The Kingdom of Cambodia, formerly Kampuchea, is a Southeast Asian nation that borders Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. The capital city is Phnom Penh.
Situated in the southwest of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia occupies a total area of 181,035 square kilometers and borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.Cambodia’s geographic coordinates are 13 00 N, 105 00 E.Cambodia’s terrain consists mainly of low plains, with mountains to the southwest and north.Two dominant physical features of Cambodia are the Mekong river, which runs from north to south of the country, and the Tonlé Sap Lake.Natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential.
Cambodia’s population is approximately 14 million. Ninety per cent of residents are Khmer; the rest are Cham (Khmer Muslim), Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Phnorng, Kuoy, Stieng, Tamil, etc. Population density is 78/ km2.
Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round. The climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. December to January are the coolest months, while the hottest period is in April. The average temperature is around 27-28ºC.
The flag of Cambodia symbolizes the country’s slogan: Nation, Religion, King. The two large blue stripes represent royalty and the center red stripe represents the nation. The image of the white temple stands for the nation’s religion.
The Cambodian Riel is the currency of Cambodia. Our currency rankings show that the most popular Cambodia Riel exchange rate is the KHR to USD rate. The currency code for Riels is KHR, and the currency symbol is RIEL.
Cambodian culture and tradition have had a rich varied history dating back many centuries. Over the years, the people of Cambodia developed a set of unique tradition from the syncretism of indigenous Buddhism and Hinduism.Cambodians have been raised to respect their culture and are very traditional in their way of life. Tourists will see the well mannered Cambodian expressing a friendly “Chumreap Suor” when they meet one.
There are many classical dance forms in Cambodia, of which a highly stylized art form was once confined mainly to the courts of the royal palace and performed mainly by females. Known formally in Khmer as Robam Apsara, the dancers of this classical form are often referred to as Apsara dancers.This dance form was first introduced to foreign countries and best known during the 1960s as the Khmer Royal Ballet. The first royal ballerina was Princess Norodom Bopha Devi, a daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk.
Traditional Cambodian weddings are intricate affairs that consist of multiple ceremonies lasting three days and three nights. The wedding begins with the groom and his family traveling to the bride’s home bearing gifts to the bride’s family as dowry. Family members and friends are introduced, and wedding rings exchanged. Customarily, three traditional songs accompany this first segment; the first song announcing the arrival of the groom and the next is on the presentation of the dowry followed by a final song to invite the elders to chew Betel Nut, an age-old Khmer tradition. Then it is the Tea Ceremony, at which the bride and groom offer tea to the spirits of their ancestors.
Theravada Buddhism is the prevailing official religion in Cambodia and approximately ninety percent of the population is Buddhist. Islam, Hinduism and Christianity are also embraced in Cambodia.Since Buddha statues and images represent the revered Buddha, visitors are asked to treat all such statues and images with respect, so as not to offend local people.In Cambodia, regardless of religion, the country maintains a harmonised state.
Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language is derived from the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. Khmer is renowned for possessing one of the largest sets of alphabets; it consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels.While tourists may wish to learn a few spoken phrases before or when visiting Cambodia, English is widely spoken and understood. French and Mandarin are also spoken frequently in the country; most elderly Cambodians speak French and many people in the Khmer-Chinese population speak Mandarin.
Tourists can travel to all parts of Cambodia by bus, taxi, motorbike, boat and aeroplane. Within the capital of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap Province and Preah Sihanouk Province, they can conveniently sight-see by Reumork.Buses are available from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, Preah Sihanouk, Pursat, Battambang, Poipèt, Banteay Meanchey, Kratie, and Preah Vihear. Metered taxis are also available.Boats are very popular means of transportation along the Tonlé Sap, Bassac, and Mekong rivers. These boats remove the hassle of meandering along the highways yet offer some spectacular scenery along the way.
All nationalities need to apply for a travel visa, except for nationals from the following countries: Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, the Philippines, Singapore, Thailand and Vietnam.• A visa on arrival, valid for a thirty-day stay, is specifically granted at Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, and International Border Checkpoints. Visas are also granted at Royal Cambodian Embassy or Consulate abroad. The visa fee for a tourist is US$20, and the visa fee for a businessman is US$25. Visas can be extended at the Immigration Department in Phnom Penh City. A free visa (K) is expressly granted to the Cambodian living overseas.• The Royal Government of Cambodia has recently approved e-visas. All you have to do is complete the online application form available at the official website (evisa.mfaic.gov.kh), pay by credit card online, and include uploading a recent passport-size photo in JPEG/ PNG format. The visa will be approved within three business days, allowing you to breeze by that lengthy line and get a jump-start on your holiday.• The e-visa, valid for a thirty-day stay, is available only for a typical tourist visa for a single entry. It is currently not available for nationals from Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Bangladesh, Arab Saudi, Algeria, Sudan, and Sri Lanka. For a business visa, please apply at your nearest embassy or on arrival at all major check points.• Tourists getting such a visa online can enter and exit Cambodia through Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Bavet International Border Checkpoint in Svay Rieng, Cham Yeam International Border Checkpoint in Koh Kong, and Poipet International Border Checkpoint in Banteay Meanchey.