Cambodia’s terrain is characterized by the great lowland floodplain that occupies most of the central part of the country. The main feature of the plain is the Mekong River, which flows from north to south through Cambodia, and the Tônlé Sap (Great Lake), which covers an area of about 2,600 km2 in the dry season, and 10,400 km² in the dry season. rainy. The Tônlé Sap drains through the river of the same name, which during the dry season flows south to the Mekong River. During the rainy season, the Mekong River floods reach the Tônlé Sap basin, flooding the central part of the country. To the east of the floodplain lies an undulating plateau. Mountain ranges border the plain to the southwest, where the Cardamom Mountains form a physical barrier along the entire coast of the country, and to the north by the Dangrek Mountains.
Cambodia has a tropical monsoon climate. The average annual temperature is 26.7 ° C. The rainy season lasts from mid-April to mid-October. Average annual rainfall is 1,400 mm in the central plains and more than 3,800 mm in mountainous and coastal areas.
About 57.7% of Cambodia is covered by rainforest, the densest of which is in the mountains and on the southwest coast. The savannas, covered with abundant and tall vegetation, are present in the higher plains and in the plateaus. Trees such as rubber, kapok, palm, coconut and banana (plantain) are common.
The fauna is varied and includes elephants, deer, wild oxen, buffalo, panthers, bears and tigers. There are also specimens of cormorant, crane, pheasant and wild duck, as well as poisonous snakes, such as cobras.
The capital, Phnom Penh, is situated at the junction of the Mekong and Tônlé Sap rivers. Other large cities are Bǎtdâmbâng, Kâmpóng Cham and Kâmpôt.
The main port is Kâmpóng Saôm (16,000 residents, 1987), formerly called Sihanoukville, on the Gulf of Thailand. Since the late 1970s, the largest cities became depopulated, as their residents fled or were sent to rural areas.
The agriculture is the mainstay of the Cambodian economy. The rice is the most important crop in Cambodian agriculture. 80% of the cultivated land is planted with rice; 2006 production was estimated at 6.26 million tonnes. Rubber, the other important crop, is produced mainly on the eastern plateaus. Other important agricultural products are corn, tapioca, soybeans, sesame, palm sugar, and pepper. Mangoes, bananas and pineapples are grown for local consumption.
Fishing is an important economic activity, for internal consumption. The Tônlé Sap provides one of the largest freshwater fishery resources in Southeast Asia. The main varieties of fish caught are carp, perch, and smelt.
Zirconium, sapphire and ruby are mined in limited quantities in the west, while salt is found in the central provinces. Other mineral resources are bauxite and phosphates.
The official language is Khmer or Cambodian. The French was once the second most important language, but its use is not encouraged.
The cultural heritage of the Khmer dynasties is very important in Southeast Asian art and architecture, reflecting many facets of contemporary Cambodia. Many buildings, such as the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, were decorated in the Khmer style and use motifs such as the Garuda, a mythical symbolic bird in Hindu religion. Handicrafts, often woven in gold or silver laméThey also reflect ancient motifs. Classical Cambodian dance largely imitates the traditional style of the legendary lives of ancient religious deities. The ruins of the ancient Khmer empire, found in northwestern Cambodia, constitute one of the richest and most famous archaeological sites in the world. The ruins of Angkor Thom, the ancient capital of the Khmer, built around 850, and to the south, the temple of Angkor Wat (or Angor Vat), built between 1112 and 1152, are worth mentioning.
The Chinese and Vietnamese ethnic groups celebrate the Lunar New Year in late January or early February. The Khmer New Year celebrations paralyze the country for three days in mid-April, and large amounts of water and talcum powder are dumped. Chat Preah Nengkal (Royal Tillage Festival) takes place in the vicinity of the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh in early May. The most important event on the Khmer calendar, the Bom Om Tuk, takes place at the end of November with the commemoration of the end of the rainy season, depending on the moment when the channel of the Tonlé Sap River, which until then discharges the waters received from the Mekong in the lake that also bears his name, reverses its course and reverses its flow in the omnipresent Mekong.
- January 1 – New Years Day.
- March 8 – Women’s Day.
- April 13 – Khmer New Year.
- May 1 – Labor Day.
- June 1 – International Children’s Day.
- September 24 – Constitution Day.
- October 23 – Paris Peace Agreement.
- October 30 – Anniversary of the King.
- November 9 – Independence Day.
- December 10 – United Nations Human Rights Day.
Theravada Buddhism is the dominant religion professed by 90% of the population. Hinduism has had an important cultural and historical influence. Other religions that are professed in the country are Catholicism, Islam and Mahayana Buddhism; mountain tribes are animists.
About 94% of the population is made up of ethnic Cambodians, known as Khmer. The remaining 6% are mostly Chinese, Vietnamese, Thais and Cham-Malays (who live in mountainous regions). 80% of the population is rural.
According to localcollegeexplorer, Cambodia has a population of 14,241,640. The average density is 81 residents / km². Life expectancy is 59.6 years for men and 63.8 years for women.
Cambodia has 38,257 km of roads of all kinds; 6% are paved. A modern highway connects Phnom Penh with the port of Kâmpóng Saôm. The railway between the capital and Bǎtdâmbâng also runs northeast to the Thai border. Another railway line connects Phnom Penh and Kâmpóng Saôm. The entire railway system reached 650 km at the end of the 1980s. Inland waterways, which comprise the navigable sections of the main rivers, total 1,400 km in the rainy season and less than 650 km the rest of the year. The international airport is near Phnom Penh.