Cambodia Travel Guide

Cambodia Travel Guide

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.

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Cambodia 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 progress 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.

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