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- ABOUT CAMBODIA
- GENERAL INFORMATION
- GREETING TO CAMBODIA
1. ABOUT CAMBODIA
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.
Today, the Kingdom of Cambodia is once again a peaceful place to visit. It is, at present, in the process of getting rebuilt. Cambodia now in-corporates a Parliamentary Government system, with His Majesty Preah Bat Norodom Sihanouk Varman, King and Head of State; H.E. Samdech Chea Sim, President of the Senate; Samdech Heng Samrin, President of the National Assembly and H.E. Samdech Hun Sen, Prime Minister. His Majesty effectively remains the symbol of national unity for the people of Cambodia who hold him dear to their hearts.
After regaining Independence in 1953, the country has had several names:
1. The Kingdom of Cambodia (under the Reachia Niyum Regime from 1953 to 1970);
2. The Khmer Republic (under the Lon Nol Regime from 1970 to 1975);
3. Democratic Kampuchea (under the Pol Pot Genocidal Regime from 1975 to 1979);
4. The People’s Republic of Kampuchea (1979-1989);
5. The State of Cambodia (1989-1993);
6. The Kingdom of Cambodia (1993 until now)
2. GENERAL INFORMATION
- Official Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
- Motto: Nation-Religion-King
- Area: 181,035 sq km
- Location : In Southeast Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam.
- Geo. Coordinates: 13000 north and 105000 east
- Dimension: 451 km north to south, and 563 km west to east
- Land Boundaries: Total: 2,572 km; Border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, and Vietnam 1,228 km
- Coastline: 435 Km
- Density: 78 persons/ km2
- Independence Day: 09 November 1953
- Government: Constitutional monarchy
- Population: 14 million
- Capital: 35 Phnom Penh (290 square kilometers with a population of approx 2 million). It is the center of administration, commerce, communication, culture, economy, education, industry, policy, and tourism.
- Language: Khmer; secondary languages: English and French
- Religion: Theravada Buddhist (90%); Muslim and Christian (10%)
- Climate: Cambodia has four seasons (Dec-Feb: cool/dry; Mar-May: hot/dry; Jun-Aug: hot/wet & Sep-Nov: cool/wet)
- Time Zone: GMT+ 7 hours
- International Airports: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanouk Ville
- Cities: 3
- Provinces: 20
- Electricity: Voltage 220v/50Hz
- Currency: Riel (USD 1 = 4, 188 Riels). US dollars are widely accepted.
- Tipping: Tipping is not obligatory but is widely practiced in hotels and restaurants in addition to the service charges shown on bills.
2.2. CAMBODIA NATIONAL HOLIDAYS
The following public holidays will be observed by the Cambodian public service in 2011:
- 1st January: International New Year's
- 7th January: Victory Day Over Genocide
- 7th February : Meak Bochea Day , Buddhist Ceremony held during the full moon of the month of Meak Bochea in commemoration of the spontaneous gathering of the monks to listen to thebuddha's prea ching.
- 8th March : International Women's Day
- 13th/14th/15th April : Khmer New Year's Day, The New Year Festival spans three days following the end of the harvest season. People clean and decorate their houses with altars of offerings. People play many traditional games at this time of the year.
- 1st May: International Labor Day
- 5th May: Visak Bochea Day Birthday of Buddha
- 9nd May: Royal Ploughing Ceremony or Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal , Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal (Royal Ploughing Ceremony). The Royal Ploughing ceremony starts the planting season. It is performed by a man (King of Meakh) who leads the yoke and plough, and a woman (Queen Me Hour) who sows seeds. The sacred cows are led to silver trays containing rice, corn and other foods. Based on their choice, predictions are made for the coming year.
- 13th/14th/15th May: King's Birthday, Royal Birthday of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromoneath NORODOM SIHAMONI
- 18th June: Former Queen's Birthday, Her Majesty Samdech Preah Reach Aka Mohesey NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK's Birthday
- 22th/23th/24th Sept: Bonn Pchum Ben, Phchum Ben is a celebration where people bring offerings to the Monks, and spend a day of worship at the pagoda.
- 24th Sept: Constitution's day
- 29th Oct: King Norodom Sihamoni's Coronation Day, Coronation of King Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromoneath NORODOM SIHAMONI.
- 05th/06th/07th Nov: Water and Moon Festival, Bonn Om Touk (Water and Moon Festival). A three-day festival not only marks the reversing of the current in the Tonle Sap river but ushers in the fishing season as well. The highlight of this event is the boat race in which more than 200 teams compete over three days for the top prize. As night falls, fireworks light the sky and a lighted flotilla of boats sail under the full moon.
- 9th Nov: Independence Day, The date Cambodia achieved independence from France in 1953 is marked by a parade of spectacular floats highlighting the nations achievements.
- 10th Dec: International Human Right's Day
*Note: Any public holidays that fall on Saturday or/and Sunday will be carried over to the next working day.
Cambodia has a tropical climate that is warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops and this year round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for the tourism industry. Visitors do need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.
Cambodia can be visited throughout the year. However those planning to travel extensively by road should avoid the last two months of the rainy season when some countryside roads may be impassable.
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) but in the dry season it is cool and very much like a European summer.
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 and these seasons are:
The Rainy season:
From June till October 27-35º.C (80-95.f)
The Dry season (cool):
From November till February 17-27.ºC (80-95.F)
The Dry season (Hot):
From March till May 29-38º.C (84-100.F)
Cambodia is one of the few countries that visitors can enjoy all the year round.
3. GREETING TO CAMBODIA
3.1. ACCESS TO CAMBODIA
All types of the tourists can get access to Cambodia by:
International Gateways by Air:
-Phnom Penh International Airport (Visa on arrival & E-visa available)
- Siem Reap International Airport (Visa on arrival & E-visa available)
- Sihanouk Ville International Airport (Visa on arrival upon request)
International Gateways by Land:
Gateways between Cambodia and Thailand:
- Poipet (Visa on arrival & E-visa available)
- Cham Yeam (Visa on arrival & E-visa available)
- O Smach (Visa on arrival available)
- Choam (Visa on arrival available)
- Prom (Visa on arrival available)
- Dong (Visa on arrival available)
Gateways between Cambodia and Laos:
- Trapaing Kreal (Visa on arrival available)
Gateways between Cambodia and Vietnam:
- Bavet (Visa on arrival & E-visa available)
- Kaam Samnor (Visa on arrival available)
- Phnom Den (Visa on arrival available)
- Trapaing Phlong (Visa on arrival available)
- Trapaing Srè (Visa on arrival available
- Oyadav (Visa on arrival available)
- Banteay Chakrei (Visa on arrival available)
- Preak Chak (Visa on arrival available) Samrong (Visa on arrival available)
International Gateways by Water
-Phnom Penh International Port (Visa on arrival available)
-Sihanouk Ville International Seaport (Visa on arrival upon request).
3.2. DIPLOMATIC RELATIONS. Please link to http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/
3.3. VISA AND ENTRY REQUIREMENTS
The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation has launched e-Visa, which enables you to apply for a Cambodia tourist visa online. Instead of applying through Cambodian Embassy, all you need to do is to complete the online application form and pay with your credit card. After receiving your Visa through email, print it out and bring it along when you travel to Cambodia. http://evisa.mfaic.gov.kh
Visa Exemption: Laos, Malaysia, Philippines, Singapore and Viet Nam
Countries not supported Afghanistan, Algeria, Arab Saudi, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, Sudan (Please apply your Visa from your nearest embassy or on-arrival at all major checkpoints)
II-VISA ON ARRIVAL: at the International Airport in Siemreap and Phnom Penh, and at most border crossings with Thailand, Vietnam and Laos.
3.4. AIR TRAVEL
There are many ways to fly to Cambodia with International airlines arriving daily at Phnom Penh International airport and it is serviced by an increasing number of airlines from around the world.
Cambodia has two international airports:
Phnom Penh (PNH) and Siem Reap (REP)
Six domestic airports:
Battambang (BBM). Mondul kiri (MWV). Rattanak Kiri (RBE). Stung Treng (TNX). Kang Keng (Sihanouk Ville) (KOS). Koh Kong (KKZ).
Most flights pass through Phnom Penh International Airport. Airport Tax at the International Airport is $25 and Domestic is $6. (to date). Visas can be obtained on Arrival at the airport but it is always advised to obtain the correct visa before visiting any country.
A selection of some of the airlines and air code that fly to and from Cambodia:
- Air France(FR).from France.Bangkok.
- Air Asia(FD). from Kuala Lamper. Bangkok.
- Bangkok Airways(PG). from Bangkok.
- China Airlines(Cl). from Taipei. Taiwan.
- China Eastern Airline (MU). from Kunming.
- China Southern Airlines (CZ). from Goangzhou.
- Dragon Air(KA). from Hong Kong.
- Evar Air (BR). from Taiwan.
- Jet Star Asia Airways (3K )from Singapore.
- Korean Air (KE). Seoul.
- Lao Airline (QV). from Vientiane.
- Malaysian Airline (MH). from Kuala Lumpur.
- Shanghai Airlines (FM). from Shanghai.
- Silk Air (MI). from Singapore.
- Thai Airways International (TG). from Bangkok.
- Vietnam Airlines (VN). From Ho Chi Minh. Hanoi. Vientiane.