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The Kingdom of Cambodia is a country in Southeast Asia. It is bordered in the south by the Gulf of Thailand, in the west by Thailand, Laos in the north, and Vietnam in the east.

Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea
(In Detail) (Full size)
National motto: Nation, Religion, King
Official language Khmer
Capital Phnom Penh
King Norodom Sihanouk
Prime Minister Hun Sen
 - Total
 - % water
Ranked 87th
181,040 km²
 - Total (Year)
 - Density
Ranked 65th
 - Declared
 - Recognised
from France
November 9, 1953
Currency Riel
Time zone UTC +7
National anthem Nokoreach
Internet TLD .CB
Calling Code855

Table of contents
1 History
2 Politics
3 Provinces
4 Geography
5 Economy
6 Demographics
7 Culture
8 Miscellaneous topics
9 Notes
10 References
11 External links


Main article: History of Cambodia

The first known advanced civilizations in Cambodia appear in first millennium AD, and from the 9th to 13th century, the Khmer civilization flourished here.

After centuries of decline, Cambodia was made French protectorate in 1863, and became part of French Indochina. Following Japanese occupation in World War II, the Cambodians declared independence in 1953.

During the Vietnam War, American bombarded Cambodia, aiming for Vietnamese guerillas hiding there. Civilian casualties are estimated at 600.000. In 1970, Lon Nol assumed power and declared the Khmer Republic. The government was opposed by the communist Khmer Rouge, which captured the capital in 1975 and renamed the country Kampuchea. Anywhere from 800,000 to 2.3 million1 died during the civil war and while the Khmer Rouge, lead by Pol Pot, consolidated their power. The heavy U.S. bombing sent peasants to the cities, massively overcrowding them (Phnom Penh's population went up over a million after the start of the bombing camapign), the Khmer Rouge evacuated the cities to prevent wide scale starvation.

A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off 13 years of fighting. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normality, as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces.


Main article: Politics of Cambodia


Main article: Provinces of Cambodia

Cambodia is divided into 20 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 3 municipalities* (krong, singular and plural):


Main article:
Geography of Cambodia

Cambodia is about 181,040 square kilometers, sharing a 800-kilometer border with Thailand on north and west, a 541-kilometer border with Laos on northeast, and a 1,228- kilometer border with Vietnam on east and southeast. It has 443 kilometers of coastline along the Gulf of Thailand.

The most salient topographical feature is the lacustrine plain formed by the inundations of Tonle Sap (Great Lake), measuring about 2,590 square kilometers during the dry season to about 24,605 square kilometers during the rainy season. This densely populated plain, which is devoted to wet rice cultivation, constitutes heartland of Cambodia. Most (about 75 percent) of the country lies at elevations of less than 100 meters above sea level, except for the Cardamon Mountains (highest elevation 1,771 meters), their north-south extension to the east, ppElephant Range]] (elevation range 500-1,000 meters) and the steep escarpment of Dangrek Mountains (average elevation 500 meters) along northern border with Thailand.

Temperatures range from 10°C to 38°C. Cambodia experiences tropical monsoons: southwest monsoon blowing inland in northeasterly direction brings moisture-laden winds from Gulf of Thailand/Indian Ocean from May to October with period of heaviest precipitation September-October; northeast monsoon blowing in southwesterly direction toward coast ushers in dry season, November to March, with period of least rainfall January-February.


Main article: Economy of Cambodia

Cambodia's economy slowed dramatically in 1997-1998 due to the regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting. Foreign investment and tourism fell off. In 1999, the first full year of peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 5.0%. Despite severe flooding, GDP grew at 5.0% in 2000, 6.3% in 2001, and 5.2% in 2002. Tourism was Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals up 34% in 2000 and up another 40% in 2001 before the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks in the US. Even given these stout growth estimates, the long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid. The government is addressing these issues with assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors.


Main article: Demographics of Cambodia

Cambodia is ethnically homogeneous, as more than 90 percent of its population is Khmer. National minorities comprise about 3 percent of total population. The Cham, of Islamic faith, are the most significant minority group. Other scattered tribal minorities live in the upland and forested areas. There are also some minor Vietnamese and Chinese populations.

The national language Khmer, a member of Mon-Khmer subfamily of Austroasiatic language group.

Theravada Buddhism, suppressed by Khmer Rouge, but now revived, is the main religion.


Main article: Culture of Cambodia

DateEnglish NameLocal NameRemarks
Independence DayNovember 9

Miscellaneous topics


1A figure of three million deaths between 1975 and 1979 was given by the Vietnamese-sponsored Phnom Penh regime, the PRK. Father Ponchaud suggested 2.3 million; the
Yale Cambodian Genocide Project estimates 1.7 million; Amnesty International estimated 1.4 million ; and the United States Department of State, 1.2 million. Khieu Samphan and Pol Pot, who could be expected to give underestimations, cited figures of 1 million and 800,000, respectively.


External links

Countries of the world  |  Asia