Map of Cambodia
Cambodia has a land area of 181,035 square kilometers in the southwestern part of the Indochina peninsula, about 20 percent of which is used for agriculture. It lies completely within the tropics with its southern most points slightly more than 10° above the Equator. The country capital city is Phnom Penh.
Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org
Enjoy a holiday to Cambodia
Welcome to fascinating Cambodia
International borders are shared with Thailand and the Lao People’s Democratic Republic on the West and the North, and the Social Republic of Viet Nam on the East and the Southeast. The country is bounded on the Southeast by the Gulf of Thailand. In comparison with neighbors, Cambodia is a geographical contact country administratively composed of 20 provinces, three of which have relatively short maritime boundaries, 2 municipalities, 172 districts, and 1,547 communes. The country has a coastline of 435 km and extensive mangrove stands, some of which are relatively undisturbed.
The dominant features of the Cambodian landscape are the large, almost generally located, Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Bassac River Systems and the Mekong River, which crosses the country from North to South. Surrounding the Central Plains which covered three quarters of the country’s area are the more densely forested and sparsely populated highlands, comprising: the Elephant Mountains and Cardamom Mountain of the southwest and western regions; the Dangrek Mountains of the North adjoining of the Korat Plateau of Thailand; and Rattanakiri Plateau and Chhlong highlands on the east merging with the Central Highlands of Viet Nam.
The Tonle Sap Basin-Mekong Lowlands region consists mainly of plains with elevations generally of less than 100 meters.
As the elevation increases, the terrain becomes more rolling and dissected.
The Cardamom Mountains in the southwest rise to more than 1,500 meters and is oriented generally in a northwest-southeast direction. The highest mountain in Cambodia –Phnom Aural, at 1.771meters – is in the eastern part of this range.
The Wet Season
From a more cheerful perspective, monsoonal Cambodia is also a beautiful country to travel around in. The roads are not dusty and the lush greenery of the country returns. Angkor Wat in particular can be stunning during the wet season -- the murals have a more unique appearance and feel. Observing Angkor Wat with a lightning storm as a backdrop is an electrifying experience. There are also fewer tourists going about in the country, so if you prefer to dodge the crowds, wet season can be a good time to visit.
Regionally, the Cardamom Mountains get the heaviest rain in the country, while the entire coastline gets rough seas and a lot of rain.
The Dry Season
Cambodia's beach strips at Kep, Sihanoukville and Ko Kong bask in brilliant
sunshine with clear calm waters and if you're a beach person, dry season
is the best time for you.
The Mekong River Cambodia’s largest river, dominates the hydrology of the country. The river originates in mainland China, flows through Myanmar, Laos, Thailand before entering Cambodia. At Phnom Penh, with alternative arms, the Bassak River from the south, and the Tonle Sap River linking with the " Great Lake " itself –Tonle Sap – form northwest. It continues further southeastward to its lower delta in Viet Nam and to the South China Sea.
The section of Mekong River passing through Cambodia lies within the topical wet and dry zone. It has a pronounced dry season during the Northern Hemisphere winter, with about 80 percent of the annual rainfall occurring during the southwest monsoon in May-October. The Mekong River average annual flow at Kratié of 441 km3 is estimated as 93 percent of the total Mekong run-off discharge into the sea. The discharge at Kratié ranges from a minimum of 1,250m3/s to the maximum 66,700m3/s.
The role of Tonle Sap as a buffer of the Mekong River system floods and the source of beneficial dry season flows warrants explanation. The Mekong River swells with waters during the monsoon reaching a flood discharge of 40,000m3/s at Phnom Penh. By about mid-June, the flow of Mekong and the Bassak River fed by monsoon rains increases to a point where its outlets through the delta cannot handle the enormous volume of water, flooding extensive adjacent floodplains for 4-7 months. At this point, instead of overflowing its backs, its floodwaters reserve the flow of the Tonle Sap River (about 120 km in length), which then has the maximum inflow rate of 1.8m/s and enters the Grate Lake, the largest natural lake in Southeast Asia, increasing the size of the lake from about 2,600 km2 to 10,00 km2 and exceptionally to 13,000 km2 and raising the water level by and average 7m at the height of the flooding. This specificity of the Tonle Sap makes it the only "river with return " in the world.
After the Mekong’s water crest (when its downstream channels can handle the volume of water), the flow reverses and water flows out of the engorged lake. The Great Lake then acts as a natural flood retention basin. When the floods subside, water starts flowing out of the Great Lake, reaching a maximum outflow rate of 2.0m/s and, over the dry season, increase mainstream flows by about 16 percent, thus helping to reduce salinity intrusion in the lower Mekong Delta in Viet Nam. By the time the lake water level drops to its minimum surface size, a band 20-30 km wide of inundate forest is left dry with deposits of a new layer of sediment. This forest, which is of great significance for fish, is now greatly reduced in size through salvation and deforestation. The area flood around Phnom Penh and down to the Vietnamese border is about 7,000 km2.
Riel notes come in 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 5000, 10,000, 50,000 and 100,000 denominations, but the distinctive red 500 Riel note is the most commonly used.
There are banks in all provincial capitals in the country, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Battambang. Banks offer the usual banking services - cash advances on credits cards (most accept Visa card,) international currency exchange, telegraphic transfers, cash travelers checks and ANZ Royal Banks, Canadia and SBC Banks offer ATMs with international access. Most banks are open from 8:00 to 15:00 or 16:00PM, Monday through Friday. Some are open Saturday mornings until 11:30. ATMs are available 24 hours.
Click here for bank listings and contact details.
Money Changers Money changers offer a slightly better rate that the banks. They are plentiful and tend to cluster around the traditional markets and there is usually a section within the market dedicated to moneychangers and gold sellers.
When accepting US dollars in change, inspect the bills carefully. Marred riel is acceptable tender, but the tiniest tear in a large US note, especially a $20, $50 or $100 note, renders it all but useless in Cambodia. Banks, moneychangers and other businesses will not accept it.
Credit Cards In the major tourist towns, credit cards are accepted at most upscale hotels, shops and restaurants, some mid-range place and a growing number of other businesses. Credit cards are general not accepted at any businesses outside of Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and the casinos in Poipet. Visa, MasterCard (MC) and JCB cards are the most widely accepted credit cards in Cambodia. AMEX is coming into wider use, as well as the new ANZ Bluespot card. Diners Club (DC) is accepted at very few place. Most businesses charge a 2%-4% fee to accept credit cards.
ATMs There are now ATMs with international access in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, Kampot and Battambang. ANZ Royal Bank and Canadia Bank ATMs both accept Cirrus, Plus, Maestro, Visa and MasterCard systems. SBC Bank ATMs accept Visa and MasterCard. All ATMs dispenses US dollars. There For locations see the ATM icons on the city maps.
Travelers Checks Travelers checks are accepted at most banks, major hotels and restaurants and some money changers. AMEX in US dollars are the most widely accepted travelers checks.
Cash Transfers 'Instant' cash transfers can be done through MoneyGram or Western Union. Ordinary telegraphic transfers are available at all major banks.
The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with an overage temperature around 27.C (80.F). There are two distinct seasons: the Rainy Season and the Dry Season. However, the Dry Season is divided into two sub-seasons, cool and hot. These seasons are:
The Rainy season:
The Dry season (cool):
The Dry season (Hot) :
The advent of mobile phones has dramatically improved communications between the main towns. That said, many of the landlines destroyed during the Khmer Rouge era have yet to be replaced, and the lack of phone lines not only hinders ordinary business but also keeps Internet access costs high everywhere except Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. It's only been a few years since mail destined for Cambodia had to be collected in Bangkok, but the postal service is now reasonably reliable, although inbound letter that attract the attention of staff-there's no rhyme or reason to this-often get pilfered.
All Cambodia's mail is consolidated in Phnom Penh. Sending mail from provincial cities seems as reliable as posting from the capital, though it costs a little more as you'll be charged for your mail to go to Phnom Penh first. Within the capital itself, only the main post office is geared up to accept mail bound for abroad.
Mail to Europe, Australasian and North America takes between five and ten days to arrive, leaving Phnom Penh for major international destinations around twice a week the specific days can be checked at the main post office. Stamps for postcards sent from the capital cost 1800 Riel to Europe and Australia, 2100 Riel to America (add 300 Riel if posting from the provinces).
Parcels can only be posted in Phnom Penh, though at a whopping $17 for a one kilogramme parcel going abroad, it's worth deferring the task if you are subsequently heading to Thailand. You'll be charge 3000 Riel for the the customs form, detailing the contents and their value, to be completed, but it isn't necessary to leave the package open for checking. Post offices sell mailing boxes if you need them.
You can make domestic and international calls at post offices or telecom offices in most towns. The government telecommunications network; Camintel (W) (www.camintel.com) usually runs these services, which along with the Australian firm Telstra, also runs public call boxes in Phnom Penh. To use these, you'll need a phone card, available in denominations ranging from $2 to $50; look for shops displaying the phone cards can't be used in each other's facilities, but with a Tele 2 phone card, you can make international calls from any call box by dialing the access code (T) 007 (instead of the usual (T) 001), then the country code and number as usual. With any of these options, making international calls is expensive at around $3 per minute, so It's worth looking out for deals offered by internet shops, guesthouses and travel agents, which can as much as halve the cost.
For domestic calls only, the cut-price glass-sided booths, payable to the attendant. The booths vary in their coverage of Cambodia's various networks: accessible numbers will be written on the side of the booths (usually (T) 012 MobiTel numbers - see below - plus the local area code and sometimes other mobile providers).
Faxing is extortionate in Cambodia, at $3-$6 per page. If you really must send a fax, the hotel business central and internet shops are the most reliable place to do so.
Tourists can buy Sim Card for their mobile phones at arrival terminal of all airports in Cambodia and border Checkpoint. Usage is by pre-paid phone card, available in values from $2 to $100; in most towns, you'll find outlets displaying the logos of the various providers. When you get your card, scratch off the panel on the back to reveal your PIN, then call up the top-up number-also given on the card-and enter the number to activate the card. Call rates are around $0.20 per minute within the same mobile network number or out to a local landline.
If you want to get online, do it in Phnom Penh or Siem Reap - here you're never far from an Internet shop or café and rates are under $1 per hour.
Currently free Wi-Fi is available at most hotels, restaurants, Mini Mart, Café and shopping mall.
In the provinces it's a different matter: even in Battambang and Sihanoukville access is limited, and expensive at around $3 per hour. One of the best ways to keep in touch while traveling is to sign up for a free email address that can be accessed from anywhere, for example Yahoo Mail, Gmail, Outlook or Skype or Facebook. Once you've set up and send mail from any Internet Café, or from a hotel with Internet access.
There are Internet Service Providers in Cambodia such as Online, AngkorNet, Mekong Net, WirelessIp, Ezecom with reasonable price. Prepaid Internet Card is available at any shops and super markets and price is starting from $5 to $100.
The restaurants and café shop like the M Café, Café Sentiment, T & C Coffee, Global Coffee, True Cofee, Kiriya Coffee and more offer free internet access with WI-FI - there you just bring your own laptop only.
Most Cambodians dress up casually except when they are attending formal events. It is common to see men and women using Krama, a Long, Narrow checked cotton cloth round their neck. The krama is just like a piece of clothe.
Lightweight, loose-fitting, cotton clothing is recommended and long-sleeved items should be included for protection from mosquitoes and the sun. During the rainy season an umbrella is more convenient than a rain coast. A jacket may be needed in hotels and restaurants using excessive air-conditioning.
There are three important silk textiles in Cambodia. They include the ikat silks (chong kiet in Khmer), or hol, the twill-patterned silks and the weft ikat textiles. Patterns are made by tying natural and synthetic fibers on the weft threads and then it is dyed. It is repeated for different colors until the patterns firm and cloth is woven. Traditionally, five colors are used. Red, yellow, green, blue and black are the most used. The Sampot Hol is used as a lower garment and as the sampot chang kben. The Pidan Hol is used as a ceremonial hanging used for religious purposes.
Sot silk weaving has been an important part of Cambodia's cultural past. It has been documented that people from Takéo Province have woven silk since the Funan era and records, bas-relief and Zhou Daguan's report have shown that looms were used to weave sampots since ancient times. Since ancient times, women have learned highly complex methods and intricate patterns, one of which is the hol method. It involves dying patterns on silk before weaving. What remains unique to Cambodian weavers is the uneven twill technique, the reason remains unclear why they adopted such an unusual method. The ancient bas-reliefs however provides a complete look at how fabrics were like, down to patterns and pleats. Silk woven pieces are used as heirlooms, in weddings and funerals, and as decoration in temples.
There are many variations for the sampot, each is washed according to social class. The typical sampot, known also as the sarong is typically worn by men and women of lower class. It measures approximately one and a half meters and both ends are sewn together. It is tied to safely secure it on the waist.
Kroma - Khmer Scarf
The Khmer scarf, woven from cotton or silk, has been a fashion staple since Ancient times. While some claim the thin cloth, wrapped around one's head or neck, is used primarily to wipe the sweat from a hot face, others say wearing a kroma is as 'Khmer' as wearing a necktie is American.Srey Yar Savdy, head of the Buddhist Institute's Mores and Tradition Department in Phnom Penh said that the kroma has had a home in Cambodia since the first century reign of Preah Bath Hun Tean. It is not clear when exactly the kroma hit the streets, but it has been a symbol of the Khmer kingdom and its people ever since.
"Nowadays, people are more particular and they like to have some
quality instead of the less expensive kroma they used to use," said
Channavy, the co-manager of a small weaving business. She said the demands
of discerning customers have compelled her to prepare her loom with greater
care in order to meticulously spin the cotton thread into a bobbin.