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Cambodia | Facts and

History
The 20th century was disastrous for Cambodia.
The country was occupied by Japan in World War II, and became "collateral
damage" in the Vietnam War, with secret bombings and cross-border incursions.
In 1975, the Khmer Rouge regime seized power; they would murder
approximately 1/5 of their own citizens in a mad frenzy of violence.
Yet not all of Cambodian history is dark and blood-drenched. Between the 9th
and 13th centuries, Cambodia was home to the Khmer Empire, which left behind
incredible monuments such as Angkor Wat.
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the 21st century will be much kinder to the people of Cambodia than the last one was.000 Cities: Battambang. who was elected in 1998. Legislative power is shared between the executive branch and the bicameral parliament.000 Kampong Cham. made up of the 123member National Assembly of Cambodia and the 58-member Senate.300. population 1. . The Prime Minister is the head of government. with King Norodom Sihamoni as the current head of state. Unfortunately.000 Siem Reap.000 Sihanoukville. Vietnam History Hopefully. corruption is rampant and government is non-transparent. Capital and Major Cities: Capital: Phnom Pehn. population 235. population 64. Cambodia has a functioning multi-party representative democracy.000 Cambodia's Government: Cambodia has a constitutional monarchy. population 1. population 140. The current Prime Minister of Cambodia is Hun Sen.025.

Population of Cambodia: Cambodia's population is about 14. 12. Apply Here! Due to the massacres of the Khmer Rouge era.000 live births.7 years. The vast majority. Khmer Loeu.6% of the population is over the age of 65.000 (2008 estimate). which is part of the Mon-Khmer language family. Jarai. Map Cebu Pacific is Hiring jobstreet. Unlike near-by languages such as Thai. called abugida.240.37 per woman. and only 3.6%.6 per 1. are ethnic Khmer. Cambodia has a very young population. 1% Chinese.com/CebuPacific Check Their Latest Job Openings. Written Khmer has a unique script. Ads Satellite Online gosur.com/Earth-Map Interactive Satellite Map. (In comparison. The literacy rate is 73. Approximately 5% are Vietnamese. 90%. .6% of US citizens are over 65. The median age is 21. Vietnamese and Lao. Languages of Cambodia: The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. the infant mortality rate is 56.) Cambodia's birth rate is 3. spoken Khmer is not tonal. and the remaining 4% includes small populations of Chams (a Malay people). and Europeans.

700 square kilometers (1. alongside their primary faith. The lowest point is the Gulf of Thailand coast.Other languages in common use in Cambodia include French. km (6. Some people practice traditions derived from animism as well.810 meters (5. but during the monsoon season it swells to 16.040 square kilometers. at 1. Modern Cambodia also has Muslim citizens (3%) and Christians (2%). or 69. Laos to the north. The highest point in Cambodia is Phnum Aoral.177 sq. Geography of Cambodia: Cambodia has an area of 181.900 square miles. It is bordered by Thailand to the west and north. Climate of Cambodia: . a large lake. at sea level. displacing the combination of Hinduism and Mahayana Buddhism that was practiced previously. miles). Vietnamese. During the dry season. and Vietnam to the east and south. Religion in Cambodia: Most Cambodians (95%) today are Theravada Buddhists.000 sq.938 feet).042 square miles). This austere version of Buddhism became prevalent in Cambodia in the thirteenth century. West-central Cambodia is dominated by Tonle Sap. its area is about 2. and English. Cambodia also has a 443 kilometer (275 mile) coastline on the Gulf of Thailand.

3 billion US. Precipitation varies from just a trace in the dry season to over 250 cm (10 inches) in October. but growing quickly. Other industries include textiles manufacturing.128 KHR (October 2008 rate).Cambodia has a tropical climate. and a dry season from December to April. and 24-35°C (75-95°F) in the wet season. The GDP in 2007 was $8. and probably much farther. 35% of Cambodians live under the poverty line. with a rainy monsoon season from May to November. rubber. phosphate and gems). or $571 per capita.75% of the work force are farmers. and extraction of natural resources (timber. Cambodian Economy: The Cambodian economy is small. Both the Cambodian rial and the US dollar are used in Cambodia. Temperatures don't vary much from season to season. History of Cambodia: Human settlement in Cambodia dates back at least 7. In the 21st century. the range is 21-31°C (7088°F) in the dry season.000 years. The exchange rate is $1 = 4. with the rial mostly given as change. manganese. . the annual growth rate has been between 5 and 9%. The Cambodian economy is based primarily on agriculture and tourism.

D. and was supplanted by a group of ethnically-Khmer kingdoms that the Chinese refer to as "Chenla.D. French Rule The French ruled Cambodia for a century. which was strongly influenced by India. Construction began in the 890s.. Thai and Vietnamese Rule After the fall of the Khmer Empire. Cambodia came under the control of the neighboring Tai and Vietnamese kingdoms." The Khmer Empire In 790. Funan went into decline in the 6th century A. and Angkor served as the seat of power for more than 500 years.Early Kingdoms Chinese sources from the first century A. . These two powers competed for influence until 1863. and the beautiful city of Angkor was abandoned by the end of the 16th century. the Khmer Empire began to decline. The crown-jewel of the Khmer Empire was the city of Angkor. centered around the temple of Angkor Wat. describe a powerful kingdom called "Funan" in Cambodia. At its height Angkor covered more area than modern-day New York City. which lasted until 1431. Prince Jayavarman II founded a new empire. Fall of the Khmer Empire After 1220. but viewed it as a subsidiary of the more important colony of Vietnam . when France took control of Cambodia. It was attacked repeatedly by the neighboring Tai (Thai) people. the first to unite Cambodia as a political entity. This was the Khmer Empire.

Just four years of Khmer Rouge rule left 1 to 2 million Cambodians dead. This war pitted communist forces. Today. The Japanese promoted Khmer nationalism and pan-Asian ideas. and under Pol Pot set to work creating an agrarian communist utopia by exterminating political opponents. Vietnam attacked Cambodia and captured Phnom Penh in 1979. however. monks and priests. the Free French sought renewed control over Indochina.During World War II. After Japan's defeat. against the US-backed Cambodian government. It is in the form . though. It stands on the intersection of Norodom Boulevard and Sihanouk Boulevard in the centre of the city. was built in 1958 for Cambodia's independence from France in 1953. the Japanese occupied Cambodia but left the Vichy French in charge. withdrawing only in 1989. In 1975 the Khmer Rouge won the civil war. forced France to offer increasing self-rule to the Cambodians until independence in 1953. and educated people in general. "Vimean Akareach") in Phnom Penh. called theKhmer Rouge. Cambodia is a peaceful and democratic nation. capital of Cambodia.about 1/5 of the population. Independent Cambodia Prince Sihanouk ruled newly-free Cambodia until 1970. when he was deposed during the Cambodian Civil War (1967-1975). The Khmer Rouge fought on as guerrillas until 1999. The rise of nationalism during the war. The Independence Monument (Khmer: .

and floral tributes line the stairs. This damage was repaired two months later by the authorities. On August 30. poured gasoline on it and set it on fire. Behind the monument is the newly constructed Statue of Norodom Sihanouk. a bomb exploded at the base of the monument.of a lotus-shaped stupa. . During national celebrations. causing little damage. The Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument in Phnom Penh The monument is located at the Botum Park near the centre of Phnom Penh not far from the Royal Palace. capital of Cambodia. Every year. A ceremonial flame on the interior pedestal is often lit by a royal or high official on these occasions. The Independence Monument was designed by the influential Cambodian modern architect Vann Molyvann. 2007. of the style seen at the great Khmer temple at Angkor Wat and other Khmer historical sites. On July 29. The Cambodia–Vietnam Friendship Monument in Phnom Penh. The monument has occasionally become a political focal point. The Independence Monument is visited by foreigners and locals alike. which overthrew the Khmer Rouge regime. It features heroic statues of Vietnamese and Cambodian soldiers in the "Socialist realist" style developed in the Soviet Union in the 1930s. The Independence Monument is the center of activity. is a large concrete monument commemorating the former alliance between Vietnam and Cambodia. The monument is in a popular park in the middle of the city. several people climbed onto the monument with hammers. It was built in the late 1970s by the communist regime that took power after theCambodian-Vietnamese War. together with images of a woman and baby representing Cambodian civilians. 1998. during postelectoral protests.

Betting on oil and gas Hydrocarbons are a potential game changer for Cambodia: The sector is expected to rake in FDI. oil and gas. While the residential and hospitality spaces dominate construction. with growth averaging about 8 percent a year during 2002–12. and aid public finances. This strong momentum across key sectors is likely to continue into 2014–16. One of the key drivers of the economy is textiles and footwear. with real GDP estimated to have grown 7. the company expects commercial production to start .5 percent.0–7. Construction is yet another prominent sector and is a major recipient of foreign direct investment (FDI). drive economic growth. This will dent both textiles and tourism. Receipts from tourism currently amount to about 15 percent of GDP. thereby ensuring growth of 6.Strong economic growth in 2013 Since the start of the new millennium. and likely drag down GDP growth by two to three percentage points. whose exports amount to a third of nominal GDP. FDI is already flowing in. Last year was no different.5 percent. Exports from the sector rose 22 percent year over year in the first 11 months of 2013 to $5. with Chevron investing more than $160 million.1 Although commercial oil extraction has been delayed. infrastructure is fast gaining ground as the government focuses on power generation. and this could go up as the government tries to promote unexplored parts of the country. the current political strife poses downside risks. with the January–November period witnessing a 5 percent rise in tourist arrivals relative to the whole of 2012. and diversification in manufacturing. Tourism also continued to flourish last year. However.1 billion. In fact.5–7. especially if the protests drag on for the next three to four months. Cambodia’s economy has expanded at a fast pace.

something it has refused to do so far. the development of the oil and gas sector is not without its challenges. The need to reform public finances Cambodia urgently needs to reform public finances. it appears post exploration that some deposits will be difficult to tap.7 billion when production peaks. While initial estimates had put recoverable crude reserves at around 500 million barrels. A major beneficiary of any viable oil and gas production will be public finances. This figure is much below corresponding levels in developing.3 However.by 2016. Second. Cambodia is also planning investments in a refinery in partnership with China’s Sinopec. there are worries about transparency in the government’s management of oil and gas resources. Third.2 Encouragingly. In 2013 total tax revenues were $881 million. with the figure set to rise to as much as $1. According to the International Monetary Fund. Perhaps a good first step for the government would be to sign the Extractive Industries Transparency Initiative. just above 5 percent of nominal GDP. It is also . lack of an agreement with Thailand has prevented Cambodian exploration in an area in the Gulf of Thailand that is estimated to hold 11 trillion cubic feet of gas and an unknown amount of crude. First.and emerging-economy peers and is the main cause of persistent budget deficits. the government is expected to earn about $174 million in revenues annually when production starts. the quantum of reserves is not yet clear.

the overwhelming presence of a foreign currency restrains the effectiveness of monetary policy in regulating the banking system and the wider economy. given the need to invest in infrastructure. health. and education. where credit growth is high.4 Dollarization’s challenges for the central bank Prudent central bank regulation in Cambodia faces challenges from high dollarization. followed by high FDI inflows and tourism in the last decade. Critics allege that this nebulous allotment encourages corruption. Regulation of the banking system is also difficult because of the existence of a large informal . Foreign investors find this ratio favorable because it helps them avoid exchange rate fluctuations. In Transparency International’s recent annual corruption index. Dollarization also helps consumers avoid any impact of Cambodian riel weakness on import prices and hence inflation. Transparency is another aspect of public finances that needs addressing. This is particularly true in the current context. For example. in the budget for 2014.5 billion of funds remain unallocated or are placed under ―miscellaneous‖ expenses. something on which Cambodia rates high. sadly. especially in sectors such as real estate and construction. A prolonged period of conflict in the 1970s and ’80s.unsustainable in the long term. more than $1. has ensured that the US dollar dominates transactions in Cambodia. However. The dollar accounts for 90 percent of currency in circulation and 95 percent of banking deposits. the country ranks 160 among 177 nations. it has the lowest rank in Southeast Asia.

Political differences must be contained The current bout of political disagreement must not degenerate into irreversible economic damage. investor sentiment will be hit hard.economy and low banking penetration—only 13 percent of the population has deposits in the formal banking system. Myanmar is actively courting foreign investors. all the above are not possible without critical economic reforms. especially textiles. after years of isolation. The country also needs to create strong. and transparent institutions that enable and oversee economic transformation. health. For example. . and the environment. To ensure strong yet sustainable economic growth in the long term. The deadlock over minimum wages has carried on for too long. which can happen only when the government and opposition mend fences and work together. and both sides should grab it. accountable. Ironically the current political crisis provides such an opportunity. Cambodia’s low-cost industries. Losses from the protests have been estimated at more than $100 million. surely there must be a middle path. If the protests don’t end. education. Cambodia needs to focus more on infrastructure. are at risk. This is particularly worrying given that Cambodia faces challenges from competitors in Southeast Asia. While the government’s offer of $100 per month falls short of the workers’ demand for $160. However.