2007-06-19T05:15:20.791-07:00Cambodia has so much to offer the international traveler in terms of a rich cultural, natural and historical heritage. Not only are there the world renowned Angkor Wat complex and surrounding temples steeped in history and mystique, but for those who enjoy relaxing on tropical beaches Cambodia undoubtedly offers some of the most beautiful unspoiled beaches in the world. Offshore lie coral islands and exotic fish while inland indigenous flora and fauna, waterfalls and tropical forests all await discovery. Without question, the heritage of Cambodia far surpasses that of any of its neighbors, harking back to a past time when Cambodia was the dominating force of the region. Its territory, far in excess of its current one, encompassed much of what is now Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. The architectural achievements from this period are without equal in the region and are on par with the wonders of ancient Egypt or the Aztec monuments GeographyCambodia covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers and is divided into 21 provinces. It is bordered to the North by Thailand and Laos, to the East and South by Vietnam, and to the South and Southwest by the Gulf of Thailand. Much of Cambodia is relatively flat with vast tracts of land given over to rice production. Other areas of Cambodia are mountainous, including the Dangrek, Cardomen, and Elephant mountain ranges. Climate and SeasonsAs a tropical country Cambodia is bathed in almost all year sunshine and has a high average temperature. There are two distinct seasons, the dry and the monsoon. The monsoon lasts from May to October with southwesterly winds ushering in the clouds that bring 75-80 percent of the annual rainfall often in spectacular intense bursts for an hour at a time with fantastic lightening displays. The dry season runs from November to April averaging temperatures from 27 to 40 degrees Celsius. The coolest and most comfortable for those from cooler climes is from October to January. LanguageThe Cambodian language, Khmer, is part of the Mom-Khmer family and has its origins in Pali and Sanskrit. It is spoken all over the country except in some tribal areas where local indigenous languages are used. In larger towns and cities English is spoken by an increasing number of educated people. French is spoken by some of the older members of society and Chinese by many of the business people. All facilities catering to tourists employ English speaking staff who more often than not speak several other local and international languages including German, Thai, Vietnamese, Japanese and even Russian. ReligionThough abolished during the Pol Pot regime the official religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is also practiced in Laos, Thailand, Burma, and Sri Lanka. Theravada Buddhism was introduced to Cambodia in the 12th Century by King Jayavarman VII, where it replaced Hinduism. Much of this is in evidence at Angkor Wat where Buddhist statues sit atop Hindu plinths. Ethnic GroupsThe largest ethnic group is the Khmers. Of the minority groups the largest is Vietnamese. There are also a significant number of Chinese descendants who dominate the business community and indigenous minority groups of Hmong, Pong, and Tai amongst others who are collectively known an Khmer Leu. HealthAll visitors to Cambodia should have up to date inoculations as recommended by their doctors. Visitors should take preventive measures against mosquitoes as in any tropical country, especially at dusk. Health insurance, especially medical evacuation cover is recommended as international standard healthcare is minimal, especially in rural areas. FoodRice and fish are the main staple of the typical Cambodian diet though many dishes are prepared with beef, pork or chicken. Seafood is abundant in coastal areas with shrimps and crab amongst the favorites. Local specialties include Amok (fish cooked in coconut milk) and a variety of soups, and curries similar in taste though not in spiciness to Thailand. Phnom Penh is truly cosmopolitan with Chinese, Japanese, Korean, Thai, Vietnamese, Malaysian, Nepalese, Indian, Turkish[...]
Grand Hotel D’Angkor
Nokor Kok Thlok
2007-06-19T05:09:41.600-07:00Cambodia, located in the heart of Southeast Asia, is arguably the jewel of the region. Undiscovered for centuries, its wealth of natural beauty and rich heritage continue to amaze and astound, with Angkor, the world renowned cultural heritage site dating back to the earliest days of cultured civilization, attracting visitors from all over the world.