Cambodia Destinations Travel Guide

Flag of Cambodia

Language: Khmer

Currency: Riel (KHR)

Calling Code: 855


Cambodia, is one of the forty-nine countries that make up the Asian continent. Its capital and most populous city is Nom Pen. It is located at the center of the Southeast Asian subregion, bordering the northwest with Thailand, the north with Laos, the east with Vietnam and the southwest with the Gulf of Thailand (Pacific Ocean). It has an area of 181,035 km22 and a population estimated in 2016 of about sixteen million inhabitants.


The official religion of the country is Theravada Buddhism, practiced by 95% of Cambodians. Also, in the country there are minority groups of Vietnamese, Chinese, Cham and up to thirty tribes.The capital and largest city is Nom Pen, cultural, political and economic center of the nation. The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy whose head of state is Norodom Sihamoni, monarch elected by the Royal Throne Council. The Prime Minister of Cambodia has been Hun Sen for 25 years.

In the year 802 Jayavarman II proclaimed himself king and founded the Khmer empire, which survived for six hundred years and dominated much of Southeast Asia and accumulated immense power and wealth. This kingdom very influenced by the culture of India built monumental temples such as Angkor Wat, declared a World Heritage Site, and facilitated the dispersion of the first Hinduism for much of the region. After the fall of a capital Angkor to the kingdom of Ayutthaya in the fifteenth century Cambodia became governed as a vassal territory by several neighboring powers, a situation that lasted until the French turned it into a protectorate in the mid-nineteenth century. Cambodia became independent from France in 1953.


Travel Destination in Cambodia

One of its most notable structures Angkor is considered to be the largest religious structures in the World. It is also portrayed on the flag of Cambodia.

Most prominent feature in Bokor National Park is an abandoned French hill station that date to 1920's. It is also known as a Bokor Hill Station.

Kirirom National Park is a small bio reserve situated in Kampong Speu Province and Koh Kong Province in South- West Cambodia.

Phnom Kulen National Park is a home to Asian tigers, Asian elephant, Rhinos, deer, leopard, several species of monkeys and deer this national park also preserves remains of human activity.

Preah Vihear Temple is an UNESCO World Heritage site. This medieval religious complex is also known as Sreysikharesvara  or "The power of the mountain".


Name of Cambodia

Cambodia is the name of the Khmer country, borrowed from Sanskrit in connection with the dominance of Hinduism and Buddhism.
In 1975-1989, when translating the name into foreign languages, a variant closer to the original Khmer name was used - Kampuchea or Kampuchea (Khmer. កម្ពុជា, Kamputea). The official names of the country after gaining independence were: Kingdom of Cambodia (1953-1970 and since 1993), Khmer Republic (1970-1975, Lon Nol regime), Democratic Kampuchea (1975-1979, Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge regime), People's Republic Kampuchea (1979-1989, allied regime of Vietnam), State of Cambodia (1989-1993, UN authorities).



The state on the territory of Cambodia arose at the beginning of our era. It occupied a much larger territory than the current Cambodian state. The oldest state on the territory of modern Cambodia was Funan, or Bapnom (I-VI centuries), in which Buddhism began to spread, in the VI-VIII centuries. Chenla occupied its lands, and in the 9th-13th centuries. - The Angkor Empire, or Kambujadesh, the largest state in Southeast Asia. In the XIV-XIX centuries, the weakened and politically loose Cambodia was repeatedly invaded by Siamese troops.

colonial period
In 1863, France imposed a protectorate treaty on the kingdom of Cambodia, under the treaty of 1884 Cambodia was actually a colony of France.

From 1942 to 1945 it was occupied by the Japanese Empire.

period of independence
Cambodia gained independence in 1953.

From the late 1960s to 1975, there was a civil war in the country, in which North Vietnam, South Vietnam and the United States actively intervened. The NLF and North Vietnamese forces established a network of base camps and depots in the eastern regions of the country, where they retreated after each serious defeat in South Vietnam. In 1966, Prince Sihanouk made an agreement with China, which supported North Vietnam in the war, to have North Vietnamese troops in Cambodia and use the seaport of Sihanoukville to ship war materials to them, in violation of the country's neutrality. The path along which the supply of communist forces through Cambodia was carried out was called the “Sihanouk trail”. In 1970, a coup took place, as a result of which General Lon Nol came to power and proclaimed the creation of the Khmer Republic. In the same year, in order to support the Lon Nol government, which launched hostilities against the Cambodian communists - the Khmer Rouge, the armed forces of the United States and South Vietnam invaded Cambodia.

In 1975, having won the civil war, the Khmer Rouge, led by Pol Pot, came to power. A course was imposed on the country to build "agrarian socialism", which in fact turned into a genocide of its own people (peasants, townspeople, intelligentsia, Buddhists, national minorities, simply "superfluous"). According to various estimates, from 1 to 3 million inhabitants of the country, which at that time was called "Democratic Kampuchea", were destroyed.

Back in 1973, in the areas controlled by the Khmer Rouge, uprisings of the population and the military who supported him began, and in the provinces of Ratanakiri and Kah Kong, uprisings of national minorities. In September 1975, there was an uprising in the province of Siem Reap, in January 1976 - a rebellion led by Minister of Information Hu Nim, in 1977 - in the division, which was entrusted with the protection of Phnom Penh (Deputy Chief of the General Staff Cha Krai was shot, three other leaders uprisings burned alive in the capital's stadium). Around the same time, 2 counties in the province of Kampong Thom rebelled, the performance of which was suppressed, including with the help of aerial bombardments, and a conspiracy in Phnom Penh was uncovered. In 1978 there were uprisings in the provinces of Kratie (April 1978), Svay Rieng, Prey Veng and Kampong Cham (all three in May 1978).

In 1978, the country's economy was completely depleted, and Pol Pot unleashed aggression against Vietnam. However, large groups of Khmer Rouge, dissatisfied with the repression, almost immediately began to go over to the side of the Vietnamese.

In December 1978, the United Front for the National Salvation of Kampuchea (EFNSK) was created, uniting pro-Vietnamese and anti-Pol Pot forces. Pen Sowan, Chan Si and Khang Sarin, as well as Keo Chanda and Chea Sot became the leaders of the EFNSK. All of them lived in Vietnam for a long time and enjoyed absolute trust in the country's leadership. This group was joined by those who defected from the ranks of the Khmer Rouge in 1976-1977 (in particular, the former deputy commander of the regiment of the Cambodian army Hun Sen, who showed himself well during the hostilities of January 1978), as well as former participants in the uprising and leaders of partisan detachments in the Eastern Zone of Kampuchea, former commander of the Cambodian army division Heng Samrin and former secretary of the party committee of the 20th district of the Eastern Zone Chea Sim. Heng Samrin became the head of the EFNSK, and Chea Sim became his deputy. Pen Sovan headed the party building commission of the revived People's Revolutionary Party of Cambodia, later transformed into the Central Committee of the CPPK.


In 1979, Vietnamese troops overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime. The country was renamed the People's Republic of Kampuchea. The UN and a number of countries did not recognize the new government of Cambodia, declaring it a puppet of Vietnam. The final withdrawal of Vietnamese troops from Cambodia took place in 1989, but the civil war in the country continued for some time after that. The Khmer Rouge was tacitly supported by China, which saw them as a counterbalance to Vietnamese influence. The Khmer Rouge controlled the areas bordering Thailand and periodically made forays inland. Pol Pot's Party of Democratic Kampuchea, the pro-Western National Front for the Liberation of the Khmer People of former Prime Minister Son Sanna, and Prince Sihanouk's FUNCINPEC party formed the Democratic Kampuchea Coalition Government. This anti-Vietnamese coalition waged an armed struggle against the Heng Samrin regime. It was she who had international recognition and represented Kampuchea at the UN.

In connection with the ongoing political crisis, the new leader (Prime Minister) of Cambodia, Hun Sen, who gradually ousted the pro-Vietnamese Heng Samrin, agreed to UN mediation. In 1989, constitutional changes transformed the NRC into the State of Cambodia. It was decided to restore the monarchy, return King Sihanouk and hold free elections. On September 24, 1993, the Kingdom of Cambodia was restored. The UN, through its interim body, recognized the new state.

After a four-year period of formal power-sharing, in July 1997, Hun Sen staged a virtual coup d'état and established autocratic rule.

On October 7, 2004, King Norodom Sihanouk abdicated the throne, on October 14, 2004, the Royal Council of Cambodia, on the recommendation of his older brother, Prince Ranariddha, proclaimed a new king - Norodom Sihamoni. However, in fact, the power in the country belongs to Prime Minister Hun Sen [source not specified 4082 days]. On November 24, 2000, the anti-communist rebel organization Cambodian Freedom Fighters, led by Yasit Chung, made an unsuccessful attempt to overthrow Hun Sen by armed force.

In 2007, almost all Khmer Rouge leaders who remained at large were arrested, and are currently under investigation to bring them to the tribunal.

On July 28, 2013, regular parliamentary elections were held in Cambodia. The ruling People's Party was declared victorious with 49% of the vote, but the opposition National Salvation Party of Cambodia achieved a major success with nearly 45% of the vote. The opposition did not recognize the results of the vote, declaring them falsified. From July 2013 to July 2014, Phnom Penh was engulfed in massive anti-government protests. On November 16, 2017, the opposition PNUK was accused of preparing an anti-government "color revolution" and disbanded.

In the elections on July 29, 2018, the People's Party confidently won, gaining 76.85% of the vote and all 125 seats in the National Assembly. Opposition FUNCINPEC Prince Norodom Ranarit and the League for Democracy received 5.89% and 4.86% of the vote, respectively.



Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, in the southern part of the Indochina peninsula. It borders Vietnam (to the east), Laos (to the northeast) and Thailand (to the north and northwest); in the south and southwest it is washed by the waters of the Gulf of Thailand. The length of the borders is: with Vietnam - 1228 km, with Thailand - 803 km, with Laos - 541 km; the length of the coastline is 443 km. The area of ​​the state is 181,040 km². The largest island of the country is Kong (100 km²).

The territory of the country is located in several clearly defined geographical regions. Most of Cambodia (about 75%) is represented by the Tonle Sap Lake basin and the lowlands of the Mekong River. These flat areas are framed by mountain ranges: the Kravan mountains (in the southwest), the Elephan (south) and Dangrek (north) ranges. The uplands in the northeast of the country merge with the Central Highlands of Vietnam. The Tonle Sap and Mekong basins connect with the plains of central Thailand (to the west) and the Vietnamese Mekong Delta (to the southeast). In addition, the Mekong Valley separates the Elephan range from the highlands of the northeast.

The Kravan Mountains are located in the direction from northwest to southeast, reaching heights of more than 1500 m. The highest point of Cambodia, Mount Oral, is located in the eastern part of the range and is 1813 m above sea level. The Elephan Range extends the Krawan Mountains further southeast, with elevations ranging from 500 to 1000 m. To the southwest of these two mountain ranges lies the narrow coastal plain of Kampongsaombai, adjacent to the Gulf of Thailand. The low Dangrek range serves as the northern boundary of the Tonle Sap basin and runs along the border with Thailand. The average heights are only about 500 m, and the highest point exceeds 750 m above sea level. To the north of the range is the Korat Plateau, which occupies the northeast of Thailand.

Inland waters
With the exception of small rivers in the southwest of the country, most of the rivers of Cambodia belong to the basin of the Tonle Sap Lake and the Mekong River. The Kravan and Dangrek mountains serve as watersheds. Cambodia owns a significant section of the Mekong; from the Lao border to the town of Kratie, the river flows south, then turns southwest, and from Phnom Penh it flows southeast until it flows into the South China Sea. The watercourse to Tonle Sap Lake is seasonal. During the rainy season, the waters of the Tonle Sap River, flowing from the lake to the Mekong, are reversed, as a result of which the area of ​​\u200b\u200bthe lake increases several times. The annual floods of Tonle Sap lead to swamping of vast areas around the lake.



The climate of Cambodia, like the climate of other countries in Southeast Asia, is highly dependent on the monsoons. Temperatures throughout the central plains of the country are quite similar and are characterized by only relatively small variations from the average annual temperature of 25 °C. Maximum temperatures are above 32°C, although just before the start of the rainy season they often exceed 38°C. Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 10°C. The coldest month is January and the warmest month is April. Tropical cyclones, which often hit the coast of Vietnam, rarely penetrate the territory of Cambodia.

The average annual rainfall in the central regions of the country ranges from 1000 to 1500 mm. Most of them fall during the summer monsoon. The mountainous regions of the south of the country and the coast of the Gulf of Thailand receive much more precipitation, up to 5000 mm per year. The extreme south-east of the country also receives a lot of precipitation. The northern regions of Cambodia are the most arid.


Wildlife and ecology

The wildlife of Cambodia is diverse. There are 212 species of mammals, 536 species of birds, 240 species of reptiles and 850 species of freshwater fish on the territory of the country. The region of Tonle Sap Lake, where the unique Tonle Sap Biosphere Reserve is located, is characterized by the greatest biodiversity. Other key species habitats include dry forests in the northeast and east of the country and the Kravanj Mountains region. In the southwest of Cambodia, on the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, there is the Botum Sakor National Park, covering an area of ​​1834 km².

The rate of deforestation in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world. Thus, the share of virgin forests, which in 1969 covered more than 70% of the country's territory, decreased to only 3.1% by 2007. In 2012, forests of varying degrees of density covered 57.4% of the territory of Cambodia - 10.2 million hectares. Since 2010, deforestation in Cambodia has slowed down somewhat and is 1.3% per year.



As of 2020, the population of the country is 16,926,984 people, over 97% of them are Khmers. The rest is represented mainly by Cham, Vietnamese, Chinese and Khmer Highlanders. Population growth for 2020 is approximately 1.4%. Gender composition: 950 men per 1000 women. Average life expectancy is 65.9 years (63.4 years for men and 68.6 years for women). The urban population as of 2020 is 24.2%. Literacy rate for 2018: 80.5% (86.5% male and 75% female).

Largest cities in Cambodia:
Phnom Penh: 2,234,566
Battambang: 250,000
Siem Reap: 171,800
Sihanoukville: 132,000
Poipet: 89,549

About 96% of the country's population speaks Khmer, which belongs to the Austroasiatic language family and is the only official language of Cambodia. French is widely used as a second language as a legacy of colonial times, but its prevalence has declined sharply in recent times. French is used as the language of education in many schools and universities and, to a very limited extent, by the government. In addition, this language is remembered by many older Cambodians. In recent decades, English and Chinese have become the most attractive and studied foreign languages.

The languages ​​of the country's national minorities are also widespread: Cham and Chinese dialects, Vietnamese, Lao, Thai, etc. Mountain peoples speak their own languages: Zarai (Jarai), Ede (Rade), Stiengi, Saot, Por, Samre and Kui.

Buddhism is practiced by 97.9% of the population; Islam - 1.1%; Christianity - 0.5%; other religions - 0.6%. Theravada Buddhism is the state religion of Cambodia, and there are about 4,390 temples throughout the country. The traditions and everyday life of the vast majority of the population are closely connected with Buddhism. Most of the monasteries in the country belonged to the monastic order of the Mahanikai, although the smaller but more influential elite reformist order of the Thammayutnikai enjoyed special royal patronage. In 1975, with the coming to power of the Khmer Rouge regime, a ban was imposed on all religious worship, which remained until 1979. However, since then, Buddhism has experienced a revival, once again taking a strong position.

The Chams are adherents of Islam, in addition, a small Malay community is Muslim. Today, over 300,000 Muslims live in Cambodia, most of them in the province of Kampong Cham. The Vietnamese minority traditionally also includes Catholics and Cao Dais (who adhere to the syncretic religion of Cao Dai). Over 1% of Cambodians are Christians, mostly Catholics. Among the Cambodian Chinese, Mahayana Buddhism is common, mixed with traditional Chinese teachings - Taoism and Confucianism.

The Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports is responsible for developing the national education policy and directives. The Cambodian education system is largely decentralized, including 3 levels of government: central, regional (provincial) and district. The country's constitution proclaims free compulsory education for 9 years, guaranteeing the universal right to basic education. Traditionally, education in Cambodia has been provided by Buddhist monasteries, which provided education opportunities exclusively for boys. During the Khmer Rouge regime, education in Cambodia faced serious difficulties, which led to a regression in this area. The modern education system continues to face many challenges, but significant improvements have been seen in recent years.

In recent years, there have been significant improvements in health care, although there are still many problems. As of 2020, the average life expectancy in the country was 63.4 years for men and 68.6 years for women, which is significantly higher than in 1999 - 49.8 and 46.8 years for men and women, respectively. The Royal Government of Cambodia plans to improve public health by raising public awareness about HIV, malaria and other diseases.

The infant mortality rate dropped from 27 per 1,000 live births in 2000 to 18 per 1,000 in 2014. During the same period, the under-5 mortality rate fell from 54 to 35 per 1,000 live births. The worst health indicators are in the province of Ratanakiri, where 22.9% of children die before the age of 5; also, it has the highest levels of maternal mortality and malnutrition in the country. All these data are explained by the remoteness of the province, underdevelopment of infrastructure, poverty, lack of access to clean water for a significant part of the population, and other factors.


In connection with the development of the country, the problem of access to the Internet becomes an important issue. Wi-Fi Internet access is available in many cafes, bars, restaurants and gas stations. However, despite the spread, wired ADSL and fiber optic internet in Cambodia is significantly more expensive than in most developed countries. So, a 2 Mbps connection can cost $95 per month. In this regard, wireless Internet has become widespread in 3G and WiMAX networks, which are usually much cheaper here and do not differ much in speed. Operators predict a gradual increase in speed and a decrease in the cost of the Internet.

Political structure
Legal system: combination of codes adopted under the UN Transitional Authority in Cambodia, influenced by the French legal system, royal decrees, customary law-influenced statutes and vestiges of communist legal theory; in recent years, the role of common law has increased.

Suffrage: from 18 years old; universal.

Elections: not held; the monarch is elected by the Council of the Royal Throne; the prime minister is appointed by the monarch after a vote of confidence obtained in the National Assembly.

King: Norodom Sihamoni.

Head of Government: Prime Minister Hun Sen (since 30 November 1998)

Government: Council of Ministers appointed by the monarch.

Legislative branch: bicameral parliament, consisting of the National Assembly (125 seats; members of the House are elected by popular vote for a term of 5 years) and the Senate (62 seats; two members of the Senate are appointed by the monarch, two are elected by the National Assembly and 58 are elected by "official electors"; term of office chambers for 5 years).

Judiciary: The Supreme Judicial Council, provided for in the Constitution, was formed in December 1997; Supreme Court and lower courts.

Political parties and leaders: Cambodia People's Party (CPP; Hun Sen), Cambodia National Salvation Party (CNRP, Sam Reingsi, Kem Sokha) Buddhist Liberal Party (BLP; Ieng Mauli); Khmer Civic Party (KCP); FUNCINPEC (Prince Norodom Ranarit); Sam Rainsi Party (SRP) (former Khmer Nation Party (KNP)).

Foreign policy
Member of the UN and a number of its specialized organizations, the IMF, IBRD, World Bank, Asian Development Bank, IAEA and others. In foreign policy it is based on the principles of neutrality. Cambodia joined the Primorsky Treaty of Friendship and Cooperation in Southeast Asia (SEA), joined ASEAN (since April 1999). At the forefront of foreign policy are relations with neighboring ASEAN countries (Brunei, Vietnam, Indonesia, Laos, Malaysia, Myanmar, Singapore, Thailand, Philippines), as well as relations with China and Japan. Japan also chairs the international committee for the reconstruction of Cambodia and, accordingly, is the country's largest investor. Of the economically developed countries, the main partners are the USA, France and Australia. In 1992, the US lifted its embargo on trade with Cambodia. In 1996, a bilateral Agreement on Trade Relations was signed. Cambodia has diplomatic relations with the Russian Federation (established with the USSR in 1956).

Relations with Vietnam
For a long time, relations between the two countries were tense due to numerous territorial disputes. Since then, both states have taken many steps to improve relations. In 2005, an agreement was signed in addition to the 1985 agreement on the Cambodian-Vietnamese state border (Complementary Treaty to the Treaty on the Delimitation of State Border of 1985). According to the agreement, Cambodia and Vietnam planned to complete the demarcation of the land border before the end of 2008. In a joint statement following the visit, it is stated that this agreement "creates a legal basis for the formation of a peaceful and friendly border" between the two states. In June 2012, Vietnam and Cambodia celebrated the demarcation of the last stretch of the border. The Prime Ministers of Vietnam (Nguyen Tan Dung) and Cambodia (Hun Sen) personally attended the event. In addition, since the 1990s, economic relations between the countries have been actively developing, since both states are members of ASEAN and the Mekong Ganga Organization.


Relations with Thailand
For many years, the main problem in bilateral relations between Cambodia and Thailand has been a territorial dispute over the ownership of the Preah Vihear temple. In 2008, the temple became a UNESCO World Heritage Site, which caused a number of territorial conflicts between states (Cambodian-Thai border conflict in 2008, 2009 and 2011). Currently, the temple can be approached from both Thailand and Cambodia.

Relations with China
Despite close relations with China both economically and politically, Cambodia's foreign policy has recently been moving away from being China-centric and focusing on improving relations with the ASEAN countries, as well as with Western partners - the United States, Australia and others. This is in particular due to the fact that China at one time actively supported the Khmer Rouge regime. Nevertheless, China continues to actively invest in the Cambodian economy and allocate funds for material assistance to Cambodia.

Relations with North Korea
Cambodia maintains fairly good relations with the DPRK. Pyongyang has a Cambodian embassy and Phnom Penh has a North Korean embassy. Relations between the two states were very good due to the friendship between the former leader of the DPRK Kim Il Sung and the former King of Cambodia Norodom Sihanouk. The Cambodian government expressed condolences to the DPRK after the death of Kim Jong Il. Also in the capital of Cambodia there is a North Korean restaurant.



The economy of Cambodia is based on the production of clothing and tourism. Cambodia received a guaranteed quota in US clothing exports. More than 350,000 workers are employed in the clothing industry, and clothing accounts for 70% of the country's export value. Up to 80% of the population is employed in agriculture, as of 2012, the main crop is rice, they also grow corn, maize, beans and sweet potatoes, yam, cassava, industrial crops (cotton, tobacco, peanuts, sugar palm); breed cattle, pigs, various birds.

In addition to clothing, Cambodia exports shoes, rice, bicycles, ornamental and precious stones ($15.8 billion in 2017).

The main export partners (in 2017) are the USA 19%, Germany 11%, Great Britain 8.2%, Japan 8%, France 6.5%.

Cambodia imports textile raw materials, fabrics and semi-finished products (up to 30% of the value of imports), gold (up to 18%), oil products, cigarettes, building materials, machinery, equipment and electronics, medicines ($12 billion in 2017).

The main import partners (in 2017) are China 40%, Singapore 25%, Hong Kong - 7.6%.

The poverty rate is 16.5% (2016), unemployment is 0.3% (2017).

There is no state minimum wage in Cambodia, but there is one in the clothing and footwear industries. Effective January 1, 2020, the minimum wage in the clothing and footwear industry is $190. In addition to the minimum monthly wage, workers will also receive additional benefits, including $10 per month for non-time off work and $7 for transportation, rent and meals.

Foreign investment
Foreigners do not have the right to own land. To own land, it is allowed to register a company, at least 51 percent of the capital of which belongs to the Khmer. These measures largely limit the flow of investment in small-scale agriculture.

In May 2009, the Russian operator Beeline began providing mobile services in Cambodia. In April 2015, the Vietnamese company Viettel bought Beeline's business in Cambodia.

In 2018, Chinese retailer Suning announced its intention to invest at least US$2 billion to establish Cambodia's first special economic zone in Kampong Speu province.

Cambodia after the end of the civil war began to attract a large number of foreign tourists. The main attraction of the country is the Angkor Wat temple complex, dedicated to the Hindu god Vishnu, not far from the city of Siem Reap, in the center of the country. The complex is considered the largest religious building in the world. There are also places for a "beach" holiday in the south, near the city of Sihanoukville. More than 4 million tourists visit the country every year.

Cambodia is attractive for tourists with the calm and friendly nature of the main population - the Khmers, very low prices, climate, exotic cuisine. Some also consider Cambodia one of the centers of sex tourism. The tourist infrastructure is not as developed as in neighboring Thailand, but is still recognized as quite satisfactory, especially in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, the largest seaside resort in the country. Cambodia also has 23 national parks. Travelers are discouraged from deviating from well-worn tourist routes and populated areas due to the large number of mines left over from the civil war. Other hazards (crime, infectious diseases, snakes) are rated as minor in guidebooks.



During the civil war, Cambodia's transport infrastructure was badly damaged, but currently, with the help of foreign investment and equipment, Cambodia is reconstructing the main highways. Since 2006, the state of roads has improved significantly, and most of the main roads are now paved.

Cambodia has two single-track railway lines with a gauge of 1 meter and a total length of 612 km. One of the lines connects Phnom Penh with Sihanoukville (built in the 1960s), the other connects Phnom Penh with Battambang and Sisophon (built in the 1930s). The section between Sisophphon and Poipet (on the Thai border) was dismantled during the civil war. Until 2009, trains still ran once a week between Phnom Penh and Battambang, but the service has now been discontinued. The government entered into an agreement with private companies for the reconstruction of the railway network, according to which by 2011 it was planned to open a railway connection between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and by 2013 between Phnom Penh, Battambang and Sisophon. In addition, it is planned to complete the construction of the railway from Sisophon to the Thai border. In the future, it is planned to build a new railway connecting Phnom Penh with Vietnam.

Waterways of communication have long played a huge role in Cambodia. The Mekong, Tonle Sap rivers, their numerous tributaries and Lake Tonle Sap form a water transport system with a total length of 3,700 km all year round for ships with a draft of 0.6 m and another 282 km for ships with a draft of 1.8 m. The main seaport of the country is Sihanoukville. Phnom Penh, which is located at the confluence of the Mekong, Bassak and Tonle Sap rivers, is the only river port capable of receiving ships with a displacement of 8,000 tons in the rainy season and 5,000 tons in the dry season.

There are four commercial airports in the country, three of which are currently operating - Phnom Penh International Airport (formerly Pochentong), Siem Reap International Airport, which is the largest airport in Cambodia, and Sihanoukville (since December 14, 2011). Another airport is located in Battambang, but there are no regular flights. There are two operating airlines in Cambodia, Cambodia Angkor Air and Tonlesap Airlines.



The Ministry of Culture and Fine Arts is responsible for the development of culture in the country. The culture of Cambodia has a strong Indian influence in terms of language, art and other elements. An important factor shaping the culture was also Theravada Buddhism, which came to these lands in the first centuries of our era and spread widely here. In addition to the Khmer culture itself, the country's culture also includes the culture of more than 20 different ethnic groups, living mainly in the mountainous and hilly regions in the northeast of the country.

Khmer traditional music, like dance, dates back to the ancient Khmer Empire and has a strong influence from Indian music. In ancient drawings, images of dances performed in honor of the monarchs, such as the Apsara dance and musicians accompanying the dancers, have been preserved. Of the folk forms of music, "chapey" and "a yai" are known. The first of these is popular among the older generation and is most often performed by one person on the Cambodian guitar (chapey), who recites texts between music-making. Lyrics tend to deal with moral or religious themes. The traditional musical instruments of the Cambodians are drums of various types, gongs, metallophones and other percussion instruments, as well as woodwind instruments - like flutes and pipes.

Music in the genre "a yai" is performed by a solo or duet of a man and a woman and is often comic in nature, with extensive use of impromptu. Pleng kaah (literally “wedding music”) is a collection of traditional music and songs to accompany the various rites of a traditional Khmer wedding that lasts for many days.

In clubs in Cambodia, popular music is performed using Western musical instruments or a combination of traditional Cambodian and Western instruments. The classic representatives of pop music in Cambodia were pop singers Son Sisamut and Ruoh Sereysoththea, who performed in the 1960s and 1970s. During the reign of the Khmer Rouge, many classical and popular singers of the 60s and 70s were killed or sent to camps, and many recordings of music from that period were lost or destroyed.

In the 1980s, Kaeu Sarat[km] (a Cambodian refugee who settled in the US) and other Cambodian expatriates performed popular songs styled after traditional Cambodian music. The 1980s and 1990s also saw the growing popularity of northern Khmer kantrum music with modern arrangements.

The Australian hip-hop group Astronomy Class recorded several songs performed by Cambodian-born singer Kak Chanti.

Los Angeles-based rock band Dengue Fever features a Cambodian vocalist, the group's genre is classified as "ethnic music" and combines traditional Cambodian music with Western rock music.

Cambodian dances are usually divided into 3 groups: classical dances, folk dances and ballroom dances. Classical dances were originally performed only for representatives of the royal court as entertainment, they also have ceremonial significance. Despite some influences from neighboring cultures, classical Khmer dance is a rather unique art form. The performers of such productions are skillfully dressed, the movements, gestures and postures of the dancer are of particular importance in the performance. The performance itself is slow and measured. Music accompanying such performances includes xylophones, metallophones, woodwinds, various drums and gongs.

Folk dances differ from classical dances in usually faster rhythm, less significant gestures and movements, and less decorative clothes of the performers. Folk dances and features of their performance vary from region to region and are different among different ethnic groups of the country. Folk dances are closely related to fairy tales and other works of local folklore.

The history of the fine arts of Cambodia goes back centuries to ancient crafts. Khmer art reached its peak during the Angkor period. Traditional arts and crafts include weaving, making silver and gold items, stone carving, lacquer making, pottery, monumental painting, the art of kite making, and others. on artists and other representatives of the arts and their rather frequent physical elimination. Recently, there have been some improvements in this area related to the support of the government and non-governmental organizations, as well as attracting tourists to the country.


Numerous inscriptions on stones, walls and columns testify to the antiquity of the Khmer language. Following the inscriptions on the stones, texts written on palm leaves and commentaries on the Buddhist texts of the Tipitaka became widespread; a large number of them are still kept in monasteries throughout the country. The Khmer epic poem Reamker is based on the Indian epic Ramayana and has a traditional dance performance. Various forms of oral art have become widespread in Cambodia. Later, court literature developed, as King Ang Duong (1841-1860) is known not only as a ruler, but also as a classic of literature due to his writing of the novel Kakei, which has important cultural significance today. The classic story of tragic love is Tum Teav, which has become widespread since at least the middle of the 19th century and has oral, literary and dance forms. Tum Teav became widely known in the West after the translation of the literary version of this story, written by a monk named Preah Botumthera Som, into English by the American George Chigas in 1915. Monk Som is recognized as one of the best Khmer classics.

As in other countries of Southeast Asia, the main food of the Cambodians is rice. Due to the dense river network and the presence of such large reservoirs as the Mekong and Lake Tonle Sap, fish traditionally occupies an important place in Cambodian cuisine. Prahok pickled fish paste is also traditional, which in its essence is a method of long-term storage of the product. Prahok serves as the most common seasoning for food; often just eaten with rice. In addition, traditional ingredients include various tropical fruits, fish, oyster and soy sauces, curry, tamarind, ginger, coconut milk, black pepper, etc. A widespread Cambodian lunch dish is rice noodle soup in pork broth with onions and garlic. Compared to neighboring Thai and Vietnamese cuisine, Cambodian cuisine is rather unknown and not widely used in the world.

mass media
The state television and radio company - Télévision nationale du Cambodge (ទូរទស្សន៍ជាតិកម្ពុជា), includes one TV channel and 12 radio stations.


Anti-personnel mines in Cambodia

Cambodia is one of the most "mined" countries in the world. Three decades of war and civil conflict have left several million mines scattered across the country. The opposing sides, the Khmer Rouge, on the one hand, and the troops of Vietnam and the allied Cambodian troops, on the other hand, widely used both old stocks of mines and new ones, such as from China, Bulgaria, East Germany, Czechoslovakia, and Thailand. The most famous models are the Soviet PMN, PMN-2, Bulgarian PSM-1, Chinese T-72 and T-58, American samples and their copies (MN-79, MD-82B).

Since 1979, over 57,000 Cambodians have lost limbs.

According to the Land Mine Museum in 2010, there are still between 3 and 6 million active mines under Siem Reap in Cambodia.