|Form of government
||UTC + 7h
|Telephone area code
With an area of 181,035 km², the Kingdom of
Cambodia is the smallest country in Indochina. The
country borders Thailand in the northwest, Laos in the
north, Vietnam in the east and the Gulf of Thailand in
Two thirds of Cambodia's territory is occupied by the
central lowlands, which are defined by the Tonle Sab
Basin in the west and the alluvial plain of the Mekong
in the east. The Great Lake (Tonle Sab) is the largest
inland water in Southeast Asia, it is around 2,500 km²
in the dry season, during the rainy season the area is
increased by up to 20 by the backwater of the Mekong,
which flows into the lake against the direction of the
river 000 km². The connection between the Great Lake and
the Mekong is formed by the Tonle Sab River.
The lowlands are surrounded by mountain ranges and
plateaus: in the west and southwest is the Cardamom
Mountains (Chuor Thnum Kravanh) with peaks over 1,700 m.
In the north is the Dankrek chain (Khao Phanom Donkrak),
a sandstone mountain range with heights of up to 800 m.
The highest elevation in the country at 1,813 m is the
Phnom Aural east of the Cardamom Mountains. South of
this peak is the Elephant Mountains (Chuor Phnum Damrei),
which have heights of up to 1,100 m. The foothills of
the Annamite Coast Cordillera rise in eastern Cambodia.
The country's most important river is the Mekong,
which rises in the highlands of Tibet and flows into the
South China Sea. With a total length of 4,200 km, the
Mekong is the longest river in Southeast Asia, and
around 500 km flow through Cambodian territory.
The capital, Phnom Penh, reads at the mouth of the
Tonle Sab River in the Mekong.
Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate with high
temperatures all year round and a pronounced rainy
season. From May to October the southwest monsoon brings
in humid air masses, on the coasts and on the western
slopes of the Elephant Mountains fall up to over 5,000
mm annually, in the interior between 1,300 and 2,000 mm.
The rather dry northeast monsoon blows from November to
March. The average temperature in the capital Phnom Penh
is around 26 °„ C in January and 28 °„ C in July. The
hottest month is April with averages around 30 °„ C.
Flora and fauna
Almost 60% of the country is covered by forests. On
the rainy western slopes of the mountains there is
tropical rainforest with palm trees, which changes into
an evergreen mountain forest from a height of around 700
m. The central lowlands are dominated by monsoon and
deciduous dry forests, large parts are occupied by
swamps (floodplains) and savannas. Extensive mangrove
forests can be found on the coast.
A large number of animal species live in the dense
forests of Cambodia. Indian elephants, tigers, leopards
and various bear species can be found in remote areas. A
specialty of the country's wildlife is the Kouprey, a
wild cattle with a withers height of almost 2 m. The
bird and reptile world is particularly rich in species;
In addition to the king cobra, which is up to 5 m long,
there is also the highly toxic krait, which is one of
the snakes. Angkor National Park (107 km²) in the north
of Lake Tonle Sab is home to a number of rare animal
species such as the Muntjak deer, which only reaches a
height at the withers of 65 cm.
A total of around 13.61 million people live in
Cambodia. Over 90% belong to the Khmer ethnic group. The
largest ethnic minority with a share of around 5% of the
total population are Vietnamese, followed by Chinese
with around 1%. Members of the Cham, who belong to the
Malay peoples, live in the coastal area and on the lower
reaches of the Mekong; Especially in the border area
with Thailand in the mountains there are various Thai
peoples, which are called Khmer Loeu today. According to COUNTRYAAH,
of the total population lives in cities, the largest
city is the capital Phnom Penh with approximately 1.08
million residents. Large parts of the mountains are
extremely thin or not populated at all, the majority of
the Cambodians live in the central lowlands. The
official language is Khmer (other languages are French
and Vietnamese). The state religion in Cambodia is Theraveda Buddhism, to which 95% of the population
belong. Religious minorities are Muslims (2%) and
Christians, and animistic religions are also practiced.
Decades of civil war and the cruel behavior of the
Khmer Rouge have led to extremely poor living conditions
for the population: With an estimated per capita income
of $ 500 per year, the country is one of the poorest in
the world. The medical care of the population is
completely inadequate, the average life expectancy is 59
years. The family is the most important social security
for the individual. So it can be explained that despite
the high infant mortality rate of 7.1% - and the HIV
infection rate of 2.6% - population growth continues to
amount to 1.7% annually. The literacy of the population
Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy under the 1993
constitution. The head of state is the elected king
(Norodom Sihamoni, since October 2004), who primarily
performs representative tasks. The executive lies with
the Prime Minister (Hun Sen, since November 1998); he is
usually the representative of the strongest party in the
The legislature exercises the two-chamber parliament,
which consists of the National Assembly with 123 seats
(MPs are elected by the people for five years) and the
Senate with 61 seats (two members are appointed by the
King, two by the National Assembly; the rest is elected
by parliamentarians and local councils for six years).
The highest legal authority is the Supreme Court in
Phnom Penh. The Cambodian legal system is a mixture of
French law, royal decrees and common law; some
regulations of communist rule have also been preserved.
Cambodia is divided into 24 provinces.
Cambodia experienced 1999, the first year in three
decades in which no fighting took place. In accordance
with the decades of civil war, the Cambodian economy and
infrastructure are underdeveloped and the supply
situation of the population is poor. A fifth of the
population lives in poverty. Despite international
intervention, black trading in precious woods and drugs
is flourishing. Human trafficking (the sale of children
and women to prostitution) has not yet been prevented.
Nevertheless, since the end of the 1990s, the economy
has not only stabilized, but has even achieved high
growth rates. Cambodia became the tenth member of the
Southeast Asian group of states ASEAN; The ASEAN Free
Trade Agreement entered into force in 2002. The growth
is mainly due to increasing tourism and textile exports;
however, the stagnation on the global market in the
clothing sector fears that profits will decline.
Agriculture generates over a third of gross domestic
product (GDP) and over half of all employed people work
in this area. The main crop - now again for export - is
rice, which is grown on 80% of the agricultural land.
Three harvests a year are possible in the central
lowlands. Other important crops are rubber, corn,
cassava, soy and fruit (bananas, pineapples, mangoes).
Forestry has a large share in the export volume
(precious woods). Both the Great Lake (Tonle Sab) and
the Mekong are extremely fish-rich waters, and fishing
primarily serves to provide the population with
The industry in Cambodia is poorly developed and is
mainly limited to small businesses, which mainly produce
textiles and handicrafts or process food. Industry
contributes about a quarter of GDP. Phosphate, bauxite,
tin and gemstones are mined from mineral resources. The
main export is to the USA and China; The main suppliers
of the imported goods (crude oil, food and beverages,
machinery and vehicles as well as medicines) are China,
Vietnam and Thailand.
Of a total of 28,000 km of roads, only 2,000 km are
paved. In the meantime, passenger trains no longer run,
only freight trains. Regular international direct
flights to Cambodia practically only take place within
the region, e.g. B. via Bangkok (Thailand).
The currency is the Riel (= 100 Sen).