Country Information Tourism Board
|EXPOUNDING CAMBODIA IN HER
||13,363,421 Million (2006 est.)
||Riel (US$1 = 4000 Riels)
|Major Export Products
||Garments/Textile Product, Sawn Wood Furniture and Rubber
||Major Industries Textiles and Garments, Beverage, Food Processing,
|Head of State
||His Majesty Samdech Preah Baromneath Norodom Sihamoni
|Head of Government
||His Excellency Samdech Hun Sen Prime Minister
About Tourism Information Board
Our main objectives are:
- To promote the Cambodian tourism industry
- To develop resources on Cambodian tourism
- To conduct and advise on the available training programs for
human resources in tourism with the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia
Currently, the Tourism Information Board's
main activities comprise both domestic and overseas promotion projects
designed to expand travel and tourism in Cambodia in connection
with the Cambodian Travel Agencies
TOURISM INFORMATION BOARD
The World Bank has predicted that Cambodia's tourism sector will grow
by 15%, while the Royal Government of Cambodia has estimated that
the arrivals of international visitors will reach 1.5 million by 2006,
2.2 million by 2008 and 3.12 million by 2010.
No one knows
for certain how long people have lived in what is now Cambodia, as studies
of its prehistory are undeveloped. A carbon-l4 dating from a cave in
northwestern Cambodia suggests that people using stone tools lived in
the cave as early as 4000 bc, and rice has been grown on Cambodian soil
since well before the 1st century ad. The first Cambodians likely arrived
long before either of these dates. They probably migrated from the north,
although nothing is known about their language or their way of life.
By the beginning of the 1st century ad, Chinese traders began to report
the existence of inland and coastal kingdoms in Cambodia. These kingdoms
already owed much to Indian culture, which provided alphabets, art forms,
architectural styles, religions (Hinduism and Buddhism), and a stratified
class system. Local beliefs that stressed the importance of ancestral
spirits coexisted with the Indian religions and remain powerful today.
Cambodia's modem-day culture has its roots in the 1st to 6th centuries
in a state referred to as Funan, known as the oldest Indianized state
in Southeast Asia. It is from this period that evolved Cambodia's language,
part of the Mon-Khmer family, which contains elements of Sanskrit, its
ancient religion of Hinduism and Buddhism. Historians have noted, for
example, that Cambodians can be distinguished from their neighbors by
their clothing - checkered scarves known as Kramas are worn instead
of straw hats.
Funan gave way to the Angkor Empire with the rise to power of King Jayavarman
II in 802. The following 600 years saw powerful Khmer kings dominate
much of present day Southeast Asia, from the borders of Myanmar east
to the South China Sea and north to Laos. It was during this period
that Khmer kings built the most extensive concentration of religious
temples in the world - the Angkor temple complex. The most successful
of Angkor's kings, Jayavarman II, Indravarman I, Suryavarman II and
Jayavarman VII, also devised a masterpiece of ancient engineering: a
sophisticated irrigation system that includes barays (gigantic man-made
lakes) and canals that ensured as many as three rice crops a year. Part
of this system is still in use today.
Art & Culture
history, religious principles guided and inspired its arts. A unique
Khmer style emerged from the combination of indigenous animistic beliefs
and the originally Indian religions of Hinduism and Buddhism. These
two religions, along with the Sanskrit language and other elements of
Indian civilization, arrived in mainland Southeast Asia during the first
few centuries ad. Seafaring merchants following the coast from India
to China brought them to the port cities along the Gulf of Thailand,
which were then controlled by the state of Funan in Cambodia. At varying
times, Cambodian culture also absorbed Javanese, Chinese, and Thai influences.
Between the 9th and 15th centuries, a prosperous and powerful empire
flourished in northwestern Cambodia. The Khmer kingdom of Angkor, named
for its capital city, dominated much of what are now Laos, Vietnam,
and Thailand. The kingdom drew its religious and political inspiration
from India. The literary language of the court was Sanskrit; the spoken
language was Khmer. Massive temples from this period, including Angkor
Wat and the Bayon at Angkor Thum, testify to the power of Angkor and
the grandeur of its architecture and decorative art. The unparalleled
achievements in art, architecture, music, and dance during this period
served as models for later cultural development in Cambodia.
Angkor faded into obscurity after the capital moved south to Phnom Penh
in the 15th century, probably due in part to frequent invasions by the
neighboring Thais. The jungle rapidly grew over the monuments. In the
centuries that followed, frequent wars reduced the territory, wealth,
and power of Cambodian monarchs. However, an independent state with
its capital near Phnom Penh survived until the 19th century. The most
important work of Cambodian literature, the Reamker (a Khmer-language
version of the Indian myth of the Ramayana), was composed during this
France, which began administering Cambodia in 1863, rediscovered the
temples at Angkor and worked to preserve them beginning in the early
20th century. Cambodia's traditional culture and the monuments of Angkor
were endangered between 1970 and 1990 due to civil war. The Communist
Khmer Rouge regime, which opposed and mistrusted religion and education,
banned all of Cambodia's traditional arts and its written language.
Since 1991, when Cambodia's warring factions signed a peace accord,
international organizations have helped the Cambodian government restore
the sites at Angkor and revive Cambodia's traditional crafts.
85-90 percent of the population lives in rural areas. Ethnically the
population consists of about 90 percent Khmer, 5 percent each of Chinese
and Vietnamese and small numbers of hill tribes (Chams and Burmese).
Khmer is the country's official language. It is spoken by more than
95 percent of the population. French, as a second language is also spoken,
mostly by older people. English is more commonly spoken by the younger
The Cambodian population presents several important features. First,
due to the baby' boom after 1979, it is a young population with at least
half (50% according to some sources, more according to others) under
18 years of age now. Secondly, the proportion of women in the adult
population is high, 56% of those who are 18 years old or more being
females. Also as a result of the war, there is a rather high proportion
of women-headed household; at least 25% according to UNICEF.
Cambodia and Laos' populations are dwarfed by those of Vietnam and Thailand,
and average population densities in the smaller countries are much lower
than in Vietnam. Even the very densely populated areas in Cambodia do
not have such a concentration of population as can be found in the Red
River and Mekong River Deltas in Vietnam.
The population of Cambodia is 13,363,421 (2006 est.). Population growth
per year is estimated at 2.3 percent, one of the highest rates in Asia.
The rate of infant mortality is also high. The population density is
69 persons per sq km (179 per sq mi), with the densest concentrations
on the heavily cultivated central plain.
The new land of smiles
is located in the heart mainland of Southeast Asia, which conjures
images of a glorious and mysterious past and rich of the cultural
heritages, particularly the world's renowned ancient temple city
whose magical image draws ever-increasingly tourists from all
over the world. The divergent facets of the Kingdom provoke both
the serious and casual traveler, generally charmed and sometimes
bewildered by its mysteries.
Not only Angkor Wat, Bayon, Taprohm,
Sandstone of ancient holy places, the giant roots of ancient trees, the
graceful shapes of Apsaras and some temples buried in the jungle, hill
tribes settled in the remote areas, colorful pagodas, strings of pristine
islands and the century beach, as part of cultural tour that Cambodia
is proud of her presentation, but also the splendor of the Khmer civilization
and its people who have shown their friendliness everywhere you move in
For most, Cambodia first conjures up the legendary Angkor
(the magnificent Empire erected by Kings between the 9th and 13th centuries)
that continues to admiration from Khmers and foreigners alike. The humanity
and disaster of the nature have failed to compromise the awe of Angkor.
The temples remain with an enigmatic grandeur, as a testimony to the Empire
that symbolized the country at the present day.
They are the silent witnesses to the perennial cycles
of life, which occur with each rainy season. The Kingdom emerges from
its lethargy and springs back to life. Clouds, swollen with moisture,
burst their monsoon rains to fill in the Tonle Sap (Great Lake ) that
bring over thousands tones of fresh water fishes.
Every year, the country is transformed in a nature cycle,
which is unique to Cambodia.
The flow of the mighty Mekong River swells until it forces the Tonle Sap
to reverse its course, pushing up stream from the ancient capital. Every
year, the reversal of the river is celebrated with the country's most
spectacular Water Festival in November.
The area around the waterfall is still beautiful: it’s still
a pristine pool and close to paradise.
Cambodia is not just famous for the magnificent Angkor Wat, but
every province and town in this amazing Kingdom has something to
offer the visitor -- be it ancient temples or stunning scenery,
unique handicrafts or simply a smilingly warm Khmer welcome.
It is really quite nice to spend time traveling around in Cambodia;
watch the Cambodian people at work or during their leisure and take
in the sights and sound of this wonderful country.
TAKEO PROVINCE is widely thought to be the birthplace of the Cambodian