Map

Name

Kingdom of Cambodia
1953-1970

Khmer Republic
1970-1975

Democratic Kampuchea
1975-1979

People’s Republic of Kampuchea
1979-1989

State of Cambodia
1989-1993

Kingdom of Cambodia
1993-Present

Facts

Kingdom of Cambodia

Capital:
Phnom Penh

Official language:
Khmer

Demonym:
Cambodian; Khmer

Ethnicity:
Khmer; Cham; Chinese; Vietnamese

Religion:
Buddhism

Government:
Constitutional monarchy

People

Population:
15,288,489 (2019 Census)

Growth rate:
1.63%/one_half_last]

Fertility rate:
2.66 children per woman

Birth rate:
24.4 births per 1,000 of the population

Death rate:
7.78 deaths per 1,000 of the population

Life expectancy:
69.50 years

Age demographics:

0-14 years old
31.9%/one_half_last]

15-64 years old
64.3%/one_half_last]

65 and above
3.8%

Literacy:
15 years old and above can read and write

Cities and Provinces

Cambodia has 25 provinces (khaet). Phnom Penh is the country’s capital, and it is classified as an autonomous municipality and is governed as a province.

Further, provinces are segregated into districts named Khan. The districts for each province differ from one place to another with some only having two districts while bigger provinces have up to 14 districts. Further divisions of provinces are khum or sangkat.

Geography

Land area:
181,035 square kilometers

Borders:
Thailand, Laos, Vietnam

Climate:
Tropical wet and dry

Temperature range:
21-35°C

Landscape:
Low-lying plains

Ecology:

Biodiversity in seasonal tropical forests with 180 tree species, 212 mammal species, 240 reptile species, 536 bird species.

Environmental issues:

deforestation, illegal logging, strip mining, declining biodiversity, soil erosion, climate change

National Holidays

January 1
New Year’s Day

January 7
Victory over Genocide Day

February 10
Meak Bochea Day

March 8
International Women’s Day

April 3
Cultural Day

April 13-15
Cambodian New Year

May 1
International Labor Day

May 6
Visak Bochea Day

May 10
Royal Plowing Ceremony

May 13-15
King Sihamoni’s Birthday

May 20
National Remembrance Day

June 1
Children’s Day

June 18
Queen Mother’s Birthday

September 16-18
Pchum Ben Day

September 24
Constitutional Day

September 27-29
Pchum Ben Day

October 15
Commemoration Day of Norodom Sihanouk, King Father

October 23
Paris Peace Agreement Day

October 29
King Father’s Coronation Day

October 30-November 2
Bon Om Touk

November 9
Independence Day

November 10-12
Moon Festival and Water Festival

December 10
Human Rights Day

Cambodian Festivals

  1. Cambodian Independence Day is celebrated every 9th of November to commemorate Cambodia’s independence from French rule for 90 years.
  2. Khmer New Year is celebrated from April 14 to April 16 to commemorate the close of the harvest season. The Khmer New Year is one of Cambodia’s biggest festivals.
  3. Royal Plowing Ceremony is celebrated every 10th of May to commemorate the start of the rice-growing season.
  4. King Sihamoni’s Birthday is celebrated from May 13 to May 15 in honor of the birth and inauguration of King Sihamoni, the ruling monarch of Cambodia.
  5. Pchum Ben is celebrated every 16th of September in commemoration of the dead. During the Festival of the Dead, Cambodians must honor their ancestors of up to 7 generations.
  6. Meak Bochea is celebrated every 9th of February which is the most significant celebration for the monks of Cambodia.
  7. Water Festival is celebrated from April 13 to April 15 as a way to pay homage to the naval forces of Cambodia.
  8. Vesak Bochea is celebrated every 7th of May to honor the main events of Buddha’s life: birth, enlightenment, and passing.
  9. Angkor Festival is celebrated every 24th of January to pay respects and celebrate the artists of Cambodia.

History

There is not much information that can be found about prehistoric Cambodia. The start of the Khmer Empire begun in 802 AD when Jayavarman II declared himself as the king. His first order of business was to unite the Chenla Khmer princes. The Khmer Empire thrived for more than 600 years, accumulating massive wealth and expanding its influence in the Southeast Asia region. It also aggressively spread Hinduism and Buddhism and built more than 1,000 temples. Of these temples, the Angkor Wat, awarded as a World heritage Site, is the most popular.

The reign of the Khmer Empire ended in the 15th century when Ayutthaya waged a rebellion. With its decline in power, Cambodia eventually turned into a protectorate of France in the year 1863. It gained its independence again in 1953. In 1965, the Vietnam War reached Cambodia which resulted to the US bombing from 1969 to 1973. In 1970, the Khmer Republic was installed. This saw the emergence of the Khmer Rouge power, taking over the capital Phnom Penh. From 1975 to 1979, the Khmer Rouge carried out genocide, but they were eventually defeated by Vietnam with backing from the People’s Republic of Kampuchea and the Soviet Union.

For a time, Cambodia was controlled by a United Nations mission. It wasn’t until 1993 when the UN oversaw an election. This reinstated King Norodom Sihanouk and birthed a new constitution for the country.

On November 30, 1998, The Royal Government of Cambodia outlined a political platform that aims to develop and rehabilitate all sectors of the country, putting on top priority democracy, political stability, peace, economic, poverty alleviation, and economic development.