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Cambodia
Traveling Tales
Plates in a basket will raddle.
- Cambodian Proverb

Stories
Angkor Afloat by David Fuller


Country Overview

Cambodia is located in Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand, Vietnam, and Laos. Total land area is 176,520 sq km with 443 km of coastline. Climate is tropical with a rainy and dry season and little variation in year round temperature.

Government is a multiparty liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy established in September 1993 when UN-sponsored elections helped restore some semblance of normalcy after 13 years of civil war with the Khmer Rouge, which rapidly diminished in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces.

Population is 13.1 million with a 1.7% rate of natural increase.

Language is diverse with 19 spoken dialects and Central Khmer as the official language spoken by 90% of the population. Substantial groups also speak Mandarin Chinese, Lao and Vietnamese. Literacy rate is 45%.

Economy is facing formidable challenges to development. Thirty-four percent of the population live below the poverty line, with a average per capity income of US $1,300. Tourism is Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with arrivals up 34% in 2000. The long-term development of the economy after decades of war remains a daunting challenge.

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