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Cambodja

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Continent:Asia National flag
National flag: Cambodja
Capital city:Phnompenh
Area:181,035 km2 ( 87. )
Population:13,607,069 Person ( 63. )
People density:75 Person / km2
GDP per capita:130 $ / Person ( 182. )
GDP:1,768,918,970 $
Official language:khmérština

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More detailed information about country

Though much less visited than neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam or Laos, Cambodia is fast establishing itself on the Southeast Asian tourist trail. The stunning temples of Angkor are the obvious draw for most visitors, but the country has much else to offer: a smattering of golden undeveloped beaches, unspoilt forests, a balmy climate, and a relaxed atmosphere that’s refreshingly low on hassle.

For a small country, Cambodia encompasses a surprisingly diverse range of terrain and scenery. Rice fields are the most quintessential feature of this predominantly agricultural land, with the country’s rice bowl in the northwest. The annual monsoon brings rains that not only feed rice production, but also replenish the Tonle Sap lake, a massive body of fresh water that dominates the heart of the country; east of here, the mighty Mekong River forms a natural divide between an arid, sparsely populated sector of land to the west, and the mountainous, heavily forested far northeast. The southwest is likewise hilly and remains covered in jungle, while parts of the southeast are regularly inundated as the Mekong and its sister river, the Bassac, spill their banks.

For all its natural beauty and rich heritage, Cambodia has suffered a tragic recent past at the hands of the fanatical Khmer Rouge movement; the population had to endure first genocide, when the Khmer Rouge were in power in the 1970s, then a protracted guerrilla war which only ended in 1998. The whole of the country is now finally at peace, though the lack of infrastructure and skills is sorely evident, in the potholed streets, the damaged buildings and the sometimes truly appalling roads. With much to be done before the country is properly back on its feet, Cambodia remains heavily reliant on international aid, and it’ll be a while yet before most of the population see a tangible improvement in their standard of living. There are positive signs, though: thronging markets are testimony to renewed private enterprise, and in Phnom Penh at least, a modest middle class has re-emerged. This recovery is in no small way down to one of the country’s greatest assets, the Cambodians themselves, eternally optimistic, tenacious and, to visitors, endlessly welcoming.

Despite the dereliction of the Khmer Rouge years, visitors need not in any way feel like they’re venturing into a war zone. The country offers a decent range of places to stay, and Cambodian food, influenced by the cuisines of both China and Thailand, surprises the uninitiated with its depth and piquancy. Cambodian crafts make for intriguing mementoes, and the appearance of numerous craft shops is evidence of the revival in traditional artisanship. The majority of the country’s towns still retain some old-world charm, and the gentility of the former French times can still be glimpsed in the quaint shophouse terraces and colonial architecture – though the most tangible legacy of French rule is the piles of crusty baguettes heaped up in baskets and hawked around the streets in the early morning.

[ Buy on Amazon: The Rough Guide to Cambodia ]

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Map of country Cambodja

Map of country  Cambodja

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