Cambodia, officially the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. The sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 15 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism. Cambodia's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia.
History and Government
Cambodia has a rich and fascinating history. The first humans in Cambodia were Stone Age hunters and gatherers. However, farming was introduced into Cambodia about 2,300 BC. Cambodia is set up as a multi-party democracy under a constitutional monarchy. The King serves as the head of state and the Prime Minister is the head of the Royal Government of Cambodia.
Geography and Environment
Cambodia is largely a land of plains and great rivers and lies amid important overland and river trade routes linking China to India and Southeast Asia. Although much of Cambodia is heavily forested, the central lowland region is covered with rice paddies, fields of dry crops such as corn and tobacco, tracts of tall grass and reeds, and thinly wooded areas. Cambodia’s environment provides natural resources including forests, waterways, plants and wildlife. Natural resources also include minerals, energy and extractives. The environment is varied, covering at least seven distinct landscapes across the country.
The culture of Cambodia has been heavily influenced by the religions of the people living in the country. The culture has developed from the amalgamation of the Hindu, Buddhist, and indigenous cultures that are prevalent in the region. The Cambodian society advocates respect for the elderly and is highly hierarchical in nature with people of older ages being assigned with greater authority and deserving of greater respect. Marriages are usually arranged by the family in rural areas while love marriages are more common in the cities.
Cambodian cuisine may be lesser known than the world-renowned dishes of neighbouring Thailand and Vietnam, but it’s just as delicious. This popular street food dish is how most Cambodians start the day. Kuyteav or noodle soup is made from pork or beef bones and rice vermicelli. The flavoursome broth is topped with fried shallots and garlic, bean sprouts, green onion and aromatic herbs. Refreshing and light, this salad is the ideal way to stave off the midday heat. Slices of chicken breast are served amid crunchy banana blossom flower, fried shallots, garlic, chilies and lemongrass, with fresh lime squeezed on top. The country’s streets are full of people sitting on plastic chairs every morning, and the chances are they’re eating pork and rice, or baisachchrouk Cambodia’s national breakfast dish.
Best Time to Visit Cambodia
Most travelers visit Cambodia from November to March. If you prefer to dodge the crowds and go when prices are lower, the best time to visit Cambodia is from May to early October. Cambodia is warm year-round. Seasons are broken into wet and dry season.
Cambodia is located in the heart mainland of Southeast Asia, which conjures images of a glorious and mysterious past and rich of the cultural heritages, particularly the world's renowned ancient temple city whose magical image draws ever-increasingly tourists from all over the world. The temple of Angkor Wat itself, the world's largest religious building, is only one sliver of the site in total, and the sprawling circuit of temples deserves three days to explore if you want to understand the scope of the Angkorian period's architectural achievements. Tonlé Sap is Cambodia's most important waterway and Southeast Asia's largest freshwater lake. As well as being an important source of food and a vital tool for Cambodian irrigation, the lake itself is home to 170 floating villages that depend on fishing for their livelihood, with homes built directly on the water.