About Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia, formerly Kampuchea, is a Southeast Asian nation that borders Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. The capital city is Phnom Penh.

Geography

Situated in the southwest of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia occupies a total area of 181,035 square kilometers and borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

Cambodia’s geographic coordinates are 13 00 N, 105 00 E.

Cambodia’s terrain consists mainly of low plains, with mountains to the southwest and north.

Two dominant physical features of Cambodia are the Mekong river, which runs from north to south of the country, and the Tonlé Sap Lake.

Natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential.

Population

Cambodia’s population is approximately 14 million. Ninety per cent of residents are Khmer; the rest are Cham (Khmer Muslim), Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Phnorng, Kuoy, Stieng, Tamil, etc. Population density is 78/ km2.

 

 

Climate

Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round. The climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. December to January are the coolest months, while the hottest period is in April. The average temperature is around 27-28ºC.

 

National

FlagThe flag of Cambodia symbolizes the country’s slogan: Nation, Religion, King. The two large blue stripes represent royalty and the center red stripe represents the nation. The image of the white temple stands for the nation’s religion.

 

 

National Flower

The romduol, a small yellowish-white flower, is the national flower of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Since ancient times, Cambodian women have often been compared to the Romduol flower because of its attractive fragrance; a unique scent that is prominent in the late afternoon and can travel over long distances with the wind. With its sturdy stems that measure up to 30cm, the Romduol plant can grow to a height of 12 meters. These plants are being planted to enhance public parks.

The Wet Season
The wet season comes courtesy of the southwest monsoon which blows from May to October, bringing with it some 75% of Cambodia's annual rainfall. Not surprisingly, the wet season is characterised by rain, and during the peak of wet season from July to September it can rain as much as two out of every three days. However, the rainy days are usually just a few hours of heavy downpour and not all-day rain, although the latter do occur.

From a more cheerful perspective, monsoonal Cambodia is also a beautiful country to travel around in. The roads are not dusty and the lush greenery of the country returns. Angkor Wat in particular can be stunning during the wet season -- the murals have a more unique appearance and feel. Observing Angkor Wat with a lightning storm as a backdrop is an electrifying experience. There are also fewer tourists going about in the country, so if you prefer to dodge the crowds, wet season can be a good time to visit.

Regionally, the Cardamom Mountains get the heaviest rain in the country, while the entire coastline gets rough seas and a lot of rain.

The Dry Season
The dry period runs from October to April, when the dusty northeast monsoon arrives. Blowing like a hair-dryer set to high, the northeast monsoon dries out the country very quickly. While November and January are quite cool (high C20s) by April, the weather can be scorching and very dry. Characterised by heat and dust, this season coincides with Cambodia's peak tourist season when travellers arrive in their droves between November and January to take advantage of the lack of rain, enjoy the sun and the relatively cooler months.

Cambodia's beach strips at Kep, Sihanoukville and Ko Kong bask in brilliant sunshine with clear calm waters  and if you're a beach person, dry season is the best time for you.