Where is Cambodia located?

What countries border Cambodia?

Cambodia Weather

What is the current weather in Cambodia?

Cambodia Facts and Culture

What is Cambodia famous for?

  • Cultural Attributes: Buddhism generally shapes the lives and perspectives of Cambodia's people. Cambodians are usually optimistic. The group or community (often defined... More
  • Family: Multiple generations often live together. The elderly are cared for by their children. Because so many men died at the... More
  • Personal Apperance: Traditional clothing for men and women is common. Younger women may wear colored hats. A "krama" is a large scarf... More
  • Recreation: Soccer and volleyball are the most popular sports. Other sports include basketball and bicycle racing and for girls hopscotch. Children... More
  • Diet: There are two basic dishes in Cambodia: soup and rice. A bowl of soup may have any combination of fish,... More
  • Food and Recipes: Cambodians eat with chopsticks, spoons, or their fingers. Cambodian food is blander and consists of more fish than food in... More
  • Visiting: People remove their shoes when entering a home, a place of worship, or a religious school. Guests are given the... More
  • Dating: Khmer girls are shy and often lack self-assurance. Improved feelings of self-worth often come with marriage. While boys and girls... More

Cambodia Facts

What is the capital of Cambodia?

Capital Phnom Penh
Government Type parliamentary constitutional monarchy
Currency riels (KHR)
Total Area 69,898 Square Miles
181,035 Square Kilometers
Location Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos
Language Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
GDP - real growth rate 7%
GDP - per capita (PPP) $3,700.00 (USD)

Cambodia Demographics

What is the population of Cambodia?

Ethnic Groups Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Languages The Khmer language comes from an older language called paali, which developed as a successor to Indian Sanskrit. Khmer has 26 vowels and 33 consonants.
Nationality Noun Cambodian(s)
Population 16,926,984
Population - note Note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of the population by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Population Growth Rate 1.67%
Population in Major Urban Areas PHNOM PENH (capital) 1.55 million
Urban Population 20.000000

Cambodia Government

What type of government does Cambodia have?

Executive Branch chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)

head of government: Prime Minister HUN MANET (since 22 August 2023); note - MANET succeeded his father, HUN SEN, who had been prime minister since 1985

cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and appointed by the monarch

elections/appointments: monarch chosen by the 9-member Royal Council of the Throne from among all eligible males of royal descent; following legislative elections, a member of the majority party or majority coalition named prime minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the monarch
Suffrage 18 years of age; universal
Citizenship citizenship by birth: no

citizenship by descent only: at least one parent must be a citizen of Cambodia

dual citizenship recognized: yes

residency requirement for naturalization: 7 years
National Holiday Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
Constitution history: previous 1947; latest promulgated 21 September 1993

amendments: proposed by the monarch, by the prime minister, or by the president of the National Assembly if supported by one fourth of the Assembly membership; passage requires two-thirds majority of the Assembly membership; constitutional articles on the multiparty democratic form of government and the monarchy cannot be amended; amended several times, latest 2022
Independence 9 November 1953 (from France)

Cambodia Video

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Cambodia Geography

What environmental issues does Cambodia have?

Overview The Kingdom of Cambodia covers an area of 181,040 sq. km. (69,900 sq. mi.). It is bordered on the northwest by Thailand, on the north by Laos, and on the east and southeast by Vietnam. Cambodia has a short coastline along the Gulf of Thailand where the main port and popular weekend destination, Sihanoukville, is located.

Cambodia’s topography consists primarily of flat, low-lying plains that are drained by the Tonle Sap (Lake) and the Mekong and Bassac Rivers. The Mekong River flows more than 500 kilometers through Cambodia; and in some places, it is up to 5 kilometers wide. The rich sediment deposited during the rainy season when the Mekong River swells and floods adds to the fertile growing conditions that exist throughout the Upper Mekong Delta. The Tonle Sap Lake, located in western central Cambodia, connects with the Mekong River at Phnom Penh via a 100-kilometer-long natural channel. During the dry season when the water level of the Mekong is low, water flows southeast out of the Tonle Sap Lake into the Mekong River. However, during the rainy season when the level of the Mekong rises, an extraordinary phenomenon takes place. The swollen and swift-moving Mekong River causes the flow of water in the channel linking the Tonle Sap Lake with the Mekong to reverse, forcing water to drain back into the Tonle Sap and, over time, causing the Lake to more than double in size. As a result of this unique occurrence, the Tonle Sap is one of the richest sources of freshwater fish in the world.

The central lowlands are characterized by seemingly endless, flat rice paddies, fields of reeds and tall grass, and fields of cultivated crops such as corn, tobacco, sesame, and tapioca. Sprinkled throughout are tall sugar palm trees and occasional wooded areas. Rice is grown in 90% of the cultivated land. However, only two-thirds of the land cultivated before 1970 is cultivated today, largely as a result of the danger of land mines and a lack of equipment and irrigation.

Historically, heavy forests dominated the landscape in areas away from the Lake and rivers. Nearly a decade of extensive logging, both legal and illegal, has greatly diminished the area covered by mature forests. Cambodia’s significant mountainous areas lie in the southwest (the Cardamom Mountains), the south (the Elephant Mountains), and the north (the Dangrek Mountains). Most of the country lies at an elevation of less than 100 meters above sea level. The highest elevation, Phnom Aoral (100 km northwest of Phnom Penh) is 1,813 meters. The mountains have retained more of its forests than the lowlands, with virgin rain forests in the southwest, evergreen and mangrove forests along the coastal strip, and towering broadleaf evergreen forests in the north. Much of the north and northeast is covered by a thick jungle of vines, bamboo, palm trees, and assorted other ground plants. The eastern provinces support large (although old) rubber plantations.

Phnom Penh, the capital of Cambodia since the mid-15th century and the country’s largest city, has a population estimated at 1 million. The city lies at the confluence of the Mekong River, the Bassac River, and the channel flowing from the Tonle Sap Lake. The city consists of four urban districts and three suburban districts. Phnom Penh is a sprawling city, with a mix of wide, tree-lined boulevards and narrow dirt roads, large French-colonial houses, apartment buildings, and small thatched-roof wooden dwellings. Many recent residents have relocated to the capital from rural provinces, hoping for a better life. The infrastructure of Phnom Penh city has improved dramatically in the last few years, but many basic services are still lacking. For example, Phnom Penh recently put in modern traffic and pedestrian lights on the newly paved main thoroughfares while secondary city roads remain unpaved and in poor condition with large potholes and piles of garbage challenging the motorist.

Upon leaving Phnom Penh, the scenery immediately becomes very rural and no other city rivals Phnom Penh in size and infrastructure. Cambodia’s second-largest city, Battambang (population of approximately 200,000), is located about 300 kilometers from the capital to the northwest but travel time generally approaches 6 hours. About a 4-hour drive to the southwest of Phnom Penh is the port of Sihanoukville on the Gulf of Thailand. In the far northeast and several days of difficult driving away lies Ratanakiri province, home to Cambodia’s ethnic minorities.
Climate The climate in Cambodia is relatively consistent throughout the country--hot and humid. There are two distinct seasons: a dry season that lasts from November to May, and a rainy season lasting from June to October. The country has an average annual rainfall of between 50 and 75 inches with the southwestern mountains, the area with the highest rainfall, receiving nearly 200 inches per year. December to February are the coolest months of the year, when temperatures can drop to the mid to upper 60°F (25-27°C). April is the hottest month, when temperatures regularly exceed 100°F (40°C). The average relative humidity is 81%. During the rainy season, periodic flooding in Phnom Penh can make driving a problem due to the city's old and dysfunctional drainage system. Despite this, standing water usually drains away within a matter of hours.
Border Countries Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km
Environment - Current Issues Illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and overfishing
Environment - International Agreements Party To: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol, Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber 94, Wetlands, Whaling

signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Terrain Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north

Cambodia Economy

How big is the Cambodia economy?

Economic Overview Cambodia has experienced strong economic growth over the last decade; GDP grew at an average annual rate of over 8% between 2000 and 2010 and about 7% since 2011. The tourism, garment, construction and real estate, and agriculture sectors accounted for the bulk of growth. Around 700,000 people, the majority of whom are women, are employed in the garment and footwear sector. An additional 500,000 Cambodians are employed in the tourism sector and a further 200,000 people in construction. Tourism has continued to grow rapidly with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007 and reaching 5.6 million visitors in 2017. Mining also is attracting some investor interest and the government has touted opportunities for mining bauxite, gold, iron, and gems.

Still, Cambodia remains one of the poorest countries in Asia, and long-term economic development remains a daunting challenge, inhibited by corruption, limited human resources, high-income inequality, and poor job prospects. According to the Asian Development Bank (ADB), the percentage of the population living in poverty decreased to 13.5% in 2016. More than 50% of the population is less than 25 years old. The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the impoverished countryside, which also lacks basic infrastructure.

In 2016, the World Bank formally reclassified Cambodia as a lower middle-income country as a result of continued rapid economic growth over the past several years. Cambodia’s graduation from a low-income country will reduce its eligibility for foreign assistance and will challenge the government to seek new sources of financing. The Cambodian Government has been working with bilateral and multilateral donors, including the Asian Development Bank, the World Bank, and IMF, to address the country's many pressing needs; more than 20% of the government budget will come from donor assistance in 2018. A 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.

Textile exports, which accounted for 68% of total exports in 2017, have driven much of Cambodia’s growth over the past several years. The textile sector relies on exports to the United States and European Union, and Cambodia’s dependence on its comparative advantage in textile production is a key vulnerability for the economy, especially because Cambodia has continued to run a current account deficit above 9% of GDP since 2014.
Industries Tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
Currency Name and Code riels (KHR)
Export Partners United States 23.1%, United Kingdom 8.8%, Germany 8.2%, Japan 7.4%, Canada 6.7%, China 5.1%, Vietnam 5%, Thailand 4.9%, Netherlands 4.1%
Import Partners Thailand 28.7%, China 22.2%, Vietnam 16.4%, Hong Kong 6.1%, Singapore 5.7%

Cambodia News and Current Events

What current events are happening in Cambodia?
Source: Google News

Cambodia Travel Information

What makes Cambodia a unique country to travel to?

Country Description

Cambodia is a developing country with a constitutional monarchy and an elected government. King Norodom Sihamoni is the constitutional monarch and head of state. Elections for Members of the National Assembly were held in July 2008 and are scheduled to take place again in July 2013. The July 2008 elections sent representatives from five different parties to the National Assembly, with the Cambodian People’s Party holding a majority of seats. The country has a market economy, with approximately 80 percent of the population of 13.4 million engaged in subsistence farming. The quality of tourist facilities varies widely in Cambodia, with the highest standards found in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville.


Cambodia has a high crime rate, including street crime. Military weapons and explosives are readily available to criminals despite authorities’ efforts to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed robberies occur frequently, and foreign residents and visitors, including U.S. citizens, are among the victims. The Embassy has also received reports that hotel rooms of U.S. citizen visitors in Phnom Penh were burglarized while the occupants were asleep.

The most common type of theft is “snatch and grab” robbery, and anything that can be quickly grabbed is at risk: cameras, jewelry, purses, backpacks, mobile phones, etc. Exercise caution and keep belongings out of sight if you travel via “tuk-tuk,” as passengers in these open-air vehicles have been targeted by thieves. If walking along the street, make yourself less of a target by carrying bags or items in your hand or on the shoulder this is furthest from the street. If someone attempts to rob you, you should surrender your valuables immediately, since any perceived resistance may be met with physical violence, including lethal force.

Pickpockets, some of whom are beggars, are present in the markets and at tourist sites. Sometimes they may act overly friendly, placing their hand on your shoulder or back to distract you in order to pick your pocket.

To avoid the risk of theft or confiscation of original documents, the U.S. Embassy advises its personnel and all U.S. citizens traveling to or residing in Cambodia to carry photocopies of their U.S. passport, driver's license, and other important documents and to leave the originals in a hotel safe or another secure place. Local police rarely investigate reports of crime against tourists, and travelers should not expect to recover stolen items. It has also been reported that some police stations charge foreigners from $20-$100 to file a police report.

In 2011 and 2012, the U.S. Embassy received reports of presumed ATM/debit card fraud. ATM fraud can take place in many different ways, but the most common method is “skimming” card data as a transaction is made, while simultaneously recording the Personal Identification Number (PIN) that corresponds with the card. Several people have reported that unauthorized transactions have occurred after they have used their ATM cards in Cambodia. In light of these events, you should exercise caution by planning ahead and making copies of your ATM card, front and back, so that if you lose it, you still have the card number and contact information. Use ATMs located in secure areas, such as banks or hotel lobbies. Consider using only a few ATMs, and be aware of their appearance. If something looks unfamiliar about a machine, don’t use it until you have verified that any modification is legitimate. You should also be aware of your surroundings when using an ATM. Robberies are more likely to occur as you depart an ATM, so please stay alert to your surroundings and depart an ATM quickly.

The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel who travel to the provinces to exercise extreme caution outside the provincial towns at all times. Many rural parts of the country remain without effective policing. Avoid walking alone after dusk anywhere in Sihanoukville, especially along the waterfront. You should be particularly vigilant during annual festivals and at tourist sites in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, where there have been marked increases in motorcycle “snatch and grab” thefts of bags and purses.

If you are visiting Cambodia, you should practice sound personal security awareness by varying your routes and routines, maintaining a low profile, not carrying or displaying large amounts of cash, not wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, and not walking alone after dark. In addition, you should travel by automobile and not use local moto-taxis or cyclos (passenger-carrying bicycles). These vehicles are more vulnerable to armed robberies and offer no protection against injury when involved in traffic accidents.

Don’t buy counterfeit and pirated goods, even if they are widely available. Not only are the ‘bootlegs’ illegal in the United States, but if you purchase them or try to bring them back into the United States you may also be breaking local or federal laws.

Criminal Penalties

While you are traveling in Cambodia, you are subject to its laws even if you are a U.S. citizen. Foreign laws, legal systems, and criminal penalties can be vastly different than our own. In some places, it is illegal to take pictures of certain buildings. Criminal penalties will vary from country to country. There are also acts that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted under U.S. law if you buy pirated goods. Engaging in sexual conduct with children or using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country is a crime prosecutable in the United States. If you break local laws in Cambodia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution. It is very important to know what’s legal and what’s not where you are going.

Based on the Vienna Convention on Consular Relations, bilateral agreements with certain countries, and customary international law, if you are arrested in Cambodia, you have the option to request that the police, prison officials, or other authorities alert the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate of your arrest, and to have communications from you forwarded to the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate.


The Khmer language comes from an older language called paali, which developed as a successor to Indian Sanskrit. Khmer has 26 vowels and 33 consonants.

Medical Facilities and Health Information

Medical facilities and services in Cambodia do not meet international standards. Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a limited number of internationally-run clinics and hospitals that can provide basic medical care and stabilization. Medical care outside these two cities is almost non-existent. Local pharmacies provide a limited supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications, but because the quality of locally obtained medications can vary greatly, make sure to bring a supply of your medications that is adequate for the duration of your stay in Cambodia. You should be wary of purchasing local medication. Counterfeit medication is readily available, often indiscernible from authentic medication, and potentially lethal.

Safety and Security

The State Department is concerned that individuals and groups may be planning terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests, as well as at sites frequented by Westerners in Southeast Asia, including in Cambodia. Extremist groups in Southeast Asia have transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate. U.S. citizens residing in, or traveling to, Cambodia should therefore exercise caution in clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, places of worship, schools, outdoor recreation venues, tourist areas, beach resorts, and other places frequented by foreigners. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and avoid crowds and demonstrations. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy places local establishments off-limits to Embassy personnel due to safety and security incidents. You can contact the Embassy for notification on the current restrictions in place for Embassy personnel, or register with the Embassy through STEP for security updates and alerts.

The U.S. Embassy frequently receives reports of random gunfire in the vicinity of bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues. While U.S. citizens have not been injured and do not appear to have been targeted, the potential exists for serious injury. U.S. citizens should be vigilant in these areas.

The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel along the Cambodian-Thai border in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, and the Banteay Ampil district of Banteay Meanchey province because of a continuing border dispute between the two countries. Thai and Cambodian soldiers have been stationed along the border in this area since July 2008 and have exchanged gunfire on several occasions. Land mines and unexploded ordnance are found in rural areas throughout Cambodia, especially in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom provinces. Travelers in these regions should never walk in forested areas or even in dry rice paddies without a local guide. Areas around small bridges on secondary roads are particularly dangerous. Travelers should not touch anything that resembles a mine or unexploded ordnance; they should notify the Cambodia Mine Action Center at 023-368-841/981-083 or 084.

You should exercise extreme caution when traveling on boat tours and excursions in the coastal areas of the country. In April 2011, a boat containing 90 tourists capsized off the coast of Sihanoukville. While no one was seriously injured, such incidents could occur at any time, as boat tour operators do not take into account basic safety concerns and rarely provide life jackets for all passengers.

Traffic Safety and Road Conditions

While in Cambodia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Cambodia is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.

You should not drive at night in Cambodia outside of city limits. Road maintenance is sporadic in both urban and rural areas. Roads between major areas are adequate; however, roads leading to areas that are more rural are poor. During the rainy season, both urban and rural road conditions deteriorate considerably. Roadside assistance is non-existent. The safety of road travel outside urban areas varies greatly. Cambodian drivers routinely ignore traffic laws, and vehicles are poorly maintained. Intoxicated drivers are commonplace, particularly during the evening hours, and penalties for DUI offenses vary greatly. Banditry occurs even on heavily traveled roads, so all travel should be done in daylight between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. There are also frequent bus accidents, including one in 2012 that resulted in the death of two foreign tourists.

Serious flooding occurs in both Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia starting at the end of July or early August and continuing into November. The unimproved highways to Prey Veng, Pailin, Stung Treng, and Poipet become more difficult and dangerous during this time of the year, and travel on unpaved or dirt roads is virtually impossible. The National Route highways are the only roads that can be traveled with caution during this time of the year.

The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel not to travel by train because of low safety standards and the high risk of banditry. Although speed boats operate between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, travel by boat should be avoided because boats are often overcrowded and lack adequate safety equipment, including life jackets. Boat owners accept no liability for accidents. Travelers also should exercise caution when using inter-city buses, including those to popular tourist destinations such as Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Despite the wide availability of moto-taxis and cyclos, you should not use them due to safety concerns and because personal belongings can be easily stolen. Organized emergency services for victims of traffic accidents are non-existent outside of major urban areas, and those available in major urban areas are inadequate.

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