Cambodia

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Cambodia

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Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. With a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 sq mi), it is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Viet Nam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

With a population of over 14.8 million, Cambodia is the 69th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by around 95% of the Cambodian population. The country minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 various hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economical, and cultural center of Cambodia.

The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni, an elected monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council, as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen, who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.

In 802 AD Jayavarman II declared himself king which marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire. Successive kings flourished which marked the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth who dominate much of South East Asia for over 600 years. Cambodia was ruled as a vassal between its neighbors, until it was colonized by the French in mid - 19th century. Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Viet Nam War extended into Cambodia, giving rise to the Khmer Rouge, which took Phnom Penh in 1975. Cambodia reemerged several years later within a socialistic sphere of influence as the People's Republic of Kampuchea until 1993. After years of isolation, the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy in 1993.

Rebuilding from decades of civil war, Cambodia has seen rapid progress in the economic and human resource areas. The country has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with economic growth growing an average 6.0% for the last 10 years. Strong textiles, agriculture, construction, garments, and tourism sectors led to foreign investments and international trade. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, and once commercial extraction begins in 2013, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy.

Geography
Cambodia
is a country in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Viet Nam, and Laos. Its approximate geographical coordinates are 11°N 104°E. Its 2,572 km border is split among Viet Nam (1,228 km), Thailand (803 km) and Laos (541 km), as well as 443 km of coastline. Cambodia covers 181,040 square kilometres in the southwestern part of the Indochina peninsula. It lies completely within the tropics, its southernmost points are only slightly more than 10° above the equator. Roughly square in shape, the country is bounded on the north by Thailand and by Laos, on the east and southeast by Viet Nam, and on the west by the Gulf of Thailand and by Thailand. Much of the country's area consists of rolling plains. Dominant features are the large, almost centrally located, Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Mekong River, which traverses the country from north to south and is the 12th longest river in the world.

The climate is monsoonal and has marked wet and dry seasons of relatively equal length. Both temperature and humidity generally are high throughout the year. Forest covers about two-thirds of the country, but it has been somewhat degraded in the more readily accessible areas by burning (a method called slash-and-burn agriculture), and by shifting agriculture.

Climate
Cambodia's climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences. The monsoonal airflows are caused by annual alternating high pressure and low pressure over the Central Asian landmass. In summer, moisture-laden air - the southwest monsoon - is drawn landward from the Indian Ocean. The flow is reversed during the winter, and the northeast monsoon sends back dry air. The southwest monsoon brings the rainy season from mid - May to mid - September or to early October, and the northeast monsoon flow of drier and cooler air lasts from early November to March. The southern third of the country has a two - month dry season, the northern two - thirds, a four-month one. Short transitional periods, which are marked by some difference in humidity but by little change in temperature, intervene between the alternating seasons. Temperatures are fairly uniform throughout the Tonle Sap Basin area, with only small variations from the average annual mean of around 25 °C (77.0 °F). The maximum mean is about 28.0 °C (82.4 °F); the minimum mean, about 22.98 °C (73.36 °F). Maximum temperatures of higher than 32 °C (89.6 °F), however, are common and, just before the start of the rainy season, they may rise to more than 38 °C (100.4 °F). Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C (50 °F). January is the coolest month, and April is the warmest. Tropical cyclones that often devastate coastal Viet Nam rarely cause damage in Cambodia.

The total annual rainfall average is between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters (39.4 and 59.1 in), and the heaviest amounts fall in the southeast. Rainfall from April to September in the Tonle Sap Basin - Mekong Lowlands area averages 1,300 to 1,500 millimeters (51.2 to 59.1 in) annually, but the amount varies considerably from year to year. Rainfall around the basin increases with elevation. It is heaviest in the mountains along the coast in the southwest, which receive from 2,500 millimeters (98.4 in) to more than 5,000 millimeters (196.9 in) of precipitation annually as the southwest monsoon reaches the coast. This area of greatest rainfall, however, drains mostly to the sea, only a small quantity goes into the rivers flowing into the basin. The relative humidity is high at night throughout the year, usually it exceeds 90 percent. During the daytime in the dry season, humidity averages about 50 percent or slightly lower, but it may remain about 60 percent in the rainy period.

Tourism
The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south east which has several popular beach resorts and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station. Tourism has increased steadily each year in the relatively stable period since the 1993 UNTAC elections; in 1993 there were 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists.

Most of the tourists were Japanese, Chinese, Americans, South Koreans and French people, said the report, adding that the industry earned some 1,400 million U.S. dollars in 2007, accounting for almost ten percent of the kingdom's gross national products. Chinese - language newspaper Jianhua Daily quoted industry official as saying that Cambodia will have three million foreign tourist arrival in 2010 and five million in 2015. Tourism has been one of Cambodia's triple pillar industries. The Angkor Wat historical park in Siem Reap province, the beaches in Sihanoukville and the capital city Phnom Penh are the main attractions for foreign tourists.

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CONIFER TRAVEL
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