two to three million people dead in its wake. HengSamrin (born in 1934) became the Council of PRK State’s president in 1979; in 1992, HengSamrin lost his position. Photographer DithPran (born in 1943), whose ordeal with the Khmer Rouge and was expressed in the film The Killing Fields, helped to chronicle the Pol Pot regime’s atrocities.
Cambodia has no territory or colony.