Cambodia is situated is Southeast Asia in the Southern part of Indochina between 10 to 15 degrees latitude and 102 to 108 degrees East longitude. It covers an area of 181.035 square kilometers with the geographical center the provincial town of Kompong Thom. The length of Cambodia is approximately 440 km from North to South and the width is approximately 560 km from East to West. Cambodia borders the Lao people’s Democratic Republic in the North, the Socialist Republic of Viet Nam in the East and Southeast, the Gulf of Siam in the Southwest and Kingdom of Thailand in the West. The land border is approximately 2600km in length and the coastline is around 440km long.
Cambodia has many unique geographical features that may aid development. The complex hydrological system provides one of the most productive fresh water fisheries in the world. The river system also provides valuable transport and trade routs. Although, soil productivity is relatively low, the terrain is relatively flat allowing for easier cultivation and the development infrastructure. Cambodia’s forests are rich in biodiversity and an important natural resource that is central to rural livelihood strategies. The forests also provide potential for the development of ecotourism. Finally, the deep water sea ports located in Sihanouk Province on the Gulf of Siam is a vital link for international trade and the development of industry.
The population of Cambodia today is about 14 million. About 90 percent of the people are Khmer ethnic. The remaining 10 percent include Chinese-Khmers, Khmer Islam or Chams, ethnic hill-tribe people, known as the Khmer Loeu, and Vietnamese. About 10 percent of the population lives in Phnom Penh, the capital, making Cambodia largely a country of rural dwellers, farmers and artisans.
Khmer is the official language for the Cambodian, English and French are also popular languages in Cambodia.
Theravada Buddhism is the state religion in Cambodia. The majority of people are Buddhist and 10% are Muslim or Christian.
The local currency is Riel, although the US dollar is widely accepted throughout the country and in all major markets. In recent years the rate of exchange has been floating around USD1= 4,000 Riels. Some popular Riel denominations include: 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10000 notes.
VISA & FEE
For most visitors to the kingdom, visa are obtainable upon arrival at both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap International Airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. At land crossing from Thailand, visas are available at Poipet Banteay Meanchey and Cham Yeam (Koh Kong province). Visitors who enter from Vietnam through Bavet (VN: Moc Bai) or Ka-Om Samnor (VN: Chao Doc) will need to have already obtained their visas prior to their arrival through a Cambodian Embassy or Consulate overseas.
The border crossing from Laos is also possible through Voeung Kham border checkpoint, but travelers are advised to obtain their Visas prior to arrival at the border. Please note that other border crossing not mentioned above are not classified as international checkpoints therefore we suggest that you secure confirmation before commencing your trip. Various Visa extension options are also available.
Visa Fee: US$20 of tourist Visas & US$25 for business Visas. The fee is payable only in cash.
For International departures: US$25 from Phnom Penh; US$25 from Siem Reap. For domestic flights: US$6 from Phnom Penh to Siem Reap and US$6 from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh.
Every passengers has to complete an immigration form and a separate customs declaration form for submission upon arrival. Any amount of foreign currency can be brought into Cambodia but the amount of local currency (Cambodia Riel) must not exceed 100,000 riel per person.
FOOD & BEVERAGES
It may surprise some, but Khmer dishes are, typically, not too spicy for western palate (as can sometimes be the case in Southeast Asia). In Cambodia the basic meal is almost always built around rice and usually includes fish, chicken, pork, beef and fresh vegetables. Freshwater fish is frequently served due to the country's abundant supply of this natural resource
While selecting from Khmer menus, we suggest you do order some fish for your meals, especially the popular Amok or Elephant fish dishes. Chinese, European, Thai and Vietnamese foods are also available in numerous restaurants in Cambodia's major cities.
Many of the same beverages which are generally offered in the outside world are readily available including the usual suspects: canned soft-drinks, beer, and wine (most of them imported). Coca Cola, Angkor Beer and several others are also bottled here.