Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Read our Cambodia Travel Information page for more details on how to get in and around the country.
Cambodia’s total area is 181,040 sq km, making it slightly smaller than Oklahoma. Cambodia’s climate is wholly tropical with little seasonal temperature variation: a rainy monsoon season prevails from May through November, giving way to a dry season that lasts from December to April. The geography consists of mostly low, flat plains, with mountains in the country’s southwest and north. Its highest point is the Phnum Aoral topping off at 1,810 m. Cambodia is a resource rich country, with oil and gas, timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese, and phosphates.
Just under 14,000,000 people live in Cambodia. Life expectancy is 61.29 years. Birth rate is 25.53 births per 1,000. Literacy rate is 73.6%.
Khmer, French, English
Khmer, Vietnamese, Chinese
95% Theravada Buddhist
Once a great empire stretching across much of Southeast Asia, Cambodia fell under French protection in 1863. Following World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953. In April 1975, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh. At least 1.5 million Cambodians died during the Khmer Rouge regime under Pol Pot. The 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability.
The long-term development of the economy remains a daunting challenge. The Cambodian government is working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the World Bank and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs. The major economic challenge for Cambodia over the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia's demographic imbalance. More than 50% of the population is less than 21 years old.