Cambodia

Cambodia

Overview
Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 Peninsula in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. With a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), it is bordered by Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 to the northwest, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 to the northeast, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand , also known in to Malays as Teluk Siam literally meant Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea.-Geography:...

 to the southwest.

With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 69th most populous country in the world.
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Timeline

1953   Cambodia becomes independent from France.

1955   King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia abdicates the throne in favor of his father, King Norodom Suramarit.

1955   Albania, Austria, Bulgaria, Cambodia, Finland, Hungary, Ireland, Italy, Jordan, Laos, Libya, Nepal, Portugal, Romania, Spain and Sri Lanka join the United Nations.

1958   A parcel bomb sent by Ngo Dinh Nhu, younger brother and chief adviser of South Vietnamese President Ngo Dinh Diem, fails to kill King Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.

1967   Vietnam War: In a propaganda ceremony in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, three American prisoners of war are released by the Viet Cong and turned over to "new left" antiwar activist Tom Hayden.

1969   The United States begins secretly bombing the Sihanouk Trail in Cambodia, used by communist forces to infiltrate South Vietnam.

1970   Lon Nol ousts Prince Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia.

1970   Vietnam War: U.S. President Richard M. Nixon formally authorizes American combat troops to fight communist sanctuaries in Cambodia.

1970   Vietnam War: United States and South Vietnamese forces invade Cambodia to hunt Viet Cong.

1970   Protests erupt in Seattle, Washington, following the announcement by U.S. President Richard Nixon that U.S. Forces in Vietnam would pursue enemy troops into Cambodia, a neutral country.

 
Encyclopedia
Cambodia officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

 Peninsula in Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia
Southeast Asia, South-East Asia, South East Asia or Southeastern Asia is a subregion of Asia, consisting of the countries that are geographically south of China, east of India, west of New Guinea and north of Australia. The region lies on the intersection of geological plates, with heavy seismic...

. With a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), it is bordered by Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 to the northwest, Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 to the northeast, Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand , also known in to Malays as Teluk Siam literally meant Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea.-Geography:...

 to the southwest.

With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 69th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Theravada
Theravada
Theravada ; literally, "the Teaching of the Elders" or "the Ancient Teaching", is the oldest surviving Buddhist school. It was founded in India...

 Buddhism
Buddhism
Buddhism is a religion and philosophy encompassing a variety of traditions, beliefs and practices, largely based on teachings attributed to Siddhartha Gautama, commonly known as the Buddha . The Buddha lived and taught in the northeastern Indian subcontinent some time between the 6th and 4th...

 which is practiced by around 95% of the Cambodian population. The country minority groups include Vietnamese
Vietnamese people
The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam...

, Chinese
Han Chinese
Han Chinese are an ethnic group native to China and are the largest single ethnic group in the world.Han Chinese constitute about 92% of the population of the People's Republic of China , 98% of the population of the Republic of China , 78% of the population of Singapore, and about 20% of the...

, Chams and 30 various hill tribes
Khmer Loeu
The Khmer Loeu are the Mon–Khmer highland tribes in Cambodia. Although the origins of this group are not clear, some believe that the Mon–Khmer-speaking tribes were part of the long migration of these people from the northwest. The Austronesian-speaking groups, Rade and Jarai, apparently came to...

. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

; the political, economical, and cultural center of Cambodia.

The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 with Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni is the current reigning King of Cambodia. He is the eldest son of Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. Previously Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO, he was named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004...

, an elected monarch
Elective monarchy
An elective monarchy is a monarchy ruled by an elected rather than hereditary monarch. The manner of election, the nature of the candidacy and the electors vary from case to case...

 chosen by the Royal Throne Council
Politics of Cambodia
The Politics of Cambodia takes place in a framework of a constitutional monarchy, whereby the Prime Minister is the head of government and a Monarch is head of state. The kingdom formally takes place according to the nation's constitution in a framework of a parliamentary, representative...

, as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen
Hun Sen
Hun Sen is the current Prime Minister of Cambodia.He has been the sole leader of the Cambodian People's Party , which has governed Cambodia since the Vietnamese-backed overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979...

, who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.

In 802 AD Jayavarman II
Jayavarman II
Jayavarman II was a 9th century king of Cambodia, widely recognized as the founder of the Khmer Empire, which ruled much of the Southeast Asian mainland for more than six hundred years. Historians formerly dated his reign as running from 802 AD to 850 AD, but some scholars now have set it back to...

 declared himself king which marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

. Successive kings flourished which marked the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth who dominate much of South East Asia for over 600 years. Cambodia was ruled as a vassal between its neighbors, until it was colonized by the French in mid-19th century. Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 extended into Cambodia, giving rise to the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

, which took Phnom Penh in 1975. Cambodia reemerged several years later within a socialistic
Socialism
Socialism is an economic system characterized by social ownership of the means of production and cooperative management of the economy; or a political philosophy advocating such a system. "Social ownership" may refer to any one of, or a combination of, the following: cooperative enterprises,...

 sphere of influence as the People's Republic of Kampuchea
People's Republic of Kampuchea
The People's Republic of Kampuchea , , was founded in Cambodia by the Salvation Front, a group of Cambodian leftists dissatisfied with the Khmer Rouge, after the overthrow of Democratic Kampuchea, Pol Pot's government...

 until 1993. After years of isolation, the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy in 1993.

Rebuilding from decades of civil war
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

, Cambodia has seen rapid progress in the economical and human resource
Human resources
Human resources is a term used to describe the individuals who make up the workforce of an organization, although it is also applied in labor economics to, for example, business sectors or even whole nations...

 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.

Etymology


The official name of the country is the Kingdom of Cambodia, which is pronounced in Khmer as Preăh Réachéanachâk Kâmpŭchéa. Etymologically, its components are: -Preah- ("sacred") ; -Reachea- (from Sanskrit raja
Raja
Raja is an Indian term for a monarch, or princely ruler of the Kshatriya varna...

, meaning "king, royal, realm") ; -ana- (from Pāli
Pali language
Pāli is a Middle Indo-Aryan language of the Indian subcontinent. It is best known as the language of many of the earliest extant Buddhist scriptures, as collected in the Pāi Canon or Tipitaka, and as the liturgical language of Theravada Buddhism.-Etymology of the name:The word Pali itself...

 , "authority, command, power", itself from Sanskrit , same meaning) -chak (from Sanskrit chakra
Chakra
Chakra is a concept originating in Hindu texts, featured in tantric and yogic traditions of Hinduism and Buddhism. Its name derives from the Sanskrit word for "wheel" or "turning" .Chakra is a concept referring to wheel-like vortices...

meaning "wheel", a symbol of power and rule).

In the Khmer language
Khmer language
Khmer , or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language , with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious...

, the country is named Kampuchea . Kampuchea is a derivation of the Sanskrit term . The Khmer people will often refer to their country using the polite form Prâteh Kampuchea (Khmer: ប្រទេសកម្ពុជា) which literally means "the Country of Cambodia". Cambodians also most commonly use the more colloquial word "Srok Khmer" which translates to "the Land of Khmers".

The English name, "Cambodia" is derived from the French "Cambodge", a contraction of the Sanskrit name.

Pre-history



The sparse evidence for a Pleistocene
Pleistocene
The Pleistocene is the epoch from 2,588,000 to 11,700 years BP that spans the world's recent period of repeated glaciations. The name pleistocene is derived from the Greek and ....

 human occupation of present day Cambodia are quartz
Quartz
Quartz is the second-most-abundant mineral in the Earth's continental crust, after feldspar. It is made up of a continuous framework of SiO4 silicon–oxygen tetrahedra, with each oxygen being shared between two tetrahedra, giving an overall formula SiO2. There are many different varieties of quartz,...

 and quartzite
Quartzite
Quartzite is a hard metamorphic rock which was originally sandstone. Sandstone is converted into quartzite through heating and pressure usually related to tectonic compression within orogenic belts. Pure quartzite is usually white to gray, though quartzites often occur in various shades of pink...

 pebble tools found in terraces along the Mekong River, in Stung Treng
Stung Treng Province
Stung Treng is a northern province of Cambodia.-Description:The Cambodia/Lao border is located in the north of Stung Treng Province. The Mekong river crosses the province roughly in its midst.-History of stung treng:...

 and Kratié
Kratié Province
Kratié or Kracheh is a province in northeastern Cambodia. It borders Stung Treng to the north, Mondulkiri to the east, Kampong Thom to the west, Kampong Cham and Vietnam to the south....

 provinces, and in Kampot Province, but their dating is unreliable.

Some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherer
Hunter-gatherer
A hunter-gatherer or forage society is one in which most or all food is obtained from wild plants and animals, in contrast to agricultural societies which rely mainly on domesticated species. Hunting and gathering was the ancestral subsistence mode of Homo, and all modern humans were...

s inhabited Cambodia during Holocene
Holocene
The Holocene is a geological epoch which began at the end of the Pleistocene and continues to the present. The Holocene is part of the Quaternary period. Its name comes from the Greek words and , meaning "entirely recent"...

: the most ancient Cambodian archeological site is considered to be the cave of L'aang Spean, in Battambang Province
Battambang Province
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. It is bordered to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, and to the East and South with Pursat. The capital of the province is the city of Battambang. The name, meaning 'lost staff', refers to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang...

, which belongs to the so-called Hoabinhian
Hoabinhian
The term Hoabinhian was first used by French archaeologists working in Northern Vietnam to describe Holocene period archaeological assemblages excavated from rock shelters. It has become a common term in the English based literature to describe stone artifact assemblages in Southeast Asia that...

 period. Excavations in its lower layers produced a series of radiocarbon dates as of 6000 BC.

Upper layers in the same site gave evidence of transition to Neolithic
Neolithic
The Neolithic Age, Era, or Period, or New Stone Age, was a period in the development of human technology, beginning about 9500 BC in some parts of the Middle East, and later in other parts of the world. It is traditionally considered as the last part of the Stone Age...

, containing the earliest dated earthenware ceramics in Cambodia

Archeological records for the period between Holocene and Iron Age
Iron Age
The Iron Age is the archaeological period generally occurring after the Bronze Age, marked by the prevalent use of iron. The early period of the age is characterized by the widespread use of iron or steel. The adoption of such material coincided with other changes in society, including differing...

 remain equally limited. Other prehistoric sites of somewhat uncertain date are Samrong Sen (not far from the ancient capital of Udong), where the first investigations began in 1877, and Phum Snay, in the northern province of Banteay Meanchey. Prehistoric artifacts are often found during mining activities in Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri is a province in northeastern Cambodia that borders Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, Mondulkiri Province to the south, and Stung Treng Province to the west. The province extends from the mountains of the Annamite Range in the north, across a hilly plateau between the Tonle San...

.

The most outstanding prehistoric evidence in Cambodia however are probably various "circular earthworks
Earthworks (archaeology)
In archaeology, earthwork is a general term to describe artificial changes in land level. Earthworks are often known colloquially as 'lumps and bumps'. Earthworks can themselves be archaeological features or they can show features beneath the surface...

", discovered in the red soils near Memot and in the adjacent region of Vietnam as of the end of the 1950s. Their function and age are still debated, but some of them possibly date from 2nd millennium BC at least.

A pivotal event in Cambodian prehistory was the slow penetration of the first rice farmers from the north, which began in the late 3rd millennium BC.

Iron was worked by about 500 BC, with supporting evidence coming from the Khorat Plateau
Khorat Plateau
The Khorat Plateau also Korat Plateau, is a plateau in the northeastern region of Thailand, named for the short form of Nakhon Ratchasima, an historical stronghold controlling access to and from the plateau.-Geography:...

, in modern day Thailand. In Cambodia, some Iron Age settlements were found beneath Angkorian temples, like Baksei Chamkrong
Baksei Chamkrong
Baksei Chamkrong is a small Hindu temple located in the Angkor complex . It is dedicated to Lord Shiva and used to hold a golden image of him. The temple can be seen on the left side when entering Angkor Thom at the southern gate. It was dedicated to Yasovarman by his son, King Harshavarman I...

. Others were circular earthworks, like Lovea, a few kilometers north-west of Angkor. Burials, much richer, testify to improvement of food availability and trade (even on long distances: in the 4th century BC trade relations with India were already opened) and the existence of a social structure and labor organization.

Pre-Angkorian and Angkorian eras


During the 3rd, 4th, and 5th centuries, the Indianised states of Funan and Chenla
Chenla
Chenla is the Chinese designation for Cambodia after the fall of Funan. That name was still used in the 13th century by the Chinese envoy Zhou Daguan, author of the Manners and Customs of Cambodia...

 coalesced in present-day Cambodia and southwestern Vietnam.
For more than 2,000 years, Cambodia absorbed influences from India
India
India , officially the Republic of India , is a country in South Asia. It is the seventh-largest country by geographical area, the second-most populous country with over 1.2 billion people, and the most populous democracy in the world...

, passing them on to other Southeast Asian civilizations that are now Thailand and Laos. The Khmer Empire flourished in the area from the 9th to the 13th centuries. Around the 13th century, Theravada Buddhism was introduced to the area through monks from Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka
Sri Lanka, officially the Democratic Socialist Republic of Sri Lanka is a country off the southern coast of the Indian subcontinent. Known until 1972 as Ceylon , Sri Lanka is an island surrounded by the Indian Ocean, the Gulf of Mannar and the Palk Strait, and lies in the vicinity of India and the...

. From then on, Theravada Buddhism grew and eventually became the popular religion.

The Khmer Empire was Southeast Asia's largest empire during the 12th century and it remained very powerful. The empire declined yet remained powerful in the region until the 15th century. The empire's centre of power was Angkor
Angkor
Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara , meaning "city"...

, where a series of capitals was constructed during the empire's zenith. In 2007 an international team of researchers using satellite photographs and other modern techniques concluded that Angkor had been the largest pre-industrial city in the world with an urban sprawl of 1,150 square miles. The city could have supported a population of up to one million people and Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu,...

, the most famous and best-preserved religious temple at the site, are reminders of Cambodia's past as a major regional power.

Dark ages of Cambodia




After a long series of wars with neighboring kingdoms, Angkor was sacked by the Ayutthaya Kingdom
Ayutthaya kingdom
Ayutthaya was a Siamese kingdom that existed from 1350 to 1767. Ayutthaya was friendly towards foreign traders, including the Chinese, Vietnamese , Indians, Japanese and Persians, and later the Portuguese, Spanish, Dutch and French, permitting them to set up villages outside the walls of the...

 and abandoned in 1432 because of ecological failure and infrastructure breakdown. This led to a period of economic, social, and cultural stagnation when the kingdom's internal affairs came increasingly under the control of its neighbors. By this time, the Khmer penchant for monument building had ceased. Older faiths such as Mahayana Buddhism and the Hindu
Hindu
Hindu refers to an identity associated with the philosophical, religious and cultural systems that are indigenous to the Indian subcontinent. As used in the Constitution of India, the word "Hindu" is also attributed to all persons professing any Indian religion...

 cult of the god-king had been supplanted by Theravada Buddhism.

The court moved the capital to Longvek where the kingdom sought to regain its glory through maritime trade. Portuguese
Portugal
Portugal , officially the Portuguese Republic is a country situated in southwestern Europe on the Iberian Peninsula. Portugal is the westernmost country of Europe, and is bordered by the Atlantic Ocean to the West and South and by Spain to the North and East. The Atlantic archipelagos of the...

 and Spanish travelers described the city as a place of flourishing wealth and foreign trade. The attempt was short-lived however, as continued wars with the Ayutthaya and the Vietnamese resulted in the loss of more territory and Longvek being conquered in 1594. With the capturing of Longvek by the Siamese
Thai people
The Thai people, or Siamese, are the main ethnic group of Thailand and are part of the larger Tai ethnolinguistic peoples found in Thailand and adjacent countries in Southeast Asia as well as southern China. Their language is the Thai language, which is classified as part of the Kradai family of...

, the nation never fully recovered. During the next three centuries, the Khmer kingdom alternated as a vassal state of the Ayutthaya Kingdom and Vietnamese kings, as well as short-lived periods of relative independence.

A new Khmer capital was established at Udong south of Longvek, but its monarchs could survive only by entering into what amounted to vassal
Vassal
A vassal or feudatory is a person who has entered into a mutual obligation to a lord or monarch in the context of the feudal system in medieval Europe. The obligations often included military support and mutual protection, in exchange for certain privileges, usually including the grant of land held...

 relationships with the Siamese and Vietnamese. A renewed struggle between Siam and Vietnam for control of Cambodia in the nineteenth century resulted in a period when Vietnamese officials attempted to force the Khmers to adopt Vietnamese customs. This led to several rebellions against the Vietnamese. The Siamese–Vietnamese War (1841–1845) ended with an agreement to placed the country under joint suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

. This later led to the signing of a treaty for French Protection of Cambodia by King Norodom I
Norodom of Cambodia
Norodom I ruled as king of Cambodia from 1860 to 1904. He was the eldest son of King Ang Duong, who ruled on behalf of Siam, and half-brother of Prince Si Votha as well as the half-brother of King Sisowath. Norodom is cognate with Narottam in Sanskrit which means Best of men . Norodom was...

.

French colonization



In 1863 King Norodom
Norodom of Cambodia
Norodom I ruled as king of Cambodia from 1860 to 1904. He was the eldest son of King Ang Duong, who ruled on behalf of Siam, and half-brother of Prince Si Votha as well as the half-brother of King Sisowath. Norodom is cognate with Narottam in Sanskrit which means Best of men . Norodom was...

, who had been installed by Thailand, sought the protection of France from the Thai and Vietnamese after tensions grew between them. In 1867 the Thai king signed a treaty with France, renouncing suzerainty
Suzerainty
Suzerainty occurs where a region or people is a tributary to a more powerful entity which controls its foreign affairs while allowing the tributary vassal state some limited domestic autonomy. The dominant entity in the suzerainty relationship, or the more powerful entity itself, is called a...

 over Cambodia in exchange for the control of Battambang
Battambang Province
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. It is bordered to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, and to the East and South with Pursat. The capital of the province is the city of Battambang. The name, meaning 'lost staff', refers to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang...

 and Siem Reap provinces which officially became part of Thailand. The provinces were ceded back to Cambodia by a border treaty between France and Thailand in 1906.

Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France from 1863 to 1953, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

, though occupied by the Japanese empire
Japanese occupation of Cambodia
The Japanese occupation of Cambodia was the period of Cambodian history during World War II when the Empire of Japan established its authority over Cambodia....

 from 1941 to 1945. Between 1874 and 1962, the total population increased from about 946,000 to 5.7 million. After King Norodom's death in 1904, France manipulated the choice of king, and Sisowath, Norodom's brother, was placed on the throne. The throne became vacant in 1941 with the death of Monivong, Sisowath's son, and France passed over Monivong's son, Monireth, feeling he was too independently minded. Instead, Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

, a maternal grand-son of king Sisowath was enthroned. The French thought young Sihanouk would be easy to control. They were wrong, however, and under the reign of King Norodom Sihanouk, Cambodia gained independence from France on November 9, 1953.

Independence and Vietnam War


Cambodia became a constitutional monarchy under King Norodom Sihanouk. When French Indochina
French Indochina
French Indochina was part of the French colonial empire in southeast Asia. A federation of the three Vietnamese regions, Tonkin , Annam , and Cochinchina , as well as Cambodia, was formed in 1887....

 was given independence, Cambodia lost official control over the Mekong Delta
Mekong Delta
The Mekong Delta is the region in southwestern Vietnam where the Mekong River approaches and empties into the sea through a network of distributaries. The Mekong delta region encompasses a large portion of southwestern Vietnam of . The size of the area covered by water depends on the season.The...

 as it was awarded to Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

. The area had been controlled by the Vietnamese since 1698 with King Chey Chettha II
Chey Chettha II
Chey Chettha II was a king of Cambodia who reigned from Oudong, about 40 km northwest of modern-day Phnom Penh, from 1618 to 1628. He was the son of King Borommaracha VIII...

 granting Vietnamese permission to settle in the area decades before.
In 1955, Sihanouk abdicated in favour of his father in order to participate in politics and was elected prime minister. Upon his father's death in 1960, Sihanouk again became head of state, taking the title of prince. As the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

 progressed, Sihanouk adopted an official policy of neutrality
Neutral country
A neutral power in a particular war is a sovereign state which declares itself to be neutral towards the belligerents. A non-belligerent state does not need to be neutral. The rights and duties of a neutral power are defined in Sections 5 and 13 of the Hague Convention of 1907...

 in the Cold War
Cold War
The Cold War was the continuing state from roughly 1946 to 1991 of political conflict, military tension, proxy wars, and economic competition between the Communist World—primarily the Soviet Union and its satellite states and allies—and the powers of the Western world, primarily the United States...

, although he was widely considered to be sympathetic to the communist cause. While visiting Beijing in 1970 he was ousted by a military coup
Cambodian coup of 1970
The Cambodian coup of 1970 refers to the removal of the Cambodian Head of State, Prince Norodom Sihanouk, after a vote in the National Assembly on 18 March 1970. Emergency powers were subsequently invoked by the Prime Minister Lon Nol, who became effective head of state...

 led by Prime Minister General Lon Nol
Lon Nol
Lon Nol was a Cambodian politician and general who served as Prime Minister of Cambodia twice, as well as serving repeatedly as Defense Minister...

 and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, who had the support of the United States. The king urged his followers to help in overthrowing this government, hastening the onset of civil war
Cambodian Civil War
The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the Viet Cong against the government forces of Cambodia , which were supported by the United States and the Republic of Vietnam The Cambodian...

. Soon the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 rebels began using him to gain support.

Between 1969 and 1973, Republic of Vietnam
South Vietnam
South Vietnam was a state which governed southern Vietnam until 1975. It received international recognition in 1950 as the "State of Vietnam" and later as the "Republic of Vietnam" . Its capital was Saigon...

 forces and U.S. forces bombed and briefly invaded Cambodia in an effort to disrupt the Viet Cong and Khmer Rouge. Some two million Cambodians were made refugee
Refugee
A refugee is a person who outside her country of origin or habitual residence because she has suffered persecution on account of race, religion, nationality, political opinion, or because she is a member of a persecuted 'social group'. Such a person may be referred to as an 'asylum seeker' until...

s by the war and fled to Phnom Penh. Estimates of the number of Cambodians killed during the bombing campaigns vary widely, as do views of the effects of the bombing. The U.S. Seventh Air Force argued that the bombing prevented the fall of Phnom Penh in 1973 by killing 16,000 of 25,500 Khmer Rouge fighters besieging the city. However, journalist William Shawcross
William Shawcross
William Hartley Hume Shawcross, CVO is a British writer and commentator.-Career:Shawcross was educated at St. Aubyns Preparatory School, Rottingdean, Eton College and University College, Oxford. He attended St. Martin's Art School to study sculpture after leaving Oxford. He worked as a journalist...

 and Cambodia specialists Milton Osborne
Milton Osborne
Milton Osborne is an Australian historian, author, and consultant specializing in Southeast Asia.He attended North Sydney Boys High School, graduated from the University of Sydney and received a Ph.D. from Cornell University. Osborne held academic positions in Australia, the United Kingdom, the...

, David P. Chandler
David P. Chandler
David P. Chandler is an American historian and academic who is regarded as one of the foremost western scholars of Cambodia's modern history. Chandler currently resides in Australia, where he is an emeritus professor at Monash University as well as an adjunct professor of Asian Studies at...

 and Ben Kiernan
Ben Kiernan
Benedict F. Kiernan is the Whitney Griswold Professor of History, Professor of International and Area Studies and Director of the Genocide Studies Program at Yale University. He is a prolific writer on the Cambodian genocide...

 argued that the bombing drove peasants to join the Khmer Rouge. Cambodia specialist Craig Etcheson argued that the Khmer Rouge "would have won anyway", even without U.S. intervention driving recruitment despite the U.S. secretly playing a major role behind the leading cause of the Khmer Rouge.

Khmer Rouge regime



As the Vietnam War ended, a draft USAID report observed that the country faced famine in 1975, with 75% of its draft animals destroyed, and that rice planting for the next harvest would have to be done "by the hard labour of seriously malnourished people". The report predicted that
"Without large-scale external food and equipment assistance there will be widespread starvation between now and next February ... Slave labour and starvation rations for half the nation's people (probably heaviest among those who supported the republic) will be a cruel necessity for this year, and general deprivation and suffering will stretch over the next two or three years before Cambodia can get back to rice self-sufficiency".


The Khmer Rouge reached Phnom Penh and took power in 1975. The regime, led by Pol Pot
Pol Pot
Saloth Sar , better known as Pol Pot, , was a Cambodian Maoist revolutionary who led the Khmer Rouge from 1963 until his death in 1998. From 1976 to 1979, he served as the Prime Minister of Democratic Kampuchea....

, changed the official name of the country to Democratic Kampuchea
Democratic Kampuchea
The Khmer Rouge period refers to the rule of Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen, Khieu Samphan and the Khmer Rouge Communist party over Cambodia, which the Khmer Rouge renamed as Democratic Kampuchea....

. They immediately evacuated the cities and sent the entire population on forced marches to rural work projects. They attempted to rebuild the country's agriculture on the model of the 11th century, discarded Western medicine, and destroyed temples, libraries, and anything considered Western. At least a million Cambodians, out of a total population of 8 million, died from executions, overwork, starvation and disease.

Estimates as to how many people were killed by the Khmer Rouge regime range from approximately one to three million; the most commonly cited figure is two million (about one-third of the population). This era gave rise to the term Killing Fields, and the prison Tuol Sleng became notorious for its history of mass killing. Hundreds of thousands fled across the border into neighbouring Thailand. The regime disproportionately targeted ethnic minority groups. The Cham Muslims suffered serious purges with as much as half of their population exterminated.

In the late 1960s, an estimated 425,000 ethnic Chinese
Overseas Chinese
Overseas Chinese are people of Chinese birth or descent who live outside the Greater China Area . People of partial Chinese ancestry living outside the Greater China Area may also consider themselves Overseas Chinese....

 lived in Cambodia, but by 1984, due to Khmer Rouge genocide and to emigration, only about 61,400 Chinese remained in the country. Forced repatriation in 1970 and deaths during the Khmer Rouge era reduced the Vietnamese
Vietnamese Cambodian
Vietnamese Cambodian constitute a significant portion of Cambodia's population, and is the largest ethnic minority in Cambodia. It refers to a Vietnamese person born in Cambodia or a person born of Vietnamese and Cambodian ancestry...

 population in Cambodia from between 250,000 and 300,000 in 1969 to a reported 56,000 in 1984. Professionals, such as doctors, lawyers and teachers, were also targeted. According to Robert D. Kaplan
Robert D. Kaplan
Robert David Kaplan is an American journalist, currently a National Correspondent for the Atlantic Monthly...

, "eyeglasses were as deadly as the yellow star
Yellow badge
The yellow badge , also referred to as a Jewish badge, was a cloth patch that Jews were ordered to sew on their outer garments in order to mark them as Jews in public. It is intended to be a badge of shame associated with antisemitism...

" as they were seen as a sign of intellectualism.

End of Khmer Rouge and transition




In November 1978, Vietnamese troops invaded Cambodia in response to border raids by the Khmer Rouge. The People's Republic of Kampuchea
People's Republic of Kampuchea
The People's Republic of Kampuchea , , was founded in Cambodia by the Salvation Front, a group of Cambodian leftists dissatisfied with the Khmer Rouge, after the overthrow of Democratic Kampuchea, Pol Pot's government...

 (PRK), a Pro-Soviet
Eastern bloc
The term Eastern Bloc or Communist Bloc refers to the former communist states of Eastern and Central Europe, generally the Soviet Union and the countries of the Warsaw Pact...

 state led by the Salvation Front
Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation
The Kampuchean United Front for National Salvation , often simply referred to as Salvation Front or by its French acronym FUNSK , was the nucleus of a new Cambodian regime, that would later establish the People's Republic of Kampuchea .Its foundation took place in 1978 in Vietnam by...

, a group of Cambodian leftists dissatisfied with the Khmer Rouge, was established. In opposition to the newly-created state, a government-in-exile referred to as the Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea
The Coalition Government of Democratic Kampuchea was a coalition government in exile composed of three Cambodian political factions: Prince Norodom Sihanouk's Funcinpec party, the Party of Democratic Kampuchea and the Khmer People's National Liberation Front formed in 1982, broadening the de...

 (CGDK) was formed in 1981 from three factions. This consisted of the Khmer Rouge, a royalist faction led by Sihanouk, and the Khmer People's National Liberation Front
Khmer People's National Liberation Front
The Khmer People's National Liberation Front was a political front organized in 1979 in opposition to the Vietnamese-installed People's Republic of Kampuchea regime in Cambodia...

. The Khmer Rouge representative to the UN, Thiounn Prasith, was retained.

Throughout the 1980s the Khmer Rouge, supplied by China, Thailand, the United States and the United Kingdom
United Kingdom
The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern IrelandIn the United Kingdom and Dependencies, other languages have been officially recognised as legitimate autochthonous languages under the European Charter for Regional or Minority Languages...

 continued to control much of the country and attacked territory not under their dominance. These attacks, led to economic sanctions
Economic sanctions
Economic sanctions are domestic penalties applied by one country on another for a variety of reasons. Economic sanctions include, but are not limited to, tariffs, trade barriers, import duties, and import or export quotas...

 by the U.S. and its allies, made reconstruction virtually impossible and left the country deeply impoverished.

Peace efforts began in Paris in 1989 under the State of Cambodia, culminating two years later in October 1991 in a comprehensive peace settlement. The UN was given a mandate to enforce a ceasefire and deal with refugees and disarmament known as the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia was a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Cambodia in 1992–93. It was also the first occasion on which the UN had taken over the administration of an independent state, organized and run an election , had its own radio station and jail,...

 (UNTAC).

In 1993, Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

 was restored as King of Cambodia
King of Cambodia
The King of Cambodia is the head of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The King's power is limited to that of a symbolic figurehead to whom people are to give love and respect...

, making Cambodia the world's only postcommunist country which restored monarchy as the system of government. The stability established following the conflict was shaken in 1997 by a coup d'état but has otherwise remained in place. In recent years, reconstruction efforts have progressed and led to some political stability in the form of a multiparty
Multi-party system
A multi-party system is a system in which multiple political parties have the capacity to gain control of government separately or in coalition, e.g.The Conservative-Liberal Democrat coalition in the United Kingdom formed in 2010. The effective number of parties in a multi-party system is normally...

 democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

. In July 2010 Kang Kek Iew was the first Khmer Rouge member found guilty of war crime
War crime
War crimes are serious violations of the laws applicable in armed conflict giving rise to individual criminal responsibility...

s and crimes against humanity in his role as the former commandant of the S21 extermination camp. He was sentenced to 35 years in prison but the sentence was reduced to 19 years taking into consideration the time he spent in custody before trial.

Government


National politics in Cambodia take place within the framework of the nation's constitution of 1993. The government is a constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy
Constitutional monarchy is a form of government in which a monarch acts as head of state within the parameters of a constitution, whether it be a written, uncodified or blended constitution...

 operated as a parliamentary representative democracy
Representative democracy
Representative democracy is a form of government founded on the principle of elected individuals representing the people, as opposed to autocracy and direct democracy...

. The Prime Minister of Cambodia
Prime Minister of Cambodia
The Prime Minister of Cambodia , is the head of government of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Prime Minister is appointed by the King under Article 119 of the Constitution and is responsible for leading the government of the Kingdom.-Constitutional powers:The powers of the Prime Minister are established...

, an office held by Hun Sen
Hun Sen
Hun Sen is the current Prime Minister of Cambodia.He has been the sole leader of the Cambodian People's Party , which has governed Cambodia since the Vietnamese-backed overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979...

 since 1985, is the head of government
Head of government
Head of government is the chief officer of the executive branch of a government, often presiding over a cabinet. In a parliamentary system, the head of government is often styled prime minister, chief minister, premier, etc...

, while the King of Cambodia
King of Cambodia
The King of Cambodia is the head of state of the Kingdom of Cambodia. The King's power is limited to that of a symbolic figurehead to whom people are to give love and respect...

 (currently Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni is the current reigning King of Cambodia. He is the eldest son of Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. Previously Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO, he was named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004...

) is the head of state
Head of State
A head of state is the individual that serves as the chief public representative of a monarchy, republic, federation, commonwealth or other kind of state. His or her role generally includes legitimizing the state and exercising the political powers, functions, and duties granted to the head of...

. The prime minister is appointed by the king, on the advice and with the approval of the National Assembly
National Assembly of Cambodia
The National Assembly of Cambodia or Radhsphea is the lower house of the Parliament of Cambodia.It has 123 members, elected for five year terms by proportional representation, using provinces as constituencies of 1 to 18 members, and the D'Hondt method of seat distribution.-Elections:Summary of the...



The prime minister and the ministerial appointees exercise executive power
Executive Power
Executive Power is Vince Flynn's fifth novel, and the fourth to feature Mitch Rapp, an American agent that works for the CIA as an operative for a covert counter terrorism unit called the "Orion Team."-Plot summary:...

 while legislative powers are shared by the executive and the bicameral Parliament of Cambodia
Parliament of Cambodia
The Parliament of Cambodia is the bicameral legislature of the Government of Cambodia, consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly . The Parliament is composed of 181 members, 123 MPs and 58 Senators. The Constitution established the Kingdom of Cambodia as a constitutional monarchy based...

, which consists of a lower house, the National Assembly or Radhsphea and an upper house, the Senate or Sénat. Members of the 123-seat Assembly
National Assembly of Cambodia
The National Assembly of Cambodia or Radhsphea is the lower house of the Parliament of Cambodia.It has 123 members, elected for five year terms by proportional representation, using provinces as constituencies of 1 to 18 members, and the D'Hondt method of seat distribution.-Elections:Summary of the...

 are elected through a system of proportional representation
Proportional representation
Proportional representation is a concept in voting systems used to elect an assembly or council. PR means that the number of seats won by a party or group of candidates is proportionate to the number of votes received. For example, under a PR voting system if 30% of voters support a particular...

 and serve for a maximum term of five years. The Senate has 61 seats, two of which are appointed by the king and two others by the National Assembly. Senators serve five year terms.

On October 14, 2004, King Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni
Norodom Sihamoni is the current reigning King of Cambodia. He is the eldest son of Norodom Sihanouk and Norodom Monineath Sihanouk. Previously Cambodia's ambassador to UNESCO, he was named by a nine-member throne council to become the next king after his father Norodom Sihanouk abdicated in 2004...

 was selected by a special nine-member throne council, part of a selection process that was quickly put in place after the abdication of King Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

 a week prior. Sihamoni's selection was endorsed by Prime Minister Hun Sen
Hun Sen
Hun Sen is the current Prime Minister of Cambodia.He has been the sole leader of the Cambodian People's Party , which has governed Cambodia since the Vietnamese-backed overthrow of the Khmer Rouge in 1979...

 and National Assembly Speaker Prince Norodom Ranariddh
Norodom Ranariddh
Prince Norodom Ranariddh is the second son of former king Norodom Sihanouk of Cambodia and a half brother of the current king, Norodom Sihamoni.-Biography:...

 (the king's half brother and current chief advisor), both members of the throne council. He was enthroned in Phnom Penh on October 29, 2004.

The Cambodian People's Party
Cambodian People's Party
The Cambodian People's Party is the current ruling party of Cambodia.This party was formerly known as Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party...

 (CPP) is the major ruling party in Cambodia. The CPP controls the lower and upper chambers of parliament, with 73 seats in the National Assembly and 43 seats in the Senate. The opposition Sam Rainsy Party
Sam Rainsy Party
The Sam Rainsy Party is a personalist and more or less liberal party in Cambodia. The party is a member of the Council of Asian Liberals and Democrats...

 is the second largest party in Cambodia with 26 seats in the National Assembly and 2 in the Senate.

Military


The Royal Cambodian Army
Royal Cambodian Army
The Royal Cambodian Army is a part of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces. It has ground forces which numbered about 175,000 divided into eleven divisions of infantry, with integrated armour and artillery support...

, Royal Cambodian Navy, Royal Cambodian Air Force
Royal Cambodian Air Force
The Royal Cambodian Air Force is the branch of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces which is charged with operating all military aircraft in Cambodia.-Organization:...

 and Royal Gendarmerie
Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia
The Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia, or "Military Police", is a branch of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and it is responsible for the maintenance of public order and internal security in Cambodia. The paramilitary unit has a strength of more than 7,000 soldiers deployed in all provinces...

 collectively form the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces, under the command of the Ministry of National Defense, presided over by the Prime Minister of Cambodia
Prime Minister of Cambodia
The Prime Minister of Cambodia , is the head of government of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Prime Minister is appointed by the King under Article 119 of the Constitution and is responsible for leading the government of the Kingdom.-Constitutional powers:The powers of the Prime Minister are established...

. His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni is the Supreme Commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces (RCAF), and the country's Prime Minister Hun Sen effectively holds the position of commander-in-chief
Commander-in-Chief
A commander-in-chief is the commander of a nation's military forces or significant element of those forces. In the latter case, the force element may be defined as those forces within a particular region or those forces which are associated by function. As a practical term it refers to the military...

.

The introduction of a revised command structure early in 2000 was a key prelude to the reorganisation of the Cambodian military. This saw the defence ministry form three subordinate general departments responsible for logistics and finance, materials and technical services, and defence services under the High Command Headquarters (HCHQ).

The minister of National Defence is General Tea Banh
Tea Banh
Tea Banh is the Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for National Defence for Cambodia. He is a former general and a member of the Cambodian People's Party and was elected to represent Siem Reap Province in the National Assembly of Cambodia in the 2003 elections...

. Banh has served as defence minister since 1979. The Secretaries of State for Defence are Chay Saing Yun
Chay Saing Yun
Chay Saing Yun is a Cambodian politician. He belongs to the Cambodian People's Party and was elected to represent Kampot Province in the National Assembly of Cambodia in 2003.-References:...

 and Por Bun Sreu. The new Commander-in-Chief of the RCAF and was replaced by his deputy General Pol Saroeun, who is a long time loyalist of Prime Minister Hun Sen. The Army Commander
Commander
Commander is a naval rank which is also sometimes used as a military title depending on the individual customs of a given military service. Commander is also used as a rank or title in some organizations outside of the armed forces, particularly in police and law enforcement.-Commander as a naval...

 is General Meas Sophea
Meas Sophea
H.E General. Meas Sophea, born 1955, is a senior general in the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces . He is currently the Deputy Commander-in-Chief of the R.C.A.F and chief of the Royal Cambodian Army.- Early life :...

 and the Army Chief of Staff is Chea Saran.

In 2010, the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces comprised about 210,000 personnel. Total Cambodian military spending stands at 3% of national GDP. The Royal Gendarmerie of Cambodia total more than 7,000 personnel. Its civil duties include providing security and public peace, to investigate and prevent organized crime, terrorism and other violent groups; to protect state and private property; to help and assist civilians and other emergency forces in a case of emergency, natural disaster, civil unrest and armed conflicts.

Foreign relations


The foreign relations of Cambodia are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs
Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation (Cambodia)
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation is the government ministry responsible for representing Cambodia to the international community...

 under H.E. Hor Namhong
Hor Namhong
Hor Namhong is a Cambodian diplomat who has served in the government of Cambodia as Minister of Foreign Affairs since 1998. He previously held the same post from 1990 until 1993...

.

Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, the World Bank
World Bank
The World Bank is an international financial institution that provides loans to developing countries for capital programmes.The World Bank's official goal is the reduction of poverty...

 and the International Monetary Fund
International Monetary Fund
The International Monetary Fund is an organization of 187 countries, working to foster global monetary cooperation, secure financial stability, facilitate international trade, promote high employment and sustainable economic growth, and reduce poverty around the world...

. It is a member of the Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

 (ADB), ASEAN, and joined the WTO on October 13, 2004. In 2005 Cambodia attended the inaugural East Asia Summit
East Asia Summit
The East Asia Summit is a forum held annually by leaders of, initially, 16 countries in the East Asian region. Membership will expand to 18 countries including the United States and Russia at the Sixth EAS in 2011. EAS meetings are held after annual ASEAN leaders’ meetings...

 in Malaysia. On November 23, 2009, Cambodia reinstated the membership to the International Atomic Energy Agency (IAEA). Cambodia first became a member of IAEA on February 6, 1958 but withdrew its membership on March 26, 2003.

Cambodia has established diplomatic relations with numerous countries; the government reports twenty embassies in the country including many of its Asian neighbours and those of important players during the Paris peace negotiations, including the US, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), Japan, and Russia. As a result of its international relations, various charitable organizations have assisted with social, economical, and civil
Civil engineering
Civil engineering is a professional engineering discipline that deals with the design, construction, and maintenance of the physical and naturally built environment, including works like roads, bridges, canals, dams, and buildings...

 infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

 needs.

In recent years, bilateral relations between the United States and Cambodia have strengthened. The U.S. supports efforts in Cambodia to combat terrorism, build democratic institutions, promote human rights, foster economic development, eliminate corruption, achieve the fullest possible accounting for Americans missing from the Vietnam War
Vietnam War
The Vietnam War was a Cold War-era military conflict that occurred in Vietnam, Laos, and Cambodia from 1 November 1955 to the fall of Saigon on 30 April 1975. This war followed the First Indochina War and was fought between North Vietnam, supported by its communist allies, and the government of...

-era, and to bring to justice those most responsible for serious violations of international humanitarian law committed under the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 regime. China's geopolitical interest in Cambodia changed significantly with the end of the Cold War. It retains considerable influence, including close links with former King Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

, senior members of Cambodian Government, and the ethnic Chinese community in Cambodia. There are regular high level exchanges between the two countries. Japan has been a vital contributor to Cambodia’s rehabilitation and reconstruction since the high-profile UN Transitional Authority (UNTAC)
United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia
The United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia was a United Nations peacekeeping operation in Cambodia in 1992–93. It was also the first occasion on which the UN had taken over the administration of an independent state, organized and run an election , had its own radio station and jail,...

 mission and elections in 1993. Japan provided some US$1.2 billion in total overseas development assistance (ODA) during the period since 1992 and remains Cambodia’s top donor country.

While the violent ruptures of the 1970s and 80s have passed, several border disputes between Cambodia and its neighbours persist. There are disagreements over some offshore islands and sections of the boundary with Vietnam and undefined maritime boundaries
Maritime boundary
Maritime boundary is a conceptual means of division of the water surface of the planet into maritime areas that are defined through surrounding physical geography or by human geography. As such it usually includes areas of exclusive national rights over the mineral and biological resources,...

 and border areas with Thailand. Both Cambodian and Thai troops have clashed over the temple at Preah Vihear, which is claimed by both countries, leading to a deterioration in relations. The International Court of Justice
International Court of Justice
The International Court of Justice is the primary judicial organ of the United Nations. It is based in the Peace Palace in The Hague, Netherlands...

 in 1962 awarded the temple to Cambodia but was unclear of the surrounding land. Both countries blamed the other for firing first and denied entering the other's territory.

Geography



Cambodia has an area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi) and lies entirely within the tropics, between latitudes 10°
10th parallel north
The 10th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 10 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, the Indian Ocean, South Asia, Southeast Asia, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, South America and the Atlantic Ocean....

 and 15°N
15th parallel north
The 15th parallel north is a circle of latitude that is 15 degrees north of the Earth's equatorial plane. It crosses Africa, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Pacific Ocean, Central America, the Caribbean and the Atlantic Ocean....

, and longitudes 102°
102nd meridian east
The meridian 102° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

 and 108°E
108th meridian east
The meridian 108° east of Greenwich is a line of longitude that extends from the North Pole across the Arctic Ocean, Asia, the Indian Ocean, the Southern Ocean, and Antarctica to the South Pole....

. It borders Thailand to the north and west, Laos to the northeast, and Vietnam
Vietnam
Vietnam – sometimes spelled Viet Nam , officially the Socialist Republic of Vietnam – is the easternmost country on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by China to the north, Laos to the northwest, Cambodia to the southwest, and the South China Sea –...

 to the east and southeast. It has a 443-kilometer (275 mi) coastline along the Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand , also known in to Malays as Teluk Siam literally meant Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea.-Geography:...

.

Cambodia’s landscape is characterized by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains and includes the Tonle Sap
Tonlé Sap
The Tonlé Sap is a combined lake and river system of major importance to Cambodia.The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997....

 (Great Lake) and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta. Extending outward from this central region are transitional plains, thinly forested and rising to elevations of about 650 feet (200 metres) above sea level. To the north the Cambodian plain abuts a sandstone escarpment, which forms a southward-facing cliff stretching more than 200 miles (320 km) from west to east and rising abruptly above the plain to heights of 600 to 1,800 feet (180 to 550 metres). This escarpment marks the southern limit of the Dângrêk Mountains
Dângrêk Mountains
The Dângrêk Mountains , meaning "Carrying-Pole Mountains" in Khmer, is a mountain range forming a natural border between Cambodia and Thailand....

.

Flowing south through the country’s eastern regions is the Mekong River. East of the Mekong the transitional plains gradually merge with the eastern highlands, a region of forested mountains and high plateaus that extend into Laos and Vietnam. In southwestern Cambodia two distinct upland blocks, the Krâvanh Mountains
Cardamom Mountains
The Krâvanh Mountains, literally the "Cardamom Mountains" , is a mountain range in the south west of Cambodia, jutting into southeastern Thailand.-Location and description:...

 and the Dâmrei Mountains
Dâmrei Mountains
The Dâmrei Mountains, literally the "Elephant Mountains", are a mountain range situated in the southwest of Cambodia.-Description:These mountains are an offshoot of the Krâvanh or Cardamom Mountains, but occupy a much smaller area. The highest elevation is Phnom Bokor at 1,081 meters above...

, form another highland region that covers much of the land area between the Tonle Sap and the Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand , also known in to Malays as Teluk Siam literally meant Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea.-Geography:...

. In this remote and largely uninhabited area, Phnom Aural
Phnom Aural
Phnom Aural is the tallest peak in Cambodia. It is 1,813 meters tall .It is in the eastern part of the Cardamom Mountains...

, Cambodia’s highest peak, rises to an elevation of 5,949 feet (1,813 metres). The southern coastal region adjoining the Gulf of Thailand is a narrow lowland strip, heavily wooded and sparsely populated, which is isolated from the central plain by the southwestern highlands.

The most distinctive geographical feature is the inundations of the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), measuring about 2,590 square kilometers (1,000 sq mi) during the dry season and expanding to about 24,605 square kilometers (9,500 sq mi) during the rainy season. This densely populated plain, which is devoted to wet rice cultivation, is the heartland of Cambodia. Much of this area has been designated as a biosphere reserve.

Climate


Cambodia's climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia, is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences.

Cambodia has a temperature range from 21 to 35 °C (69.8 to 95 °F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand
Gulf of Thailand
The Gulf of Thailand , also known in to Malays as Teluk Siam literally meant Gulf of Siam, is a shallow arm of the South China Sea.-Geography:...

 and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.

Cambodia has two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22 °C (71.6 °F) and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F) around April. Disastrous flooding occurred in 2001 and again in 2002, with some degree of flooding almost every year.

Wildlife




Cambodia has a wide variety of plants and animals. There are 212 mammal
Mammal
Mammals are members of a class of air-breathing vertebrate animals characterised by the possession of endothermy, hair, three middle ear bones, and mammary glands functional in mothers with young...

 species, 536 bird species, 240 reptile
Reptile
Reptiles are members of a class of air-breathing, ectothermic vertebrates which are characterized by laying shelled eggs , and having skin covered in scales and/or scutes. They are tetrapods, either having four limbs or being descended from four-limbed ancestors...

 species, 850 freshwater fish species (Tonle Sap Lake area), and 435 marine fish species. Much of this biodiversity is contained around the Tonle Sap Lake and the surrounding biosphere. The Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve
Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve
The Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve is a unique ecological phenomenon surrounding the Tonle Sap or Great Lake of Cambodia. In 1997, it was successfully nominated as a UNESCO Biosphere Reserve.-Tonle Sap:...

 is a unique ecological phenomenon surrounding the Tonle Sap. It encompasses the lake and nine provinces: Kampong Thom, Siem Reap, Battambang
Battambang Province
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. It is bordered to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, and to the East and South with Pursat. The capital of the province is the city of Battambang. The name, meaning 'lost staff', refers to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang...

, Pursat, Kampong Chhnang, Banteay Meanchey, Pailin
Pailin
Pailin is a province at the northern edge of the Cardamom Mountains, in the west of Cambodia near the border of Thailand. This province is surrounded by Battambang Province, and was officially carved out of Battambang to become a separate administrative division after the surrender of the Ieng...

, Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear. In 1997, it was successfully nominated as a UNESCO
UNESCO
The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization is a specialized agency of the United Nations...

 Biosphere Reserve
Biosphere reserve
The Man and the Biosphere Programme of UNESCO was established in 1971 to promote interdisciplinary approaches to management, research and education in ecosystem conservation and sustainable use of natural resources.-Development:...

. Other key habitats include the dry forest of Mondolkiri and Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri
Ratanakiri is a province in northeastern Cambodia that borders Laos to the north, Vietnam to the east, Mondulkiri Province to the south, and Stung Treng Province to the west. The province extends from the mountains of the Annamite Range in the north, across a hilly plateau between the Tonle San...

 provinces and the Cardamom Mountains
Cardamom Mountains
The Krâvanh Mountains, literally the "Cardamom Mountains" , is a mountain range in the south west of Cambodia, jutting into southeastern Thailand.-Location and description:...

 ecosystem, including Bokor National Park, Botum-Sakor National Park
Botum-Sakor National Park
Botum Sakor National Park is a national park of Cambodia. Situated on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, Botum Sakor is a peninsula projecting southwest from the Cardamom Mountains. The National Park comprises 183,408 hectares of designated park land and spans three districts of Koh Kong Province:...

, and the Phnom Aural and Phnom Samkos wildlife sanctuaries.

The rate of deforestation in Cambodia
Deforestation in Cambodia
Cambodia has one of the highest rates of deforestation in the world, third to only Nigeria and Vietnam, according to a 2005 report conducted by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations ....

 is one of the highest in the world. Cambodia's primary rainforest cover fell from over 70% in 1969 to just 31% in 2007. In total, Cambodia lost 25000 square kilometres (9,652.6 sq mi) of forest between 1990 and 2005—3340 km² (1,290 sq mi) of which was primary forest. Since 2007, less than 3220 km² (1,243 sq mi) of primary forest remain with the result that the future sustainability
Sustainability
Sustainability is the capacity to endure. For humans, sustainability is the long-term maintenance of well being, which has environmental, economic, and social dimensions, and encompasses the concept of union, an interdependent relationship and mutual responsible position with all living and non...

 of the forest reserves of Cambodia is under severe threat, with illegal loggers looking to generate revenue.

Administrative divisions


The capital (reach thani) and provinces (khaet) of Cambodia are first-level administrative divisions. Cambodia is divided into 24 provinces including the capital.

Municipalities and districts are the second-level administrative divisions of Cambodia. The provinces are subdivided into 159 districts and 26 municipalities. The districts and municipalities in turn are further divided into communes (khum) and quarters (sangkat).
EWLINE
Number Province Capital Area (km²) Population
1 Banteay Meanchey  Sisophon
Sisophon
Sisophon is the provincial capital of Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia. The city separates Cambodia's National Highway 5 and National Highway 6. Serei Saophoan is difficult to pronounce, so often the area is written transliterated as "Sisophon", even on Cambodian signs...

 
6,679 678,033
2 Battambang
Battambang Province
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. It is bordered to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, and to the East and South with Pursat. The capital of the province is the city of Battambang. The name, meaning 'lost staff', refers to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang...

 
Battambang
Battambang
Battambang is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia.Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country...

 
11,702 1,036,523
3 Kampong Cham  Kampong Cham
Kampong Cham (city)
Kampong Cham is the capital city of the Kampong Cham Province in eastern Cambodia. It is the third largest city in Cambodia with a population of 63,771 people and is located on the Mekong River. Kampong Cham is 124 kilometers northeast from Phnom Penh and can be reached by either boat or by...

 
9,799 1,680,694
4 Kampong Chhnang  Kampong Chhnang  5,521 472,616
5 Kampong Speu  Kampong Speu  7,017 716,517
6 Kampong Thom  Kampong Thom  13,814 708,398
7 Kampot  Kampot  4,873 585,110
8 Kandal
Kandal Province
Kandal is a province of Cambodia. Its capital is Ta Khmao town . The province completely surrounds, but does not include, the national capital Phnom Penh...

 
Ta Khmao  3,568 1,265,805
9 Kep  Kep  336 40,208
10 Koh Kong
Koh Kong Province
Koh Kong is a province of Cambodia. The name means "Kŏng Island Province". Its capital is Koh Kong.-Geography:The most south-western province of Cambodia, Koh Kong has a long undeveloped coastline and a mountainous, forested and largely inaccessible interior which embraces part of the Cardamom...

 
Koh Kong  11,160 139,722
11 Kratié
Kratié Province
Kratié or Kracheh is a province in northeastern Cambodia. It borders Stung Treng to the north, Mondulkiri to the east, Kampong Thom to the west, Kampong Cham and Vietnam to the south....

 
Kratié  11,094 318,523
12 Mondulkiri  Senmonorom
Senmonorom
Senmonorom is the capital of Senmonorom District and Mondulkiri Province, Cambodia.Senmonorom is the only major town in the province of Mondulkiri...

 
14,288 60,811
13 Oddar Meanchey  Samraong  6,158 185,443
14 Pailin  Pailin
Pailin
Pailin is a province at the northern edge of the Cardamom Mountains, in the west of Cambodia near the border of Thailand. This province is surrounded by Battambang Province, and was officially carved out of Battambang to become a separate administrative division after the surrender of the Ieng...

 
803 70,482
15 Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

 
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is the capital and largest city of Cambodia. Located on the banks of the Mekong River, Phnom Penh has been the national capital since the French colonized Cambodia, and has grown to become the nation's center of economic and industrial activities, as well as the center of security,...

 
758 2,234,566
16 Preah Sihanouk
Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville , also known as Kampong Saom, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. This port city is a growing Cambodian urban center, located southwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The province is named after King Father Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the...

 
Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville , also known as Kampong Saom, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. This port city is a growing Cambodian urban center, located southwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The province is named after King Father Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the...

 
868 199,902
17 Preah Vihear  Tbeng Meanchey  13,788 170,852
18 Pursat  Pursat
Pursat
Pursat is the capital of Pursat Province, Cambodia. Its name derived from a type of tree.- Notes :...

 
12,692 397,107
19 Prey Veng  Prey Veng  4,883 947,357
20 Ratanakiri  Banlung
Banlung
Banlung is the capital of Ratanakiri Province in northeastern Cambodia. Banlung is 636 km from the Cambodian capital of Phnom Penh. Ratanakiri province borders Vietnam and Laos. Banlung is also the capital of the Banlung District. The city has a population of around 17,000 and the surrounding...

 
10,782 149,997
21 Siem Reap  Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and is the gateway to Angkor region.Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market...

 
10,229 896,309
22 Stung Treng
Stung Treng Province
Stung Treng is a northern province of Cambodia.-Description:The Cambodia/Lao border is located in the north of Stung Treng Province. The Mekong river crosses the province roughly in its midst.-History of stung treng:...

 
Stung Treng
Stung Treng
Stung Treng is the capital of Stung Treng Province, Cambodia. It is located in the western part of the Virachey National Park.It is the major city of both the district and province and has a population of 29,665 ....

 
11,092 111,734
23 Svay Rieng  Svay Rieng  2,966 482,785
24 Takéo  Takéo
Takéo
Takéo is the capital of Takéo Province, Cambodia. As of 1998 it had a population of 39,186. The town and province is known for its silk weaving and the province is home to about 10,000 of the total of 15,000 Cambodian weavers. Most silk weavers in the villages are near the national highway in the...

 
3,563 843,931

Economy


In 2010 Cambodia's per capita income in PPP is $2,470 and $1,040 in nominal per capita. Cambodia's per capita income is rapidly increasing but is low compared to other countries in the region. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia's major exports. The International Rice Research Institute
International Rice Research Institute
The International Rice Research Institute is an international NGO. Its headquarters are in Los Baños, Laguna, Philippines, and it has offices in sixteen countries...

 (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines
Philippines
The Philippines , officially known as the Republic of the Philippines , is a country in Southeast Asia in the western Pacific Ocean. To its north across the Luzon Strait lies Taiwan. West across the South China Sea sits Vietnam...

. These varieties had been collected in the 1960s.

Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001–2010 was 7.7% making it one of the world's top ten countries with the highest annual average GDP growth. Tourism was Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to 2 million in 2007. In 2004, inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion US$.

China is Cambodia's biggest source of foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment
Foreign direct investment or foreign investment refers to the net inflows of investment to acquire a lasting management interest in an enterprise operating in an economy other than that of the investor.. It is the sum of equity capital,other long-term capital, and short-term capital as shown in...

 in the kingdom. China plans to spend $8 billion in 360 projects in the first seven months of 2011. It is also the largest source of foreign aid, providing about $600 million in 2007 and $260 million in 2008.

The older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure
Infrastructure
Infrastructure is basic physical and organizational structures needed for the operation of a society or enterprise, or the services and facilities necessary for an economy to function...

. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004, while the Asian Development Bank
Asian Development Bank
The Asian Development Bank is a regional development bank established on 22 August 1966 to facilitate economic development of countries in Asia...

 alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance.

Tourism


The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency
Hard currency
Hard currency , in economics, refers to a globally traded currency that is expected to serve as a reliable and stable store of value...

 after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and is the gateway to Angkor region.Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market...

 with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville , also known as Kampong Saom, is a province in southern Cambodia on the Gulf of Thailand. This port city is a growing Cambodian urban center, located southwest of the Cambodian capital, Phnom Penh. The province is named after King Father Norodom Sihanouk and grew up around the...

 in the south east which has several popular beach resorts and the area around Kampot and Kep
Kep, Cambodia
Kep is a coastal city and former beach resort in Cambodia's Kep Province, 173 kilometres southwest of Phnom Penh.The city was founded in 1908 during French colonial rule and was originally named Kep-sur-mer. Many of the French-style villas are overgrown and run-down, but Kep is slowly being...

 including the Bokor Hill Station
Bokor Hill Station
Bokor Hill Station is an abandoned French town in Preah Monivong National Park. Construction started in 1921 on Dâmrei Mountains, about 20 km as the crow flies West from the town of Kampot, southern Cambodia...

. Tourism has increased steadily each year in the relatively stable period since the 1993 UNTAC elections; in 1993 there were 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists.

Most of the tourists were Japanese, Chinese, Americans, South Koreans and French people, said the report, adding that the industry earned some 1,400 million U.S. dollars in 2007, accounting for almost ten percent of the kingdom's gross national products. Chinese-language newspaper Jianhua Daily quoted industry official as saying that Cambodia will have three million foreign tourist arrival in 2010 and five million in 2015. Tourism has been one of Cambodia's triple pillar industries. The Angkor Wat historical park in Siem Reap
Siem Reap
Siem Reap is the capital city of Siem Reap Province in northwestern Cambodia, and is the gateway to Angkor region.Siem Reap has colonial and Chinese-style architecture in the Old French Quarter, and around the Old Market...

 province, the beaches in Sihanoukville and the capital city Phnom Penh are the main attractions for foreign tourists.

Demographics


As of 2010, Cambodia has an estimated population of 14,805,358 people. Ninety percent of Cambodia's population is of Khmer
Khmer people
Khmer people are the predominant ethnic group in Cambodia, accounting for approximately 90% of the 14.8 million people in the country. They speak the Khmer language, which is part of the larger Mon–Khmer language family found throughout Southeast Asia...

 origin and speak the Khmer language
Khmer language
Khmer , or Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language of Cambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language , with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious...

, the country's official language. Cambodia's population is relatively homogeneous. Its minority groups include Vietnamese
Vietnamese people
The Vietnamese people are an ethnic group originating from present-day northern Vietnam and southern China. They are the majority ethnic group of Vietnam, comprising 86% of the population as of the 1999 census, and are officially known as Kinh to distinguish them from other ethnic groups in Vietnam...

 (2,800,000), Chinese
Chinese Cambodian
Chinese Cambodians are Cambodian citizens of Chinese descent. "Khmer-Chen", is used for peoples of either mixed Cambodian & Chinese descent or people of whom are Cambodian born citizens with Chinese ancestry;...

 (1,180,000), Cham (317,000), and Khmer Loeu
Khmer Loeu
The Khmer Loeu are the Mon–Khmer highland tribes in Cambodia. Although the origins of this group are not clear, some believe that the Mon–Khmer-speaking tribes were part of the long migration of these people from the northwest. The Austronesian-speaking groups, Rade and Jarai, apparently came to...

 (550,000). The country's birth rate is 25.4 per 1,000. Its population growth
Population growth
Population growth is the change in a population over time, and can be quantified as the change in the number of individuals of any species in a population using "per unit time" for measurement....

 rate is 1.70%, significantly higher than those of Thailand, South Korea, and India.

The Khmer language is a member of the Mon–Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic language group. French, once the language of government in Indochina
Indochina
The Indochinese peninsula, is a region in Southeast Asia. It lies roughly southwest of China, and east of India. The name has its origins in the French, Indochine, as a combination of the names of "China" and "India", and was adopted when French colonizers in Vietnam began expanding their territory...

, is still spoken by many older Cambodians. French is also the language of instruction in some schools and universities that are funded by the government of France. Cambodian French
Cambodian French (linguistics)
Cambodian French is the dialect of French spoken in Cambodia. Cambodia is the smallest of the three Francophone nations in Asia, the others being Vietnam and Laos and French has declined the most in Cambodia out of all the Asian Francophone nations.-History:The French language began its presence...

, a remnant of the country's colonial past, is a dialect found in Cambodia and is sometimes used in government, particularly in court.

In recent decades, many younger Cambodians and those in the business-class have favoured learning English. In the major cities and tourist centers, English is widely spoken and taught at a large number of schools because of the overwhelming number of tourists from English-speaking countries. Even in the most rural outposts, most young people speak at least some English, as it is often taught by monk
Monk
A monk is a person who practices religious asceticism, living either alone or with any number of monks, while always maintaining some degree of physical separation from those not sharing the same purpose...

s at the local pagoda
Pagoda
A pagoda is the general term in the English language for a tiered tower with multiple eaves common in Nepal, India, China, Japan, Korea, Vietnam and other parts of Asia. Some pagodas are used as Taoist houses of worship. Most pagodas were built to have a religious function, most commonly Buddhist,...

s where many children are educated.

The civil war and its aftermath have markedly affected the Cambodian population; 50% of the population is younger than 22 years old. At a 1.04 female to male ratio, Cambodia has the most female-biased sex ratio in the Greater Mekong Subregion. In the Cambodian population over 65, the female to male ratio is 1.6:1.

Religion


Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Cambodia, which is practiced by more than 95 percent of the population. The Theravada Buddhist tradition is widespread and strong in all provinces, with an estimated 4,392 temples
Wat
A wat is a monastery temple in Cambodia, Thailand, or Laos. The word "wat" means "school".- Introduction :...

 throughout the country. The vast majority of ethnic Khmers are Buddhist, and there is a close association between Buddhism, cultural traditions, and daily life. Adherence to Buddhism generally is considered intrinsic to the country's ethnic and cultural identity. Religion in Cambodia, including Buddhism, was suppressed by the Khmer Rouge during the late 1970s but has since experienced a revival.

Islam
Islam
Islam . The most common are and .   : Arabic pronunciation varies regionally. The first vowel ranges from ~~. The second vowel ranges from ~~~...

 is the religion of the majority of the Chams and Malay minorities in Cambodia. The majority of Muslims are Sunnis of the Shafi'i
Shafi'i
The Shafi'i madhhab is one of the schools of fiqh, or religious law, within the Sunni branch of Islam. The Shafi'i school of fiqh is named after Imām ash-Shafi'i.-Principles:...

 school and are highly populated in Kampong Cham Province. Currently there are more than 300,000 Muslims in the country.

One percent of Cambodians are identified as being Christian; of this, Catholics make up the largest group followed by Protestants. There are currently 20,000 Catholics in Cambodia which represents only 0.15% of the total population. Other Christian denominations include Baptists, The Christian and Missionary Alliance, Methodists, Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses
Jehovah's Witnesses is a millenarian restorationist Christian denomination with nontrinitarian beliefs distinct from mainstream Christianity. The religion reports worldwide membership of over 7 million adherents involved in evangelism, convention attendance of over 12 million, and annual...

, and The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.

Mahayana Buddhism is the religion of the majority of Chinese and Vietnamese in Cambodia. Elements of other religious practices, such as the veneration of folk heroes
Chinese folk religion
Chinese folk religion or Shenism , which is a term of considerable debate, are labels used to describe the collection of ethnic religious traditions which have been a main belief system in China and among Han Chinese ethnic groups for most of the civilization's history until today...

 and ancestors, Confucianism
Confucianism
Confucianism is a Chinese ethical and philosophical system developed from the teachings of the Chinese philosopher Confucius . Confucianism originated as an "ethical-sociopolitical teaching" during the Spring and Autumn Period, but later developed metaphysical and cosmological elements in the Han...

, and Taoism
Taoism
Taoism refers to a philosophical or religious tradition in which the basic concept is to establish harmony with the Tao , which is the mechanism of everything that exists...

 mix with Chinese Buddhism are also practiced.

Education


The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for establishing national policies and guidelines for education in Cambodia. The Cambodian education system is heavily decentralised, with three levels of government, central, provincial and district – responsible for its management. The constitution of Cambodia promulgates free compulsory education for nine years, guaranteeing the universal right to basic quality education.

In 2004 it was estimated that 73.6% of the population was literate (84.7% of males and 64.1% of females). Male youth age (15–24 years) have a literacy rate of 89% compared to 86% for females.

The education system in Cambodia continues to face many challenges, but during the past years there have been significant improvements, especially in terms of primary net enrollment gains, the introduction of program based-budgeting, and the development of a policy framework which helps disadvantaged children to gain access to education. Many of Cambodia's most acclaimed universities are based in Phnom Penh.

Traditionally, education in Cambodia was offered by the wats (Buddhist temples), thus providing education exclusively for the male population During the Khmer Rouge
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 regime, education suffered significant setbacks.

Health



The quality of health in Cambodia is rising. As of 2010, the life expectancy
Life expectancy
Life expectancy is the expected number of years of life remaining at a given age. It is denoted by ex, which means the average number of subsequent years of life for someone now aged x, according to a particular mortality experience...

 is 60 years for males and 65 years for females, a major improvement since 1999 when the average life expectancy was 49.8 and 46.8 respectively. The Royal Cambodian Government plans to increase the quality of healthcare in the country by raising awareness of HIV/AIDS, malaria
Malaria
Malaria is a mosquito-borne infectious disease of humans and other animals caused by eukaryotic protists of the genus Plasmodium. The disease results from the multiplication of Plasmodium parasites within red blood cells, causing symptoms that typically include fever and headache, in severe cases...

, and other diseases.

Cambodia's infant mortality rate has decreased from 115 per 1,000 live births in 1993 to 54 in 2009. In the same period, the under-five mortality rate decreased from 181 to 115 per 1,000 live births. In the province with worst health indicators, Ratanakiri, 22.9% of children die before age five.

UNICEF has designated Cambodia the third most landmined country in the world, attributing over 60,000 civilian deaths and thousands more maimed or injured since 1970 because of the unexploded land mines left behind in rural areas. The majority of the victims are children herding animals or playing in the fields.
Adults that survive landmines often require amputation
Amputation
Amputation is the removal of a body extremity by trauma, prolonged constriction, or surgery. As a surgical measure, it is used to control pain or a disease process in the affected limb, such as malignancy or gangrene. In some cases, it is carried out on individuals as a preventative surgery for...

 of one or more limbs and have to resort to begging for survival. However, the number of landmine casualties has sharply decreased, from 800 in 2005 to less than 400 in 2006 and 208 in 2007 (38 killed and 170 injured).

Culture


Various factors contribute to the Cambodian culture including Theravada Buddhism, Hinduism
Hinduism
Hinduism is the predominant and indigenous religious tradition of the Indian Subcontinent. Hinduism is known to its followers as , amongst many other expressions...

, French colonialism, Angkorian culture
Angkor
Angkor is a region of Cambodia that served as the seat of the Khmer Empire, which flourished from approximately the 9th to 15th centuries. The word Angkor is derived from the Sanskrit nagara , meaning "city"...

, and modern globalization
Globalization
Globalization refers to the increasingly global relationships of culture, people and economic activity. Most often, it refers to economics: the global distribution of the production of goods and services, through reduction of barriers to international trade such as tariffs, export fees, and import...

. The Cambodian Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts
Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts, Cambodia
The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is the government ministry with a mandate to promote, encourage and support the fine arts of Cambodia....

 is responsible for promoting and developing Cambodian culture. Cambodian culture not only includes the culture of the lowland
Khmer Krom
The Khmer Krom are Khmer people living in the Mekong Delta and the Lower Mekong River area. Under the Khmer Rouge regime- according to the conservative estimates are that 150,000. Under the rule of Vietnam from 1979-93, Cambodia may have lost 20,000 Khmer Krom...

 ethnic majority, but also some 20 culturally distinct hill tribes colloquially known as the Khmer Loeu
Khmer Loeu
The Khmer Loeu are the Mon–Khmer highland tribes in Cambodia. Although the origins of this group are not clear, some believe that the Mon–Khmer-speaking tribes were part of the long migration of these people from the northwest. The Austronesian-speaking groups, Rade and Jarai, apparently came to...

, a term coined by Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk
Norodom Sihanouk regular script was the King of Cambodia from 1941 to 1955 and again from 1993 until his semi-retirement and voluntary abdication on 7 October 2004 in favor of his son, the current King Norodom Sihamoni...

 to encourage unity between the highlanders and lowlanders. Rural Cambodians wear a krama
Krama
A krama is a sturdy traditional Cambodian garment with many uses, including as a scarf, bandanna, to carry children, to cover the face, and for decorative purposes. It is worn by men, women and children, and can be fairly ornate, though most typical kramas contain a gingham pattern of some sort,...

 scarf which is a unique aspect of Cambodian clothing
Cambodian clothing
Cambodian Clothing also known as the fashion of Cambodia is refer to the style-dress, both from ancient times to present worn by Khmer people.-Textiles:...

. The sampeah
Sampeah
The Sampeah is a Cambodian greeting or a way of showing respect. It is very similar to the Thai wai and the Indian Añjali Mudrā/namasté. While performing the sampeah, the person places his palms together in a prayer-like fashion while bowing slightly...

 is a traditional Cambodian greeting or a way of showing respect to others. Khmer culture, as developed and spread by the Khmer empire
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

, has distinctive styles of dance, architecture and sculpture, which have been exchanged with neighbouring Laos
Laos
Laos Lao: ສາທາລະນະລັດ ປະຊາທິປະໄຕ ປະຊາຊົນລາວ Sathalanalat Paxathipatai Paxaxon Lao, officially the Lao People's Democratic Republic, is a landlocked country in Southeast Asia, bordered by Burma and China to the northwest, Vietnam to the east, Cambodia to the south and Thailand to the west...

 and Thailand
Thailand
Thailand , officially the Kingdom of Thailand , formerly known as Siam , is a country located at the centre of the Indochina peninsula and Southeast Asia. It is bordered to the north by Burma and Laos, to the east by Laos and Cambodia, to the south by the Gulf of Thailand and Malaysia, and to the...

 through the history. Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat
Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu,...

 (Angkor means "city" and Wat "temple") is the best preserved example of Khmer architecture from the Angkorian era along with hundreds of other temples that have been discovered in and around the region.

Traditionally, the Khmer people have a unique method of recording information on Tra leaves. Tra leaf books record legends of the Khmer people, the Ramayana, the origin of Buddhism and other prayer book series. They are greatly taken care of and wrapped in cloth to protect from moisture and the climate.

Bon Om Teuk
Bon Om Thook
Bon Om Tuk , or the Cambodian Water Festival, is a Cambodian festival celebrated in November and marks a reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River. Every town and province joins in with the festival but the biggest celebrations take place in Phnom Penh with boat racing along the Sisowath Quay...

 (Festival of Boat Racing), the annual boat rowing contest, is the most attended Cambodian national festival. Held at the end of the rainy season when the Mekong river begins to sink back to its normal levels allowing the Tonle Sap River to reverse flow, approximately 10% of Cambodia's population attends this event each year to play games, give thanks to the moon, watch fireworks, dine, and attend the boat race in a carnival-type atmosphere. Popular games include cockfight
Cockfight
A cockfight is a blood sport between two roosters , held in a ring called a cockpit. Cockfighting is now illegal throughout all states in the United States, Brazil, Australia and in most of Europe. It is still legal in several U.S. territories....

ing, soccer, and kicking a sey, which is similar to a footbag
Footbag
A footbag is both a small, round bag, and the term for the various sports played with one – characterized by controlling the bag by using one's feet. Although often referred to generically as a Hacky Sack, that is the trademarked name of one specific brand.Footbag-like activities have existed...

. Based on the classical Indian solar calendar and Theravada Buddhism, the Cambodian New Year
Cambodian New Year
Cambodian New Year or Chaul Chnam Thmey in the Khmer language, literally "Enter Year New", is the name of the Cambodian holiday that celebrates the New Year. The holiday lasts for three days beginning on New Year's day, which usually falls on April 13 or 14th, which is the end of the harvesting...

 is a major holiday that takes place in April. Recent artistic figures include singers Sinn Sisamouth
Sinn Sisamouth
Sinn Sisamouth was a famous and highly prolific Cambodian singer-songwriter in the 1950s to the 1970s.Widely considered the "King of Khmer music", Sisamouth, along with Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron, and other artists, was part of a thriving pop music scene in Phnom Penh that blended elements of Khmer...

 and Ros Sereysothea
Ros Sereysothea
Ros Sereysothea was a famous Cambodian singer during the nation's thriving cultural renaissance. She sang from a variety of genres but romantic ballads emerged as her most popular works. Despite a rather short career she is credited with producing hundreds of songs and even starring in a few movies...

 (and later Meng Keo Pichenda
Meng Keo Pichenda
Meng Keo Pichenda is a popular singer in Cambodia, and has been contracted to many companies for her services. She is the youngest of three sisters, all of them are vocal musicians....

), who introduced new musical styles to the country.

Cuisine


Rice is the staple grain, as in other Southeast Asian countries. Fish from the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers is also an important part of the diet. The supply of fish and fish products for food and trade in 2000 was 20 kilograms per person or 2 ounces
Avoirdupois
The avoirdupois system is a system of weights based on a pound of 16 ounces. It is the everyday system of weight used in the United States and is still widely used to varying degrees by many people in Canada, the United Kingdom, and some other former British colonies despite the official adoption...

 per day per person. Some of the fish can be made into prahok
Prahok
Prahok​​ is a crushed, salted and fermented fish paste that is used in Cambodian cuisine as a seasoning or a condiment. It originated as a way of preserving fish during the longer months when fresh fish was not available in abundant supply...

 for longer storage. The cuisine of Cambodia
Cuisine of Cambodia
Khmer cuisine is another name for the foods and cuisine widely consumed in Cambodia. The food of Cambodia includes tropical fruits, rice, noodles, drinks, dessert and various soups....

 contains tropical fruits, soups and noodles. Key ingredients are kaffir lime
Kaffir lime
The kaffir lime, Citrus × hystrix, Rutaceae), is also known as combava, kieffer lime, limau purut, jeruk purut or makrut lime,...

, lemon grass, garlic, fish sauce
Fish sauce
Fish sauce is a condiment that is derived from fish that have been allowed to ferment. It is an essential ingredient in many curries and sauces. Fish sauce is a staple ingredient in numerous cultures in Southeast Asia and the coastal regions of East Asia, and features heavily in Thai and Vietnamese...

, soy sauce
Soy sauce
Soy sauce is a condiment produced by fermenting soybeans with Aspergillus oryzae or Aspergillus sojae molds, along with water and salt...

, curry
Curry
Curry is a generic description used throughout Western culture to describe a variety of dishes from Indian, Pakistani, Bangladeshi, Sri Lankan, Thai or other Southeast Asian cuisines...

, tamarind
Tamarind
Tamarind is a tree in the family Fabaceae. The genus Tamarindus is monotypic .-Origin:...

, ginger
Ginger
Ginger is the rhizome of the plant Zingiber officinale, consumed as a delicacy, medicine, or spice. It lends its name to its genus and family . Other notable members of this plant family are turmeric, cardamom, and galangal....

, oyster sauce
Oyster sauce
Oyster sauce describes a number of sauces made by cooking oysters. The most common in modern use is a viscous dark brown condiment made from sugar, salt and water thickened with cornstarch, flavoured with a little oyster essence or extract and some versions may be darkened with caramel, though high...

, coconut milk
Coconut milk
Coconut milk is the water that comes from the grated meat of a coconut. The colour and rich taste of the milk can be attributed to the high oil content. In many parts of the world, the term coconut milk is also used to refer to coconut water, the naturally occurring liquid found inside the hollow...

 and black pepper
Black pepper
Black pepper is a flowering vine in the family Piperaceae, cultivated for its fruit, which is usually dried and used as a spice and seasoning. The fruit, known as a peppercorn when dried, is approximately in diameter, dark red when fully mature, and, like all drupes, contains a single seed...

. Some delicacies are(នំបញ្ចុក) (Num Bunhjok), (អាមុក) (Amok), (អាពីង) (Ah Ping).

French influence on Cambodian cuisine includes the Cambodian red curry with toasted baguette
Baguette
A baguette is "a long thin loaf of French bread" that is commonly made from basic lean dough...

 bread. The toasted baguette pieces are dipped in the curry and eaten. Cambodian red curry is also eaten with rice and rice vermicelli
Rice vermicelli
Rice vermicelli are thin noodles made from rice and are a form of rice noodles. They are sometimes referred to as rice noodles or rice sticks, but they should not be confused with cellophane noodles, which is another type of vermicelli....

 noodles. Probably the most popular dine out dish, ka tieu, is a pork broth rice noodle soup
Noodle soup
Noodle soup refers to a variety of soups with noodles and other ingredients served in a light broth. Noodle soup is an East and Southeast Asian staple. Less well known, a form of fresh noodle is used in soup in certain parts of Europe , and in northern China; usually, it is served for breakfast...

 with fried garlic, scallions, green onions
Scallion
Scallions , are the edible plants of various Allium species, all of which are "onion-like", having hollow green leaves and lacking a fully developed root bulb.-Etymology:The words...

 that may also contain various toppings such as beef balls, shrimp
Shrimp
Shrimp are swimming, decapod crustaceans classified in the infraorder Caridea, found widely around the world in both fresh and salt water. Adult shrimp are filter feeding benthic animals living close to the bottom. They can live in schools and can swim rapidly backwards. Shrimp are an important...

, pork liver or lettuce. The cuisine is relatively unknown to the world compared to that of its neighbours Thailand and Vietnam.

Sports


Football is one of the more popular sports, although professional organized sports are not as prevalent in Cambodia as in western countries because of the economic conditions. Football was brought to Cambodia by the French and became popular with the locals. The Cambodia national football team
Cambodia national football team
The Cambodia national football team is the national team of Cambodia and is controlled by the Football Federation of Cambodia . It was known as the Khmer Republic national football team from 1970 to 1975. It finished fourth in the 1972 Asian Cup, but is currently one of the weakest teams in the...

 managed fourth in the 1972 Asian Cup, but development has slowed since the civil war. Western sports such as volleyball, bodybuilding, field hockey, rugby union
Rugby union
Rugby union, often simply referred to as rugby, is a full contact team sport which originated in England in the early 19th century. One of the two codes of rugby football, it is based on running with the ball in hand...

, golf, and baseball are gaining popularity. Native sports include traditional boat racing
Dragon boat
A dragon boat is a human-powered watercraft traditionally made, in the Pearl River delta region of southern China - Guangdong Province, of teak wood to various designs and sizes. In other parts of China different woods are used to build these traditional watercraft...

, buffalo racing, Pradal Serey
Pradal Serey
Pradal serey is an unarmed martial art from Cambodia. In Khmer the word pradal means fighting or boxing and serey means free. Originally used for warfare, pradal serey is now one of Cambodia's national sports...

, Khmer traditional wrestling
Khmer Traditional Wrestling
Khmer traditional wrestling is a folk wrestling style from Cambodia. It has been practiced as far back as the Angkor period and is depicted on the bas-reliefs of certain temples. Although predominantly a male sport today, Khmer wrestling was once practiced by both sexes as female wrestlers are...

 and Bokator
Bokator
Bokator, or more formally, Labokkatao is a Cambodian martial art that includes close hand-to-hand combat, ground techniques and weapons. Possibly the oldest existing fighting system in Cambodia, oral tradition indicates that bokator or an early form thereof was the close quarter combat system used...

. Cambodia first participated in the Olympics during the 1956 Summer Olympic Games
Cambodia at the 1956 Summer Olympics
Cambodia competed in the Olympic Games for the first time at the 1956 Summer Olympics. Cambodia did not send any athletes to Melbourne, Australia where most of the Games events were held, but two Cambodian riders competed in the equestrian events held in Stockholm, Sweden earlier that...

 sending equestrian
Equestrian at the Summer Olympics
Equestrianism made its Summer Olympics debut at the 1900 Summer Olympics in Paris, France. It disappeared until 1912, but has appeared at every Summer Olympic Games since. The current Olympic equestrian disciplines are Dressage, Eventing, and Jumping...

 riders. Cambodia also hosted the GANEFO
GANEFO
The Games of the New Emerging Forces were the games set up by Indonesia in late 1962 as a counter to the Olympic Games. Established for the athletes of the so-called "emerging nations" , GANEFO made it clear in its constitution that politics and sport were intertwined; this ran against the...

 Games, the alternative to the Olympics, in the 1960s.

Dance



Cambodian dance can be divided into three main categories: Khmer classical dance
Khmer classical dance
The Royal Ballet of Cambodia is a form of performing arts established in the royal courts of Cambodia for the purpose of entertainment as well as ceremonial propitiation...

, folk dance, and social dances.

Music


Traditional Cambodian music dates back as far as the Khmer Empire
Khmer Empire
The Khmer Empire was one of the most powerful empires in Southeast Asia. The empire, which grew out of the former kingdom of Chenla, at times ruled over and/or vassalized parts of modern-day Laos, Thailand, Vietnam, Burma, and Malaysia. Its greatest legacy is Angkor, the site of the capital city...

. Royal dances like the Apsara
Apsara
An Apsara , also known as Vidhya Dhari or Tep Apsar in Khmer, Accharā or A Bố Sa La Tư , Bidadari , Biradali , Widodari and Apson , is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in...

 Dance are icons of the Cambodian culture. Popular types of dances are Romvong, commonly danced at festivals. The Classic Music Era of Cambodia was during the 1960s to the 1970s featuring notable singers Sinn Sisamouth
Sinn Sisamouth
Sinn Sisamouth was a famous and highly prolific Cambodian singer-songwriter in the 1950s to the 1970s.Widely considered the "King of Khmer music", Sisamouth, along with Ros Sereysothea, Pan Ron, and other artists, was part of a thriving pop music scene in Phnom Penh that blended elements of Khmer...

 and Ros Sereysothea
Ros Sereysothea
Ros Sereysothea was a famous Cambodian singer during the nation's thriving cultural renaissance. She sang from a variety of genres but romantic ballads emerged as her most popular works. Despite a rather short career she is credited with producing hundreds of songs and even starring in a few movies...

. However, during the Khmer Rouge Revolution
Khmer Rouge
The Khmer Rouge literally translated as Red Cambodians was the name given to the followers of the Communist Party of Kampuchea, who were the ruling party in Cambodia from 1975 to 1979, led by Pol Pot, Nuon Chea, Ieng Sary, Son Sen and Khieu Samphan...

 many classic and popular singers of the 60s and 70s died of execution, starvation, or overwork.

Internet


As Cambodia continues to grow, so does its connection to the world. There are numerous places where internet is available for public use, such as coffee shops, bars, restaurants and petrol stations. Through the use of USB modems and internet capabilities on cell phones, many Cambodians are connecting with the outside world.

The increased connection to the internet has created the desire for more websites focused on Cambodia. Because of the literacy rate in Cambodia, the issue arises of whether Cambodia-focused sites need to be in English or Khmer. English is the predominant language of the internet, and the majority of internet users in Cambodia are able to understand English, but with the use of Khmer Unicode
Unicode
Unicode is a computing industry standard for the consistent encoding, representation and handling of text expressed in most of the world's writing systems...

 more sites have the capability to provide Khmer language versions.

Transport



The civil war and neglect severely damaged Cambodia's transport system, but with assistance and equipment from other countries Cambodia has been upgrading the main highways to international standards and most are vastly improved from 2006. Most main roads are now paved.

Cambodia has two rail lines, totalling about 612 kilometers (380 mi) of single, one meter gauge track. The lines run from the capital to Sihanoukville on the southern coast, and from Phnom Penh to Sisophon
Sisophon
Sisophon is the provincial capital of Banteay Meanchey, Cambodia. The city separates Cambodia's National Highway 5 and National Highway 6. Serei Saophoan is difficult to pronounce, so often the area is written transliterated as "Sisophon", even on Cambodian signs...

 (although trains often run only as far as Battambang
Battambang
Battambang is the capital city of Battambang province in northwestern Cambodia.Battambang is the second-largest city in Cambodia with a population of over 250,000. Founded in the 11th century by the Khmer Empire, Battambang is well known for being the leading rice-producing province of the country...

). Currently only one passenger train per week operates between Phnom Penh and Battambang.

Besides the main interprovincial traffic artery connecting Phnom Penh with Sihanoukville, resurfacing a former dirt road with concrete / asphalt and implementation of 5 major river crossings by means of bridges have now permanently connected Phnom Penh with Koh Kong, and hence there is now uninterrupted road access to neighboring Thailand and their vast road system.

Cambodia's road traffic accident rate is high by world standards. In 2004, the number of road fatalities per 10,000 vehicles was ten times higher in Cambodia than in the developed world, and the number of road deaths had doubled in the preceding three years.
The nation's extensive inland waterways were important historically in international trade. The Mekong
Mekong
The Mekong is a river that runs through China, Burma, Laos, Thailand, Cambodia and Vietnam. It is the world's 10th-longest river and the 7th-longest in Asia. Its estimated length is , and it drains an area of , discharging of water annually....

 and the Tonle Sap
Tonlé Sap
The Tonlé Sap is a combined lake and river system of major importance to Cambodia.The Tonlé Sap is the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia and is an ecological hot spot that was designated as a UNESCO biosphere in 1997....

 River, their numerous tributaries, and the Tonle Sap provided avenues of considerable length, including 3,700 kilometers (2,300 mi) navigable all year by craft drawing 0.6 meters (2 ft) and another 282 kilometers (175 mi) navigable to craft drawing 1.8 meters (6 ft). Cambodia has two major ports, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and five minor ones. Phnom Penh, located at the junction of the Bassac
Bassac River
The Bassac River is a distributary of the Tonle Sap and Mekong River. The river starts in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, and flows southerly, crossing the border into Vietnam near Châu Đốc....

, the Mekong, and the Tonle Sap rivers, is the only river port capable of receiving 8,000-ton
Ton
The ton is a unit of measure. It has a long history and has acquired a number of meanings and uses over the years. It is used principally as a unit of weight, and as a unit of volume. It can also be used as a measure of energy, for truck classification, or as a colloquial term.It is derived from...

 ships during the wet season and 5,000-ton ships during the dry season.
With increasing economic activity has come an increase in automobile and motorcycle use, though bicycles still predominate. "Cyclo" (as hand-me-down French) or Cycle rickshaw
Cycle rickshaw
The cycle rickshaw is a small-scale local means of transport; it is also known by a variety of other names such as velotaxi, pedicab, bikecab, cyclo, becak, trisikad, or trishaw or, simply, rickshaw which also refers to auto rickshaws, and the, now uncommon, rickshaws pulled by a person on foot...

s are an additional option often used by visitors.

The country has four commercial airports. Phnom Penh International Airport (Pochentong)
Phnom Penh International Airport
-Statistics:-International terminal profile:*Total capacity: 2 million passengers**Surface: **Waiting lounges: **VIP Lounge: **Food & Beverage: **Duty Free: *Seat capacity: 360*Check-in counters: 22*Visa, Immigration and Customs counters: 30...

 in Phnom Penh is the second largest in Cambodia. Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport
Angkor International Airport
Siem Reap International Airport is the airport in Cambodia handling the greatest number of passengers. It is located in Siem Reap, home of Angkor Wat.The full architecture design of the airport was developed by Archetype Group...

 is the largest and serves the most international flights in and out of Cambodia. The other airports are in Sihanoukville and Battambang
Battambang Province
Battambang is a province in northwestern Cambodia. It is bordered to the North with Banteay Meanchey, to the West with Thailand, and to the East and South with Pursat. The capital of the province is the city of Battambang. The name, meaning 'lost staff', refers to the legend of Preah Bat Dambang...

.

See also


  • Angkor Wat
    Angkor Wat
    Angkor Wat is a temple complex at Angkor, Cambodia, built for the king Suryavarman II in the early 12th century as his state temple and capital city. As the best-preserved temple at the site, it is the only one to have remained a significant religious centre since its foundation – first Hindu,...

  • Cambodian Center for Human Rights
    Cambodian Center for Human Rights
    The Cambodian Center for Human Rights is a non-partisan, independent, non-governmental organization that works to promote and protect democracy and respect for human rights throughout Cambodia. It focuses primarily on civil and political rights and on a variety of interlinked human rights issues...

  • Sithi
    Sithi
    The Sithi are a cryptic, near-immortal elder race from the Memory, Sorrow, and Thorn trilogy by Tad Williams....

    – Cambodia Human Rights Portal


External links



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