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Everything you need to know about Cambodia: news, reviews, in-depth analysis, opinion and more

Overview of Cambodia, Home to the Enchanting Angkor Wat Temple

This Buddhist country of Cambodia, located in Southeast Asia, has a chequered past. It was ruled by the powerful Khmer Empire from the 9 th to 12 th century, the Khmer rulers built the gigantic Angkor Wat temple complex at Angkor, which is dedicated to both Hindu and Buddhist pantheons. However the 1970’s saw the start of the bloody regime of Pol Pot, leader of the infamous Khmer Rouge. During this terrifying period the Khmer Rouge subjected millions of innocent Cambodians to genocide and scores were left homeless.

The country returned to normality only during the 1990’s under an UN-brokered peace agreement in 1991. Although Cambodia is still agriculture-dependent, it has a thriving tourism industry and some modern developments have started due to the aid received from countries like Japan, France, Germany, Canada and Australia.

Cambodia Facts:

  • National Name: Preahreacheanacha Kampuchea
  • Capital: Phnom Penh
  • Total area : 181,040 sq km (69,900 sq mi)
  • Population: 14,241,640 (est. 2008)
  • Currency : Riel
  • Languages: Khmer 95% (official), French, English
  • Ethnicity/ Races: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
  • Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, others 5%
  • GDP (Per Capita): $1800
  • Life Expectancy: Male- 44 Yrs Female- 43 Yrs (2003)
  • Literacy rate: 73.6% (2006 est.)

Geographical Information on Cambodia:

Cambodia shares its border with Thailand in the north and west, with Laos in the northeast and with Vietnam in the east and southeast. Its most distinctive geographical feature is the lacustrine plain formed by the inundations of the Tonle Sap or the Great Lake. Rice is the major crop cultivated in this great plain that also forms the staple diet of the Cambodians. Cambodia lacks high mountain peaks, the exceptions being the lofty Cardamom Mountains and their southeast extension the Damrej Mountains.

Cambodia is a tropical country receiving rain from southwest monsoons that blow from the Gulf of Thailand and the Indian Ocean. Its wettest season is from September to October so if you like rainy places this is the period to visit Cambodia. However if you prefer dry seasons in order to explore the exotic locations like the Angkor Wat temple then you may travel to Cambodia anytime during November to March.

Culture and Tourist Attractions of Cambodia:

More than 90% of Cambodians are of Khmer origin and speak the Khmer language, while the rest speak Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham and Khmer Loeu. The name "Cambodia" derives from the French Cambodge, which comes from the Khmer word Kâmpuchea, meaning, "born of Kambu." The institution of kingship is symbolically important for the Cambodians and devotion to the king sustained even during the communist phase.

The Vietnamese people are sometimes seen with hostility by the Cambodians due to the large-scale migration of the Vietnamese who have taken up different jobs in Cambodia. Concurrently there are significant populations of Cambodians in Vietnam and Thailand. Apart from this Cambodia is also home to the Cham, a predominantly Muslim minority that began migrating during the 15 th century.

Khmer culture has distinctive styles of dance, architecture and sculpture that have historically developed. The prime example of Khmer architecture is the Angkor Wat temple, apart from hundreds of other temples around the region. Other tourist attractions in Cambodia include the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, the infamous prison of the Khmer Rouge, and also the Choeung Ek that was one of the main killing fields of the Rouge. By far the most attended Cambodian national festival is the Bonn Om Teuk, which is the annual boat-rowing contest held in the beautiful Mekong river.

Major Sight-seeing Places in Cambodia include:

  • Angkor Wat Temples
  • Banteay Chhmar Temple
  • Battambang
  • Kampong Thom
  • Kampot - Sea Foods
  • Kirirom Resort
  • Kratie - Dolphin
  • Mondulkiri - Minority
  • Phnom Penh City
  • Preah Vihear
  • Ratanakiri - Minority
  • Sihanoukville - Beach

London beats New York, Paris and Rome as best holiday destination

May 2, 2012 at 12:42 PM

London, May 2 (ANI): Travellers have named 2012 Olympics host London as the world's best holiday destination.

UN disaster reduction chief ends visit in Cambodia

April 25, 2012 at 12:41 PM

Phnom Penh, April 25 (Xinhua-ANI): Margareta Wahlstrom, the Special Representative of the United Nations Secretary General for Disaster Risk Reduction, on Wednesday concluded her 6-day study visit in Cambodia on the country's flood disaster in last year.

Cambodian King departs for China for body check

April 23, 2012 at 1:24 PM

Phnom Penh, Apr 23 (Xinhua-ANI): Cambodian King Norodom Sihamoni left the Kingdom's capital of Phnom Penh on Monday morning for China for a body check, the second time this year after the one between Jan. 19 to Feb. 15.


Cambodia to host ASEAN security meetings

April 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Phnom Penh (Cambodia), April 20 (Xinhua-ANI): Cambodia will host regional security meetings next week among the 10-member the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) and eight dialogue partners.

Cambodia's Angkor Wat attracts 639,800 foreign visitors in Q1

April 20, 2012 at 4:37 PM

Phnom Penh, April 20 (Xinhua-ANI): The number of foreign tourists to Cambodia's Angkor Wat temples, one of the world heritage sites, had increased by 45 percent to 639,800 in the first quarter of this year, statistics of the Siem Reap provincial tourism department revealed on Friday.

Angelina Jolie to take on diplomatic role at UN

April 18, 2012 at 11:17 AM

London, Apr 18 (ANI): Angelina Jolie, who has been working at the UN refugee agency as a goodwill ambassador for the past ten years, has been promoted to special envoy to draw attention to some of the world's worse humanitarian disasters using her fame.

34 percent jump in visas on arrival Jan-March

April 10, 2012 at 6:50 PM

New Delhi, April 10 (IANS) The visas on arrival issued to foreign tourists from 11 countries saw a jump of 34 percent during January-March this year compared to the same period in 2011, officials said Tuesday.

Resistance to malaria drug rings alarm bells

April 8, 2012 at 2:25 PM

Washington, April 8 (IANS) Resistance to anti-malarial drug artemisinin in western Thailand is sending alarm bells ringing among global experts involved in controlling and eliminating the scrouge worldwide, a new study says.

Drug-resistant Malaria spreads along Thai-Myanmar border

April 6, 2012 at 9:29 PM

Bangkok, April 6 (IANS/RIA Novosti) A drug-resistant malaria strain, which health officials had hoped to contain to a small area in southwest Asia, has spread significantly along the Thai-Myanmar border, a joint study by US and British doctors said Friday.

Drug-resistant malaria creating 'critical point' in fight against disease

April 6, 2012 at 12:42 PM

Washington, Apr 6 (ANI): The emergence of resistance to the drug artemisinin in western Thailand has created a critical point in global efforts to control and eliminate malaria worldwide, a new study has revealed.

Now, 'gene chip' to investigate emerging malaria drug resistance

April 6, 2012 at 12:17 PM

Washington, April 6 (ANI): A "gene chip" developed by researchers from the University of Notre Dame's Eck Institute for Global Health may contribute to the identification of malaria drug resistance and help combat the devastating disease.

Close ASEAN cooperation urged to promote growth

April 3, 2012 at 7:45 PM

Phnom Penh, April 3 (IANS) Cambodia, the current ASEAN chair, has called for stronger financial cooperation among its member countries to promote economic growth.

China, ASEAN to 'work hard' for 'maintaining peace, stability' in South China Sea

April 2, 2012 at 4:00 PM

Beijing, Apr 2 (ANI): China and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN) should work hard to boost practical cooperation and maintain peace and stability in the South China Sea, according to a joint statement due to be issued by China and Cambodia.

UK study warns of 'extreme' flu pandemic due to Olympics related tourist inflow

April 2, 2012 at 1:01 PM

London, Apr.2 (ANI): A study has warned that the presence of an additional 5.3 million tourists in Britain during the London Olympics will increase the risk of a flu pandemic.

Seven more Tibetan protestors arrested

March 30, 2012 at 1:38 PM

New Delhi, March 30 (IANS) Seven more Tibetan activists were arrested Friday outside the hotel where Chinese President Hu Jintao was staying, prompting Bharatiya Janata Party (BJP) leader Yashwant Sinha to call for a "more humane" police force.

Angkor Vat replica to come up in Bihar

March 29, 2012 at 3:37 PM

Patna, March 29 (IANS) A bigger version of the famous 12th century Angkor Vat temple in Cambodia is set to come up in Bihar's Vaishali district. And with some help from corporate houses and rich Indians abroad, it aims to be the world's largest Hindu temple.

Unicef urges India to curb open defecation

March 27, 2012 at 6:24 PM

New Delhi, March 27 (IANS) The United Nations Children's Fund (Unicef) Tuesday stressed the urgent need for India, the first among 12 countries where open defecation takes place, to check and curb the practice and reduce the high rate of water-borne disease in rural communities.

India justifies voting against Sri Lanka

March 24, 2012 at 8:08 PM

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) India reiterated Saturday that it did the right thing by voting for a US resolution at the UN Human Rights Council that asked Sri Lanka to do more to rehabilitate its minority Tamils because devolution of power to them "is not moving forward".

India justifies vote against Sri Lanka

March 24, 2012 at 7:36 PM

New Delhi, March 24 (IANS) Even as Sri Lanka blew hot and cold, India Saturday justified its vote against Colombo in Geneva over allegations of human rights abuses in the war on Tamil Tigers.

Cross-cultural understanding essential for peace: UN

March 23, 2012 at 8:08 PM

United Nations, March 23 (IANS) Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, president of the UN General Assembly, has said that encouraging cross-cultural understanding and dialogue was essential for peace and development.

Wasps sting tourists in Bodh Gaya

March 23, 2012 at 8:02 PM

Patna, March 23 (IANS) Over three dozen tourists, including those from Sri Lanka and Cambodia, have come under attack by wasps in the past three days in Bihar's Bodh Gaya, the birthplace of Buddhism, officials here said Friday.

Dinesh Patnaik appointed Indian Ambassador to Cambodia

February 17, 2012 at 7:39 PM

New Delhi, Feb 17 (ANI): Dinesh K. Patnaik, presently Deputy Chief of Mission in Embassy of India, Vienna, has been appointed as the next Ambassador of India to Cambodia.

Brangelina set their heart on spring wedding in 2012

February 6, 2012 at 7:07 PM

London, Feb 6 (ANI): Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who have been together for seven years and have six children, are said to be setting their sights on a spring wedding.

Brangelina set their heart on spring wedding in 2012

February 6, 2012 at 10:57 AM

London, Feb 6 (ANI): Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie, who have been together for seven years and have six children, are said to be setting their sights on a spring wedding.

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