53 Facts About Cambodia


Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate of two seasons, and the country is made up of a central floodplain around the Tonle Sap lake and Mekong Delta, surrounded by mountainous regions.

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In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, and later was part of French Indochina.

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Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, ASEAN, the RCEP, the East Asia Summit, the WTO, the Non-Aligned Movement and La Francophonie.

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Rich in biodiversity and seasonal tropical forests, Cambodia has a high rate of deforestation and is considered among the most vulnerable countries to climate change.

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The English Cambodia is an anglicisation of the French Cambodge, which in turn is the French transliteration of the Khmer.

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The name Cambodia is used most often in the Western world while Kampuchea is more widely used in the East.

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Some slight archaeological evidence shows communities of hunter-gatherers inhabited the region during Holocene: the most ancient archaeological discovery site in Cambodia is considered to be the cave of Laang Spean, in Battambang Province, which belongs to the Hoabinhian period.

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The most curious prehistoric evidence in Cambodia are the various "circular earthworks" discovered in the red soils near Memot and in the adjacent region of Vietnam in the latter 1950s.

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For more than 2, 000 years, what was to become Cambodia absorbed influences from India, passing them on to other Southeast Asian civilisations that are now Thailand and Laos.

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Cambodia continued as a protectorate of France from 1867 to 1953, administered as part of the colony of French Indochina, though occupied by the Japanese empire from 1941 to 1945.

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When French Indochina was given independence, Cambodia lost hope of regaining control over the Mekong Delta as it was awarded to Vietnam.

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Communist insurgency inside Cambodia continued to grow, aided by supplies and military support from North Vietnam.

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The People's Republic of Kampuchea, a pro-Soviet state led by the Kampuchean People's Revolutionary Party, a party created by the Vietnamese in 1951, and led by a group of Khmer Rouge who had fled Cambodia to avoid being purged by Pol Pot and Ta Mok, was established.

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The refusal of Vietnam to withdraw from Cambodia led to economic sanctions by the US and its allies.

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Peace efforts began in Paris in 1989 under the State of Cambodia, culminating two years later in October 1991 in a Paris Comprehensive Peace Settlement.

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Cambodia's economy grew rapidly in the 2000s and 2010s, and it received considerable investment and infrastructure development support from China as part of its Belt and Road Initiative.

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Cambodia has an area of 181, 035 square kilometres and lies entirely within the tropics, between latitudes 10° and 15°N, and longitudes 102° and 108°E.

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Cambodia's landscape is characterised by a low-lying central plain that is surrounded by uplands and low mountains and includes the Tonle Sap and the upper reaches of the Mekong River delta.

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Cambodia's biodiversity is largely founded on its seasonal tropical forests, containing some 180 recorded tree species, and riparian ecosystems.

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Rate of deforestation in Cambodia is one of the highest in the world and it is often perceived as the most destructive, singular environmental issue in the country.

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Cambodia's government is regularly accused of ignoring human rights and suppressing political dissent.

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Foreign relations of Cambodia are handled by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs under Prak Sokhon.

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Cambodia is a member of the United Nations, the World Bank, and the International Monetary Fund.

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In 2005 Cambodia attended the inaugural East Asia Summit in Malaysia.

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Cambodia has established diplomatic relations with numerous countries; the government reports twenty embassies in the country including many of its Asian neighbours and those of important players during the Paris peace negotiations, including the US, Australia, Canada, China, the European Union, Japan, and Russia.

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Hun Sen has accumulated highly centralised power in Cambodia, including a praetorian guard that 'appears to rival the capabilities of the country's regular military units', and is allegedly used by Hun Sen to quell political opposition.

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Cambodia is consistently listed as one of the most corrupt governments in the world.

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On 14 March 2018, the UN expert on the human rights situation in Cambodia "expressed serious concerns about restrictions on the media, freedom of expression and political participation ahead of a national election in July".

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Cambodia is divided into 25 provinces including the autonomous municipality.

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Tourism was Cambodia's fastest-growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219, 000 in 1997 to over 2 million in 2007.

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In 2012, Credit Bureau Cambodia was established with direct regulatory oversight by the National Bank of Cambodia.

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One of the largest challenges facing Cambodia is still the fact that the older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure.

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Bribes are often demanded from companies operating in Cambodia when obtaining licences and permits, such as construction-related permits.

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Cambodia ranked among the worst places in the world for organised labour in the 2015 International Trade Union Confederation Global Rights Index, landing in the category of countries with "no guarantee of rights".

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Better Factories Cambodia was created in 2001 as a unique partnership between the UN's International Labour Organization and the International Finance Corporation (IFC), a member of the World Bank Group.

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On 18 May 2018, the Project Advisory Committee of the ILO Better Factories Cambodia Programme met in Phnom Penh to provide input into the draft conclusions and recommendations of the BFC's independent mid-term evaluation, as well as to discuss options on how to further strengthen the programme's transparent reporting initiative.

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Cambodia has two rail lines, totalling about 612 kilometres of single, one-metre (3-foot-3-inch) gauge track.

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Cambodia has two major ports, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, and five minor ones.

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Cambodia was ranked 109th in the Global Innovation Index in 2021, down from 98th in 2019.

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Cambodia is highly vulnerable to the negative effects of climate change and it is advised that the country focuses more on developing renewable energy as part of climate change mitigation measures.

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The Khmers historically have lived near the lower Mekong River in a contiguous diagonal arc, from where modern-day Thailand, Laos, and Cambodia meet in the northwest, all the way to the mouth of the Mekong River in southeastern Vietnam.

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Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Cambodia, practised by more than 95 percent of the population with an estimated 4, 392 monastery temples throughout the country.

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Cambodia was once one of the most landmined countries in the world.

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Cambodia is expected to be free of land mines by 2020 but the social and economic legacy, including orphans and one in 290 people being an amputee, is expected to affect Cambodia for years to come.

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Education system in Cambodia continues to face many challenges, but during the past years, there have been significant improvements, especially in terms of primary net enrolment gains, the introduction of program based-budgeting, and the development of a policy framework which helps disadvantaged children to gain access to education.

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Two of Cambodia's most acclaimed universities are based in Phnom Penh.

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Traditionally, education in Cambodia was offered by the wats, thus providing education exclusively for the male population.

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Education has suffered setbacks from child labour, A study by Kim reports that most employed children in Cambodia are enrolled in school but their employment is associated with late school entry, negative impacts on their learning outcomes, and increased drop out rates.

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Cambodia had issued over 150 such licenses before the new policy was announced.

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Cambodia has several industrial breweries, located mainly in Sihanoukville Province and Phnom Penh.

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Cambodia first participated in the Olympics during the 1956 Summer Olympic Games sending equestrian riders.

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Cambodia hosted the GANEFO Games, the alternative to the Olympics, in the 1960s.

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Khmer classical dance is the form of stylised performance art established in the royal courts of Cambodia exhibited for both entertainment and ceremonial purposes.

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