Summary: Located in southeastern Asia next to Vietnam, Laos and Thailand and bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Cambodia is mostly flat, low plains and forests, with mountains in the southwestern corner and in the north of the country. Cambodia’s history is rich from its roots in the Angkor Empire between the 10th and 14th centuries though its protection by France in 1863 to its eventual independence in 1953, and with a very young population with 60% of people younger than 20, the economy will be challenged to grow beyond clothing and tourism to support the environment.
Capital: Phnom Penh
Time Zone: UTC+7
Languages: Khmer, French, English
Power: 230 V, 50 Hz
- Currently 1 KHR = 0.0002 USD $
Climate: Cambodia has a tropical climate with a temperature that doesn't change very much and a rainy monsoon season that runs from May to November and a dry season that runs from December to April.
- Currently 93º, var t
Tour operators laud Cambodia visa exemption pact - Vietnam Net - Nov 06 11:46 PM
Statement at the Conclusion of the 2008 Article IV Discussions with Cambodia - IMF - Nov 07 3:02 PM
Businesses In Cambodia Should Address Unsafe Practices In Commercial Sex Industry, AIDS Authority Says - Medical News Today - Nov 07 8:08 AM
Cambodia: HIV-positive Man Arrested In Teen Sex - Sin Chew Jit Poh - Nov 07 1:19 AM
Cambodia-Thai Tensions Flare - Radio Free Asia - Sep 09 5:23 AM
| Phnom Penh: Phnom Penh has a bitter recent history, balanced by the tombs of Khmer kings and sights to see. The Central Market, the riverfront and other street markets are all worthwhile walking through without having to spend a lot of money. The traveller looking to learn about the local culture can spend more time at the religious wats like Wat Phnom, Wat Ounalom and Wat Lang Ka, plus the National Museum and the Silver Pagoda, both gleaning insight in the Khmer culture, and finally, the Killing Fields of Choeung Ek, a memorial to the dark history of the region.|
| Angkor: Angkor Wat, built between the 9th and 13th centuries, is a grouping of around 100 temples dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu and is Cambodia’s biggest tourist draw. Mostly abandoned by the 15th century, and written about by naturalist Henri Mouhot in the late 19th century, the area is still partially overgrown by the surrounding jungle and makes an impressive sight most easily approached by plane, rather than by road.|
| Battambang: Battambang is Cambodia’s second largest city about 180 miles away from the capital with colonial buildings and enough hotels and shops to make it a good jumping point to the villages and more remote spots. The local museum has local artifacts from the Angkor era, the riverbank area has a strong French influence, and the surrounding landscape has several wats, or temples, on hilltops and throughout the town.|
Politics: Cambodians are a generous people, although avoid discussing local politics if you can. Demonstrations have turned violent in the past, which has caused some discomfort with locals.
Security: Avoid the following: political and public demonstrations, military institutions, and the Khmer Rouge territory along the Thai border. Also, be cautious and vigilant after dark, and keep your valuables in a safe place.
Cash On Hand: Carry cash on hand where possible, as credit cards and traveller’s checks are not widely accepted and almost completely limited to a few locations in Phnom Penh. The US dollar is also accepted in many locations in the country.
When To Visit: November to early February is the cooler dry season, and May to October is the peak of the hot rainy season. This means that April is the peak of heat before being broken by precipitation and August is the peak of the lush vegetation, but muddily so. Bon Om Tuk is the national holiday in early November with parades and festivals in most places.
Food: A less spicy version of Thai food, Cambodian cuisine normally includes soup, fish and salads. Some of the local styles include freshwater fish normally wrapped in spinach or lettuce, coriander, lemon grass and mint often featured in the salads, sticky rice and the bread reminiscent of France. Avoid the local tap water wherever possible in favor of juices, pop and bottled water.
Tipping: Standard rules of tipping haven't been established, although tips are appreciated, so add an additional 5% - 10% for waiters, taxi drivers and other help staff.
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