Cambodia, officially known as the Kingdom of Cambodia, is a country located in the Southern portion of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is bordered with Thailand to the Northwest, Laos to the Northeast, Vietnam to the East, and the Gulf of Thailand to the Southwest with an area of 181,035 square kilometers and a population of approximately 14 million people.
The challenges we are facing
Cambodia is ranked amongst the poorest countries in the world. Destroyed by decades of war, civil unrest and political repression it has finally emerged from a terrible past. It is a nation fraught by social and environmental challenges, many of which are also global problems.
After the Khmer Rouge genocide and Vietnamese occupation, many orphans, disabled and homeless people were left uncared for. Today, The Royal Government of Cambodia would like to help but simply does not have the money to do so. Siem Reap Province in the north western part of Cambodia is a paradox. Although it is home to Angkor Wat, a UNESCO world heritage site drawing millions of tourists every year, it remains one of the poorest provinces in the country. Over half the population live below the poverty line, which means the province is the third poorest in the country. Today many of the locals continue to suffer from poverty, illiteracy, human rights abuses, human trafficking and sexual exploitation. Siem Reap has some of the poorest indicators of education in the country. For example, 24% of all 5-19 year olds are illiterate and 35% of 20-79 year olds have never received any education.
Colonial roots and world heritage
But Cambodia is also the birthplace of great empires, with a legacy of architectural marvels and cultural heritage. A former French colony, with old-world charm around every city corner. A revived country, casting off the shadows of the Khmer Rouge period, holding its head high as a rapidly emerging market. A land full of surprises, a place for an adventure as much as a holiday. A nation of smiles, laughter and song. The Kingdom of Wonder. Cambodia has so much to offer visitors. There’s the World Heritage temples of Angkor Wat, the bustling capital of Phnom Penh, tropical beaches and the mighty Mekong River. But delve deeper and you’ll find elephants, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia, untouched islands, rugged off-the-beaten-track landscapes, deep fried spiders, relaxing river haunts and a unique cuisine.
Its culture featuring holidays and festivals are a significant part of the Khmer culture. The most important are Khmer New Year (14-16th April), celebrated in the countryside with games and water fights, the King’s Birthday (13-15th May), the Pchum Ben ancestors’ festival (September or October) involving pagoda visits and special treats for ghosts, and the Water Festival (varied date in November), which traditionally ends with longboat races in front of Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace. As one of the fastest growing tourism destinations in Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s rich heritage and natural resources surprise and delight visitors. Remarkable places are waiting to be explored and amaze you with their beauty and tranquility. Cambodia’s greatest treasure, however, is its people. The Khmer people embody the friendliness and charm of the country, opening their hearts and homes to visitors. Smiles are returned with toothy grins, enquiries are made of your health, your country, where you’re going and your thoughts about Cambodia. It is our privilege to guide you through this magnificent country, introduce you to locations off the tourist map and experiences you wouldn’t have believed possible.
The temples of Angkor are one of the wonders of the world and a leading archaeological site in Southeast Asia. One of humanity’s greatest architectural achievements (or, better yet, one of its greatest achievements, period), Angkor has tantalized Western travelers since 1858, when Henri Mouhat, a French naturalist, stumbled upon it in the jungle, and it became famous as the Lost City of Asia.During what is called the Angkor period, the Khmer Kings erected those mainly stone structures throughout their empire, but a larger number of them are concentrated in their ancient capital, Angkor. Some 100 temples, both large and small, are located in an area of 401 square kilometers known as the “Angkor site”. It is in Siem Reap province and over 300 kilometers northwest of Phnom Penh. The Angkor temples and their surroundings have been included on UNESCO’s “World Heritage List” since 1992.To learn more about Cambodia go here