Cambodia – quick facts

11 02 2010

The Kingdom of Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy with a parliamentary representative democracy, just like Thailand.  The countries inhabitants are closing in on 15 million and the vast majority (90%) is ethnic Khmer and the dominating religion is Theravada Buddhism.

Cambodia is about the size of Switzerland but quite flat and is dominated by the Mekong and a lake called Tonle Sap (Great Lake) that grows ten times its regular size during the wet season.  Rice production and other agricultural products make up the biggest portion of the economy with textile and garments production and tourism having a substantial impact as well.  There is hope that there is oil beyond Cambodia’s shores and with that comes fears that the oil profit will be snatched up by corrupted politicians and their compatriots.  The economy has been growing about 10% a year for the last few years but in nominal terms that is not much as the GDP per person (ppp) is about $2,000, half that of Thailand but only around $800 in nominal terms.

Cambodia has had a big problem with deforestation.  In seventies around 70% of Cambodia was covered with primary rainforest but that number is down to around 3% today.  We can definitely see that when driving around in Cambodia, everywhere we go there are just dry plains waiting for the wet season so that they can be used for rice production.  This is a big difference from Thailand where it was not uncommon to see “wooden”  furniture and houses made of concrete and then painted like wood because of the strict Thai laws regarding deforestation and timber production.  In Cambodia however we see a lot of beautiful beds, chairs and tables made from the finest hard-wood available.

1999 was the first full year of peace in 30 years in Cambodia and since then the economy has been growing fast, security is getting better and better, resulting in more tourism and increased foreign investment so Cambodia is definitely going places, which is fantastic.  I just hope that this all will benefit the general population because the people have been through so much in the past and still they are so sweet and gentle.

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3 responses

26 02 2010
Pin

Can we send you a copy of free Siem Reap travel guidebook? If you find it to be of useful to your Blog readers, we wish you can feature it at your website.

Thank you

Pin

Founder of a4trip.com

26 02 2010
othordarson

Sure, is it an electronic document?
If so, just send me your email and I’ll get back to you.

Best regards
– Ö r n –

26 02 2010
Pin

My email address is pin@a4trip.com. Looking forward to hear from you

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