Cambodia

Introduction

History

The modern day Cambodian culture acquired its origin between the 1st and 6th centuries. The culture took birth in the oldest state in the Southeast Asia named Funan. This phase of the history is said to hold the evolution of the Cambodian language which comes from the Mon-Khmer group of languages. This accent is composed of some elements of Sanskrit and that of the old religions of Buddhism and Hinduism.

The historical relevance of the Cambodians makes them distinct from the rest of their neighboring countries as their appearance differs. The Angkor Empire generated in Funan which was ruled by the great King Jayavarman II in the year of 802.

During the next 60 decades, the powerful Khmer kings ruled the most parts of the Southeast Asia.

After the end of the rule of the Angkor, the capital of Cambodia shifted to the Longvek, and afterward, it moved to Oudong and then to the present day capital named Phnom Penh.

The post-Angkor period is not only famous for the movement of the capital of Cambodia, but also for a large scale conversion of religion into Theravada Buddhism. It was portrayed in the temple carvings, and it has been evident through such carvings that the features of Buddhism slowly replaced the Hindu features.

Foreign influence in Cambodia was there during the period of 15th to 17th century when there was a battle for expansion, over Cambodia between Siam and Vietnam. In the years of 1800 Cambodia also witnessed elevating pressure from the colonial powers of the Europe.

There were series of controversies and fights for gaining independence which was eventually fruitful as finally, Cambodia enjoyed the freedom and independent parliamentary system.

PEOPLE, CULTURE AND RELIGION

The people of Cambodia are the most hardworking people in the world. Despite facing a hard history of wars and poverty, the Cambodian people are quite friendly, grateful and welcoming. They are respectful people that smile and laugh very often.

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer. This accent is followed and spoken by a majority of the Cambodian population. There is also a usage of several Chinese and Vietnamese idiom by the people of Cambodia. Khmer is considered as a nontonal language unlike many others and has derived many of its words from Pali, Sanskrit, Chinese and French.

The country's population is of 12 million people, 90% of which belong to the Khmer group. There are various other groups like Chinese, Vietnamese, Burmese and Thai. Also, there are some hill tribes too that concentrates in the hilly regions.

TOURISM

Cambodia has come through a terrible past of wars and struggle. The country has seen years of decline. But it is still considered as the land of some of the most exotic and scenic vistas which are famous worldwide and have been visited by the global tourists throughout the year. There are some places in Cambodia, which are renowned for their scenic beauty all around the world. The most well-known from these areas is the Angkor Wat which is one of the eight wonders of the world. The country’s economy depends on the tourism as one of the sources of revenue, and this is because of the global impression of Cambodia, and it’s natural wonders.

Other famous tourist attractions in Cambodia are Bayon, , Royal Palace of Phnom Penh, Angkor Thom, ChoeungEk and much more.

The tourist spots invite the international tourism to the country by offering a wide variety of quick adventures activities and mouth-watering cuisines.

Highlights

MapCambodia country is in the southwestern part of the Indochina Peninsula. The country shares its boundaries with Laos and Thailand in the North and Vietnam in the East and the Southside.The Gulf of Thailand lies on the western coast which borders Cambodia in the South and Southwest.

The area covered by this Southeast Asian country is around 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 square kilometers), and the 20% of this field occupies the agricultural practices of the country. The area gets divided into 21 provinces. Most of the land of Cambodia is relatively plain which surrounds the area around the Lake Tonle Sap. A significant amount of the agricultural land occupies for the cultivation of rice. The plain area is rich in the alluvial soil. The high ranges include the Elephant Mountain Ranges, Dangrek, and Carmen.The country is located entirely within the tropics, and the southernmost part of the country is more than around 10°beyond the Equator.

The coastline of Cambodia is around 435 Kilometers long. Phnom Penh is the capital city of Cambodia.

  • CLIMATE

    Cambodia is a country with a tropical climate and enjoys and an appropriate amount of sunlight throughout the year. The average temperature of Cambodia is usually high throughout the year. Cambodia experiences two different seasons during the year, one is the dry season, and the other one is a monsoon. Monsoon occurs in Cambodia in the months of May to October. This period of storm usually experiences the southwesterly winds that manage to bring 5 to 80% of the yearly rainfall. The rain during this period is full of bursts and lightning. In the month of May and June, the temperature stays high, and the monsoon from the southwest brings humidity which can lead to sticking weather.

    The other season which is the dry season is witnessed in the months of November to April with the temperature ranging from 27°C to 40°C.

    There is a high amount of heat during the period of months from February to April. During this time, the temperature might rise even up to 40°C, especially in the month of April.

    The comfy and coolest time is from the month of October to January.

Climate Information:

  • Guide

    Temperature, rainfall, prevailing weather conditions, when to go, what to pack In Cambodia, the climate is tropical, hot all year round, with a rainy season from May to mid-November, when the south-west monsoon prevails, and a dry season from mid-November to April. The dry season can be divided into two periods: the first, is the least hot of the year, while the second, from mid-February to May, before the monsoon arrives, is the hottest of the year. The monsoon withdraws first in the north, in early November, and then in the centre-south, between the middle and the end of the month.

    The climate of Cambodia is fairly uniform, because the country is not large. In a typical year, from 1,300 to 1,800 millimetres of rain fall in inland areas; the rainiest region is the south-west, towards the coast of the Gulf of Thailand, where the rainfall exceeds 2,000 mm per year; here there are vast areas covered by forest. The climate becomes a bit cooler in the highlands, such as the Cardamon Mountains, which reach their highest point in Phnom Aural, 1,800 metres high, whose slopes are covered by an impenetrable forest and are protected by a nature reserve. Mountainous areas, in addition to being the coolest, are also the rainiest: they receive even 5,000 millimetres per year of rain per year, and may experience some showers in the afternoon even before the monsoon season (February to April).

    The coolest month in Cambodia is December, while the hottest months are April and May, when the heat is oppressive; in the rainy season the temperature is a bit lower, but the humidity is higher, so the weather is hot and muggy.



Visa Information:

  • Guide

    Cambodia has two international gateways for arrival by air – Phnom Penh and Siem Reap – and a healthy selection of land borders with neighbouring Thailand, Vietnam and Laos. Formalities at Cambodia’s international airports are traditionally smoother than at land borders, as the volume of traffic is greater. Crossing at land borders is relatively easy, but immigration officers may try to wangle some extra cash, either for the visa or via some other scam. Anyone without a photo for their visa form will be charged about US$2 at the airport, and around 100B at land borders with Thailand.

    Arrival by air is popular for those on a short holiday, as travelling overland to or from Cambodia puts a dent in the time in-country. Travellers on longer trips usually enter and exit by land, as road and river transport is very reasonably priced in Cambodia.

  • Visas

    A one-month tourist visa on arrival and requires one passport-sized photo. Easily extendable business visas are available at additional cost.

  • More Information

    Most visitors to Cambodia require a one-month tourist visa. Most nationalities receive this on arrival at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports, and at land borders, but citizens of Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka and Sudan need to make advance arrangements. One passport-sized photo is required and you’ll be ‘fined’ if you don’t have one. It is also possible to arrange a visa through Cambodian embassies overseas or an online e-visa through the Ministry of Foreign Affairs. However, e-visas are only accepted at Phnom Penh and Siem Reap airports (they are not accepted in Sihanoukville), and at the two main land borders: Bavet/MocBai (Vietnam) and Poipet/AranyaPrathet (Thailand).Passport holders from Asean member countries do not require a visa to visit Cambodia.

    Those seeking work in Cambodia should opt for the business visa as it is easily extended for longer periods, including multiple entries and exits. A tourist visa can be extended only once and only for one month, and does not allow for re-entry.

    Travellers are sometimes overcharged when crossing at land borders with Thailand, as immigration officials demand payment in baht and round up the figure considerably. Overcharging is also an issue at the Laos border, but not usually at Vietnam borders. Arranging a visa in advance can help avoid overcharging.

    For visitors continuing to Vietnam, one-month single-entry visas at additional cost and take two days in Phnom Penh, or just one day via the Vietnamese consulate in Sihanoukville. Most visitors to Laos can obtain a visa on arrival and most visitors heading to Thailand do not need a visa.

  • Visa Extensions

    Visa extensions are issued by the large immigration office located directly across the road from Phnom Penh International Airport.

    Extensions are easy to arrange, taking just a couple of days..It's pretty straightforward to extend business visas ad infinitum. Travel agencies and some motorbike-rental shops in Phnom Penh can help with arrangements, sometimes at a discounted price.

  • Passports

    Not only is a passport essential, it needs to be valid for at least six months or Cambodian immigration will not issue a visa.

    It’s also important to make sure that there is plenty of space left in the passport, as a Cambodian visa alone takes up one page.

    It’s also important to make sure that there is plenty of space left in the passport, as a Cambodian visa alone takes up one page.

    Losing a passport is not the end of the world, but it is a serious inconvenience. To expedite the issuing of a new passport, keep a photocopy of your passport photo page.



What to pack

  • Guide

    Hundreds of thousands of people travel to experience the wonders of south-east Asia every single year, and understandably, tropical islands and an exceptional history – is one of the top destinations in that part of the world. Although visitors may travel on a variety of budgets, trip durations and holidaying styles, here’s a list of essential items that should definitely be packed no matter what. Take a look at these 15 suggestions:.

  • A Backpack

    Considering all the walking and traveling you will be doing, a thick-strapped backpack is necessary to carry all of your belongings, like a change of clothes, a water bottle, sunscreen and snacks for the day. Plus, if you make any purchases along the way, they can be stored safely in your pack instead of in plastic bags that would otherwise get in the way.

  • A Travel Pillow

    If you are planning on taking a number of trips around the country, prepare for hours upon hours of time spent on the road. These days, transport within Vietnam offers air-conditioning, but a travel pillow will aid you in getting that much needed shut-eye whilst in transit.

  • Ear Plugs

    Light sleepers should bring a pair of ear plugs with them to get a full night of restful sleep. Very cheap and effective, they are a way to ward off distracting snorers in shared hostel rooms, as well as that wailing baby on that long bus journey across the country.

  • A Quick-Dry Towel

    Not all hostels or hotels will provide towels free of charge, so a super lightweight and non-bulky option might be a good idea. A quick dry towel is an essential item that can really enhance your traveling experience, whether it is drying off after getting caught in torrential rain during the monsoon season or covering yourself after a swim.

  • Diarrhea Treatment

    There’s no getting away from it, at some point during your travels, it is likely that you will be hit by a stomach bug from drinking non-bottled water or simply eating something you’re not used to. Although most symptoms will pass quite quickly, it might be worthwhile to bring along travel remedies to speed up the recovery process when you’re in areas far away from a drug store.

  • Below-the-Knee Skirts or Trousers

    If you would like to get access to pagodas and temples, modest below-the-knee clothing is a must. Despite the heat, local men and women dress quite conservatively, and you should be expected to do the same by covering your shoulders and legs, especially when visiting sacred places and government buildings. Avoid 100% cotton garments as you are likely to be too hot and uncomfortable – the perfect balance being a blend of Rayon and Polyester.

  • Durable Shoes

    If you’re planning on doing a lot of trekking or hiking on your trip, a pair of durable closed-toe shoes will ensure that your feet remain blister-free and protected from the elements. Alternatively, opt for a comfortable flat sandal as sneakers may not be too kind to your feet in the warm weather.

  • Flip-Flops

    Alongside practical footwear, bring along a pair of flip-flops – or even better, purchase some once you’re there. Not only will these be easy to take off when visiting temples, certain bars and restaurants, but they will also allow your feet to breathe in the hot and humid weather. Avoid expensive footwear that might ‘walk away’ when you’re not looking.

  • Travel Adapter

    Thai sockets fit two plug types. However whilst your plug will work in Thailand, it is recommended you come prepared with a global adapter in case you have to travel through other countries.

  • Portable Phone Charger

    Pre-charged battery packs and portable phone chargers will save your life on that long bus or train ride. This is also essential if you plan on using your GPS a lot, meaning that your battery will burn down faster. After all, there’s nothing worse than being stranded in a place you don’t know.

  • Sun Protection and a Hat

    For protection from the powerful sun rays, opt for a high SPF solution or a spray. A wide-brimmed hat is also a must to ward away the dreaded sun-stroke.

  • A Light-Weight, Waterproof Jacket

    During the monsoon season, it is wise to bring a light jacket to protect you from the rain that can come and go in a flash. Or do as the locals do and opt for a plastic poncho, especially useful if you are planning on cycling or riding a motorbike.

  • Bug-Repellent

    Although malaria is rare and seldom found in most areas of Vietnam, Dengue fever can pose quite a problem – this is a viral infection that knows no bounds, with outbreaks in urban areas being quite common. Due to this, it is wise to carry a bottle of insect-repellent just in case. Try to remember to apply the mosquito repellent every morning before you head out for the day and to re-apply right before dusk.

  • Tiger Balm or Cortisone Cream

    If you do happen to get bitten by mosquitoes, tiger balm or cortisone cream can prevent the bites from getting infected. Rub it over the affected area to reduce aches, swelling and other discomfort.