Previously, Cambodia was called Kampuchea (from the Sanskrit name “Kambujadesa”). Until relatively recently, Cambodia was in the midst of a long-term civil war, which, fortunately, ended. Now Cambodia is a peaceful country where you can have a great vacation. This country has magnificent mountains, beautiful natural scenery, green forests, rivers with waterfalls, numerous Buddhist temples and monasteries, traditional Khmer villages, beaches with palm groves, delicious cuisine and rare Ayeyarwaddy freshwater dolphins.
Geography of Cambodia
Cambodia is located on the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Cambodia borders Vietnam to the east, Thailand to the northwest, and Laos to the northeast. In the southwest of the country is the Gulf of Thailand of the South China Sea. The total area of Cambodia, including the islands, is 181,040 sq. km., and the total length of the state border is 2,572 km.
About 75% of the territory of Cambodia is occupied by plains, which are surrounded by highlands and low mountains. The Kravan Mountains stretch from the northwest of the country to the southeast. The highest peak in Cambodia is Mount Oral, whose height reaches 1,813 m.
Through the east of Cambodia, the Mekong River flows south, which is considered the longest river in this country.
According to itypemba.com, the capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh, which is now home to more than 1.6 million people. Phnom Penh was built in 1372 and became the capital of Cambodia in 1431.
The official language of the population of Cambodia is Khmer, belonging to the Mon-Khmer languages of the Austroasiatic language family.
More than 95% of the population of Cambodia professes Buddhism (in particular, Theravada Buddhism is the most conservative direction of this religion).
State structure of Cambodia
According to equzhou.net, Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy. The head of state is the King, who is elected by the Council of the Royal Throne. The King appoints, with the approval of the National Assembly, the Prime Minister and ministers.
Legislative power belongs to the bicameral parliament – the National Assembly, consisting of the Senate (61 people) and the National Assembly (122 deputies).
The main political parties are the Cambodian People’s Party, the Sam Rainsi Party and the Buddhist Liberal Party.
Climate and weather
Cambodia, like most other countries in Southeast Asia, has a hot climate with a strong monsoon influence. In fact, there are four annual climatic seasons in Cambodia:
- November-February is a cold and dry season.
- March-May is a hot and dry season.
- June-August is the hot and humid season.
- September – early November is the cold and wet season.
Tourists are advised to visit Cambodia from November to February, when the average air temperature exceeds + 26C, and when there is little rain. During this period, the weather in the beach resort of Sihanoukville is just perfect, and the sea is very calm and warm.
Sea in Cambodia
In the southwest of Cambodia is the Gulf of Thailand of the South China Sea. The coastline is 443 km. The best time to visit beach resorts in Cambodia is during the dry season (November to April).
Rivers and lakes
Through the east of Cambodia, the Mekong River flows south, which is considered the longest river in this country. Cambodia is home to Tonle Sap Lake (also called the “Great Lake”), one of the largest in Asia.
The history of Cambodia has centuries-old roots. It is believed that the state on the territory of modern Cambodia was formed in the 7th century AD. The Khmer Empire flourished in the 9th century when Jayavarman II declared independence from Java.
During the Middle Ages, the Khmer often fought with their neighbors (Vietnam and Siam claimed the territory of Cambodia).
In the end, in the 1860-80s, Cambodia, trying to find protection from Siam, falls under the protectorate of France.
Cambodia’s independence was proclaimed only in 1953. Until 1975, a bloody civil war was going on in Cambodia, which ended with the victory of the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot. As a result, the state of Kampuchea was formed, which fell in 1979 under the blows of the Vietnamese army.
Now Cambodia is considered a constitutional monarchy headed by the King.
Many different ethnic groups live in Cambodia, and therefore the culture of this country is very diverse and unique. Moreover, the ethnic groups of Cambodia celebrate the same holidays at different times. So, the Khmer Lunar New Year is celebrated in mid-April, and the Vietnamese and Chinese, of whom there are a lot in Cambodia, in late February – early February.
By the way, the Khmer New Year is called “Chnam-Tmai”. During this holiday, it is necessary to build sand hills, which are considered a symbol of Buddha’s stupas. Moreover, every grain of sand in such a hill can save a person from sins.
Cambodia neighbors Thailand and Vietnam, which can be attributed to the “heavyweights” of culinary traditions. Therefore, very often they forget about the cuisine of Cambodia, giving preference to dishes from Thailand and Vietnam. However, once you try Khmer cuisine, you will fall in love with it forever…
Of course, you need to get used to Cambodian cuisine – for Europeans it will seem too exotic at first (for example, it uses fried grasshoppers and ants).
In Cambodia, tourists are recommended to try Bai sach chrouk (pork with rice), amok fish (served on a banana leaf), Lap Khmer salad (beef with vegetables and spices), Nom banh chok (red noodles ), “Kdam chaa” (fried crab), red ants with beef and basil, “Ang dtray-meuk” (fried squid), “Cha houy teuk” (jelly).
Sights of Cambodia
According to official data, there are now several thousand historical, architectural and archaeological monuments in Cambodia. The top 10 best attractions in Cambodia, in our opinion, may include the following:
- Diamond Buddha Pagoda in Phnom Penh
- Citadel of Angkor Thom
- Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
- Wat Phnom temple in Phnom Penh
- Pre Can Monastery
- Eyebrow Temple in Phnom Penh
- Temple complex Wat Banan in Battambang
- Wat Lang Ka Pagoda in Phnom Penh
- angkor wat temple
- Bayon Temple at Angkor
Cities and resorts
The largest Cambodian cities are Kampong Thom, Battambang, Sihanoukville, and, of course, Phnom Penh.
In Cambodia, tourists are waiting for several beach resorts. The most popular of them are Sihanoukville and Kampot.
On one of the islands near Kampot, the former king of Cambodia Sihanouk liked to relax. By the way, it is believed that the best seafood dishes are served in Kampot restaurants.
However, the most popular beach resort in Cambodia is Sihanoukville. Two of its beaches, Ochatial Beach and Sokha Beach, are especially popular. On the island near Sihanoukville there are excellent conditions for diving and fishing (there are very beautiful corals with a lot of exotic fish).
Tourists in Cambodia are recommended to visit the city of Bokor Hill, which is located in the mountains. It was built by the French to escape the heat. Tourists will be amazed by the beauty of these places, panoramic views of mountains, forests and the sea.
Tourists from Cambodia usually bring handicrafts, scarves, scarves, jewelry, palm sugar, Cambodian spices, tea, bamboo napkins, Cambodian musical instruments (bamboo flute, tro-kmae – a kind of three-string violin).
08:00-20:00 seven days a week
Ukrainians need a visa to visit Cambodia.
The official currency in Cambodia is the Cambodian riel (its international designation is KHR). One riel = 100 sous. However, most stores prefer US dollars (prices in many stores are in dollars). Credit cards are not common.
You can import foreign currency into Cambodia without restrictions, but if it is more than 10 thousand dollars, it must be declared. You can take foreign currency out of Cambodia only within the amount that was declared upon entry into this country. But the import and export of Cambodian riels in Cambodia is prohibited.
Antique art objects cannot be exported from Cambodia.
Useful phone numbers and addresses
The interests of Cambodia in Ukraine are represented by the Embassy of Cambodia in Russia: Postcode: 119002, Moscow, Starokonyushenny per.
, 11 Т: (495) 201-76-68
email: [email protected]
The interests of Ukraine in Cambodia are represented by the Embassy of Ukraine in Vietnam:
Hanoi, Ba Dinh district, Le Hong Phong 6
T: (+844) 3734-44-84
El. Email: [email protected]
117 or 118 – Police
119 – Ambulance
The difference with time in Kyiv is +5 hours. those. if in Kyiv it is 10:00, then in Phnom Penh it is 15:00.
Tipping in Cambodia is not mandatory. However, the people of Cambodia will be grateful to you even for a small tip. Some prestigious hotels include a service fee in the bill (10%).
No vaccinations are required to visit Cambodia. However, doctors recommend that tourists be vaccinated against typhoid fever, malaria, rabies, diphtheria, tetanus, hepatitis A and B before traveling to this country.
Violent crimes against foreign nationals in Cambodia do happen occasionally. But there is much more danger of petty theft. Therefore, tourists in Cambodia should take reasonable precautions and not walk alone. It should also be taken into account that among the Cambodian police corruption is widespread. In general, the people of Cambodia are friendly people.
Keep the originals of your documents in the hotel safe or at the reception, and carry copies with you.
Tourists in Cambodia are advised to visit temples and other local attractions before lunch and a few hours after lunch, otherwise there is a high chance of sunburn. If you decide to explore the local sights between 12:00 and 16:00, please wear long sleeves, hats, sunglasses, protective cream and drinking water.