The Kingdom of Cambodia, also known as Kampuchea, is found in the southern part of the Indochina peninsula in South East Asia, and has a coastline along the Gulf of Thailand.
Cambodia is an elective constitutional monarchy where the monarch is chosen by the Royal Throne Council and the Prime Minister is head of government. Hun Sen has been the Prime Minister of Cambodia since 1985. Constitutionally, Cambodia is a multi-party democracy, but in reality it is governed under one-party rule.
The majority religion is Theravada Buddhism and over 95% of the population belong to this faith. There is also a small (2%) Muslim minority. Roughly half a percent of the population are Christians and another half percent adhere to Cambodian folk religion.
Examples of attractions
A few examples of popular destinations in Cambodia. The list is by no means exhaustive.
- Angkor Archaeological Park, where you will find ruins from the Khmer civilization, including the temples Angkor Wat and Bayon. The city Siem Reap is a good base for exploring the park.
- Koh Ker, ancient ruins located north of Angkor.
- Kompong Thom. This city is a good base for those who wish to visit some of the less well-known ancient temples in Cambodia.
- Preah Vihear, a cliff-top temple that is older than Angkor Wat
- Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia.
- Banlung. This city is a base is a good base from which you can explore some national parks in north-eastern Cambodia and visit beautiful waterfalls.
- Tonle Sap, a huge lake home to one of the most highly renowned bird sanctuaries in South East Asia.
- Kampot. This city is a good base for exploring the Bokor National Park.
- Kratie. This city is a good base for visiting a part of the Mekong where river dolphins are often seen.
- Sihanoukville (Krong Preah Seihanu), formerly Kompong Som, is a seaside town featuring some excellent beaches.
- Kep, which used to be the main beach resort in Cambodia before Sihanoukville rose to prominense.
Cambodia have two seasons:
- The rainy season, which runs from May through October. It is not just rainy but also cooler than the dry season. Floods in parts of the country are not unusual. The rainiest months are September and October.
- The dry season, which starts in November and continues until the rainy season starts again in May the following year. During the dry season, temperatures can go up to 40 °C (104 °F) in April, which is the hottest month on average. The driest month are January and February, and they are popular among tourists as they are dry but not as hot as March and April.
Just like the rest of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia is heavily influenced by the south-western monsoon and the north-eastern monsoon. The south-western monsoon brings warm and moist air from the Indian Ocean and Gulf of Thailand, causing the rainy season. The north-eastern monsoon is responsible for the dry season.
Basic information about Cambodia
Here are some short facts about Cambodia that may come in handy as you plan you visit.
- Area: 181,035 square kilometres
- Population: 15,288,489 at the 2019 census
- Capital: Phnom Penh
- Most populous city: Phnom Penh
- Official language: Khmer
- Other notable languages: English, French
- Currency: Riel (KHR)
- Time zone: UTC +7
- Driving side: Right
- Calling code: +855
- ISO 3166 code: KH
- Internet top domain: .kh