World Travelling Guide
World Travelling Guide



Accommodation in Southern Africa and South Africa including accommodation in Western Cape, Eastern Cape, Northern Cape, Gauteng, Limpopo Province, North West Province, Free State, Kwazulu-Natal, Mpumalanga

List of countries
Map of South East Asia

Cambodia Travelling Guide
Cambodia Travelling Guide

General background: Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns; over 1 million displaced people died from execution or enforced hardships. A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off 13 years of fighting. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy, as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces.

Area comparative: Slightly smaller than Oklahoma

Climate: Tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation.

Terrain: Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north

Population: 12,775,324

Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%

Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%

Language: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English

Government type: Multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993.

Capital: Phnom Penh

Legal system: Primarily a civil law mixture of French-influenced codes from the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC) period, royal decrees, and acts of the legislature, with influences of customary law and remnants of communist legal theory; increasing influence of common law in recent years.

Economic overview: Cambodia's economy slowed dramatically in 1997-98 due to the regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting. Foreign investment and tourism fell off. In 1999, the first full year of peace in 30 years, progress was made on economic reforms and growth resumed at 5%. GDP growth for 2000 had been projected to reach 5.5%, but the worst flooding in 70 years severely damaged agricultural crops, and high oil prices hurt industrial production, and growth for the year is estimated at only 4%. In 2001, severe floods damaged an estimated 15% of the area devoted to rice. Tourism now is Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals up 34% in 2000 and up another 40% in 2001 before the September 11 terrorist attacks in the US. The long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid. On the brighter side, the government is addressing these issues with assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors.

Communication/Telephone system: Adequate landline and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; rural areas have little telephone service, adequate but expensive landline and cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and major provincial cities; satellite earth station - 1 Intersputnik (Indian Ocean region).

Places of interest: Ancient temples, empty beaches, mighty rivers, remote forests ... and (outside Angkor) only a handful of tourists.

Travel tips: Visitors are advised to avoid demonstrations and political gatherings, and to generally exercise caution. Cambodia remains one of the world's most heavily landmined countries, with an estimated four to six million UXOs dotted around the countryside waiting to be detonated.

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