Cambodia


Cambodia (officially the Kingdom of Cambodia) is located in the south of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The country was blessed

with diverse flora and fauna which are typical for the tropics. Its long-lasting history is also the attractions which are waiting tourists to discover.

Cambodia

Royal Palace Phnom Penh

 Cambodia’s history has begun since 6,000BC. Some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherers inhabited Cambodia during Holocene. In the late 3rd millennium BC, rice growing appeared in the north. The farmers have applied iron facilities into work by about 500 BC. The existence of trade, social structure and labor organization were found in the 4th century BC.

The Funan and Chenla Kingdom were the first states in the history of Cambodia. These empires lasted from the 1st century to 9th century. From the 9th century to 13th century, the Khmer Empire was founded and made the golden age of Khmer civilization. It had become the most powerful empire in the South East Asia since the 12th century and remained as a power till the 15th century. In around 13th century, Theravada Buddhism grew and eventually became the popular religion in Angkor Kingdom. The Empire’s centre of power was Angkor built in 12th century. The Angkor Complex now is famous for Angkor Wat with well-preserved religious temples. At the following time, the Khmer Empire stuck in the long wars with the neighbor nations. The negative consequence is the stagnation in economy, society and culture. Cambodia lost many region of the territory and remained under the protectorate of Siam.

Cambodia

Phnom Penh City at night

In the period of 1983 – 1954, Cambodia came under the domination of French colonial domination. According to Geneva Accords – the result of Geneva Conference on Indochina in Paris in 1954, the Viet Minh troops won the war against French colonial and France had to withdraw its troops from Indochina. Cambodia also won the independence and founded its own state led by King Sihanouk. The new state was a close ally of North Vietnam’s government and a base for Viet Minh’s army to fight Republic of Vietnam (South Vietnam). This made Cambodia become a target of US bombing campaign. At the same time, there was a political crisis inside the country as the development of Khmer Rouge. In 1970, Khmer Rouge overthrewKing Sihanouk and renamed the country as the Khmer Republic. A civil war was triggered between the forces supporting the King and Khmer Rouge while the Communist insurgency inside Cambodia continued to grow. The government implemented one of the most radical and brutal restructurings of a society ever attempted. Under the regime of Khmer Rouge, approximately one to three million Cambodians died from executions, overwork, starvation and disease.

In the late of 1978, Vietnamese army and the Kampuchean (or Khmer) United Front for National Salvation (KUFNS) launched a full scale intervention in Cambodia, toppling the Pol Pot government. The People’s Republic of Kampuchea (PRK) was established.

Cambodia Geography

 Cambodia (officially the Kingdom of Cambodia) is located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. The country shares the border with Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. Its territory covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi). It has a 443-kilometer (275 mi) coastline along the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia has an area of 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 sq mi) and lies entirely within the tropics, between latitudes 10° and 15°N, and longitudes 102° and 108°E.

Cambodia

Angkor Temple

The typical geographic landscape in Cambodia is the low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains. It involves the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Mekong River. Extending outward from this plain are thinly forested transitional plains with elevations of no more than about 100 meters above the sea level.
Dominated the drainage of the country is Tonle Sap Lake and Mekong River. The Tonle Sap Basin and the Mekong Lowlands cover 75% of the territory. The Mekong flows about 486 kilometers through Cambodia and fertilizes agricultural land with rich sediment of annual floods in rainy season. Tonle Sap Lake is connected to Mekong River by Tonle Sap River. It’s the largest freshwater lake in South East Asia. During the rainy season, the lake expands to about five times of its usual size and reserves a huge amount of water to drain back into Mekong River in dry season.

Cambodia

Siem Reap River

In the south-west, much of the area between the Gulf of Thailand and the Tonle Sap Lake is covered by a highland region formed by two distinct upland blocks: the Cardamom Mountains and the Elephant Mountains. The Cardamom Mountains is more than 1,500 meters high. The highest peak of Cambodia is Phnom Aoral which is 1,813 meters and located in the eastern part of that range. The Elephant Mountains rises to elevations of between 500 and 1,000 meters.

Cambodia Climate

 Cambodia’s territory is entirely in the tropics and its climate is the outcome of monsoon’s operation.
Like that of the rest of South East Asian nations, Cambodia’s climate has 2 seasons: tropical rainy and dry season because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences. From November to February, the northeastern monsoon blows and carries little rain. The weather at that time is cool and dry. From May to October, there are heavy rains and strong winds with high humidity due to southwestern monsoon. It’s the rainy season.
The hottest month in the year is April when the maximum daily temperature can reach 40°C and the weather is coolest in January. All around the year, the average temperature range is from 21 to 35°C (69.8 to 95°F).

Angkor Wat core

Angkor Wat core

Cambodia Natural environment

 Thank to the features of geography and climate, Cambodia has a precious bio-diversity in both flora and fauna. There are 212 mammal species, 536 bird species, 240 reptile species, 850 freshwater fish species (Tonle Sap Lake area), and 435 marine fish species. In Cambodia, you can witness many rare animals such as bears, elephants, rhinoceroses, leopards, tigers, crocodile and freshwater dolphins living under one roof.
However, the deforestation and pollution are the biggest threats to the environment in Cambodia which are challenging the Cambodians and their government. Variety of plants and wild animals are in danger of extinction. From the 1990s, the country’s national park system has been developed by the assistance of the UNDP and NGOs. Other biospheres and bird sanctuary were also established for preserving endangered species.

Tag: Cambodia