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About Cambodia

Official name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Government: Multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy.
Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 15.5 Million
Official language: Khmer
Religion: Buddhism, Islam, Christianity

Situated on the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia is bordered by Thailand and Laos on the north and Vietnam on the east and south. The Gulf of Thailand is off the western coast. The longest river is the Mekong. The plain is centered around Lake Tonle Sap, which is a natural storage basin of the Mekong.

Dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences. Temperature range from 21 to 35 C (69.8 to 95.0°F) and experiences tropical monsoons. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.

-800 – Various kingdoms in the area of today’s Cambodia
802 – Jayavarman II declares himself “universal monarch”
889 – The Capital is moved to Angkor
1219 – The Death of Jayavarman VII destabilizes the empire
1431 – Angkor is conquered by the Thais
1431-1863 – Various foreign rulers impose tributes and taxes to the Khmer kings
1863 – The French Protectorate begins
1941-1945 – The Japanese occupation
1953 – King Sihanouk unifies the country
1970-1975 – Civil War
1975-1979 – The Khmer Rouge Rule
1979- – Transition and reconstruction of the country, now a parliamentary democracy and constitutional monarchy.
2004 – King Norodom Sihanouk abdicates in favor of his son, Norodom Sihamoni

Airports: Cambodia has three commercial airports. Phnom Penh International Airport (Pochentong) in Phnom Penh is the second largest in Cambodia. Siem Reap-Angkor International Airport is the largest and serves the most international flights in and out of Cambodia. The other airport is in Sihanoukville. Cambodia has two rail lines, the lines run from the capital to Sihanoukville on the southern coast, and from Phnom Penh to Sisophon.

Khmer cuisine: The staple food for Cambodians is rice. There are hundreds of varieties of indigenous Khmer rice, from the fragrant jasmine-scented malis rice to countless types of wild, brown and sticky rice. Sticky rice is most often consumed as a dessert, often with slices of tropical fruit like mango or durian and coconut milk. Popular dishes: Mee Kola, a vegetarian noodle dish, Banh chiao, Kuy teav (traditional pork broth-based rice noodle soup dish is a popular breakfast dish in Cambodia), Chhar khnyey (Cambodian peppered chicken with julienned ginger root ), Pleah (beef salad with prahok ), Khor (a hearty stew of pigs trotters with whole eggs flavoured with caramelised palm sugar, fish sauce and black Kampot pepper).