1. A Nation of Contrasts
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a Southeast Asian nation located in the heart of the Indochina peninsula. Its capital city, Phnom Pehn, is a bustling metropolis of over two million people, and is home to some of the country's most iconic landmarks, such as the Royal Palace and the National Museum. The country is bordered by Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam, and is known for its rich culture, vibrant nightlife, and stunning natural beauty.
2. Cambodia's Tropical Climate is Perfect for Travel
Cambodia has a tropical climate, with a wet monsoon season from May to November and a dry season from December to April. During the monsoon season, the country experiences heavy rainfall and high humidity, while the dry season is characterized by sunny days and cooler temperatures. The average temperature in Cambodia ranges from 21°C to 35°C, with the hottest months being April and May.
3. Cambodia's Economy Driven by Textile Industry and Tourism
Cambodia's economy is largely driven by the textile industry, which is the country's biggest source of income. Tourism is the second largest contributor to the economy, with the country's rich cultural heritage and stunning natural beauty drawing in millions of visitors each year. The country's diverse range of attractions, from the ancient temples of Angkor Wat to the tropical beaches of Sihanoukville, make it a popular destination for both domestic and international travelers.
4. Cambodia's Official Language is Khmer
Cambodia's official language is Khmer, a member of the Mon-Khmer language family. Written in an 'abugida' script, Khmer is the primary language spoken in the country, although French, Vietnamese, and English are also commonly used.
5. Cambodia's Deforestation Rate Threatens Species Survival
Cambodia has one of the most alarming deforestation rates in the world, with an estimated 25,000 square kilometers of forest lost between 1990 and 2005. This is equivalent to an area larger than the size of the entire country of Luxembourg, and is a major cause for concern. The loss of forest has had a devastating impact on the country's biodiversity, with many species of flora and fauna now facing extinction. In addition, the loss of forest has had a significant impact on the livelihoods of local communities, with many people now facing food insecurity and poverty.
6. Khmer & Theravada Buddhist Pop.
Cambodia is a country with a population of predominantly ethnic Khmer and Theravada Buddhists, making up 90% of the population. The remaining 5% are Vietnamese, 1% Chinese, and 4% other ethnicities. This population is particularly young due to the devastating massacres of the Khmer Rouge era, which resulted in the death of an estimated 1.7 to 2.5 million people.
7. Cambodia's Top Export: Clothes
Cambodia is a major exporter of clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, and tobacco, as well as footwear. On the other hand, the country imports a variety of goods, including cigarettes, petroleum products, gold, machinery, construction materials, motor vehicles, and pharmaceutical products. These imports are essential for the country's economic growth, as they provide the necessary resources for the production of goods and services.
8. Cambodia's Natural Resources Could Boost Economy
Cambodia is a country rich in natural resources, boasting oil and gas, gemstones, timber, iron ore, phosphates, manganese, and hydropower potential. These resources have the potential to provide a significant boost to the country's economy, with the oil and gas reserves estimated to be worth billions of dollars. Gemstones, such as rubies, sapphires, and emeralds, are also found in abundance in Cambodia, while timber, iron ore, phosphates, and manganese are all important resources for the country's industrial sector. Finally, Cambodia's hydropower potential is immense, with the potential to generate enough electricity to power the entire country.
9. US Dollar & Bills OK as Tender
In Cambodia, the US Dollar is the official currency, and US bills are accepted as legal tender. However, when making a purchase, the change is given in Cambodian Riels, the country's own currency. This is a unique situation, as it is rare for a country to use two different currencies in tandem.
10. Cambodia's Unique Tonle Sap River
Cambodia is home to the unique Tonle Sap river, which is the only river in the world to reverse its flow annually. During the wet season, the Mekong River swells and pushes water into the Tonle Sap, causing it to flow southward into the Tonle Sap Lake. As the dry season approaches, the Mekong's flow decreases and the Tonle Sap reverses its flow, pushing water back into the Mekong River. This cycle of reversal is an important part of the Cambodian ecosystem, providing essential nutrients to the lake and its inhabitants.