Cambodia (Kampuchea) is the located in Southeast Asia bordering Thailand, Lao and Vietnam. Cambodia is officially known as Kingdom of Cambodia (ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា Preah Reacheanachak Kampuchea). Cambodia was under French Colonial rule from 1863 to 1953. After 90 years of French rule there was finally independence and. peace from 1954 to 1970, so during this time life was very good for the Cambodian people. However from 1968 rule began to crumble when communists started a civil war. America bombed Cambodia to try and stop the communists however they captured Phnom Penh in April 1975. From 1979 rule was by the murderous communist Pol Pot regime who killed approximately 2.5 million people supported by the communist bloc countries. In 1979 Vietnam invaded Cambodia and withdrew in 1989. Afterwards negotiations began among several different parties, the result of which was the Paris Peace Accords of 1991. An provisional government ruled until 1993 when Cambodia held its first election supported by the United Nations, which brought peace to Cambodia until the present time. Cambodia mostly follows the Buddhist religion (Theravada Buddhism) which is very strict, as does Thailand, Lao, Puma and Sri Lanka. Most people make their living from the agriculture of rice, potatoes, corn, tapioca …etc. There are only two seasons being the wet season and the dry season. The wet season is from May to October (the wind blows from southwest to northeast) and the dry season is from November to April (the wind blows from northeast to southwest). It is cool from November to January so this is the best to visit Cambodia.
Cambodia covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers with 15 million people divided into 25 provinces and 5 major cities; Phnom Penh (capital), Kompong Cham, Battambang, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. Each province has its own beauty and significance.
1/ Phnom Penh is the centre for business, site of the Royal Palace, government buildings etc. and has a population of 3 million people.
2/ Kompong Cham is very fertile so has many plantations of rubber, tapioca, mangos, papaya, pineapples etc. People in this province are very wealthy, educated and skilled, so many of them have a very good life compared to the other provinces.
3/ Battambang is an old city full of French colonial buildings along Sangke River. It is very fertile so people have planted many different fruits but the main crop is rice. Only Battambang can provide all the rice needed for the whole of Cambodia and export surplus as well. Beside plantations, Battambang is an old city of the Khmer Kings with many temples such as Banon temple, Ek Phnom and Phnom Sampov. In Battambang you can experience the very unique Bamboo Train (it is an old railway used in French colonial times) which provides a great way for tourists to go from station to station, stopping off along the way to visit the various sights. It is fantastic especially in the wet season when it is very lush and green. In the evening tourists can enjoy visiting the bat cave where there are millions of bats inside. This is a truly rare experience.
4/ Sihanoukville has the best white sand beach in the world! It is a great place to get fresh air, sunshine, have a refreshing swim or just relax after a long working day. Many tourists enjoy the beauty and attractions of this beautiful white sand beach also.
5/ Siem Reap (the name means the defeat of Thailand or Siam) is a great place for exploring temples and learning about Cambodian history and culture. The temples, some of which are over a thousand years old, are truly majestic. They include the great Angkor Wat, Angkor Thom, Ta Phrom, Banteay Srei, Beng Mealea….and more. Besides it’s wonderful temples, Siem Reap has the Great Lake Tonle Sap where tourists can enjoy seeing people living on the lake. They make their living fishing on this huge lake as well as having fish farms.