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Coat of arms of Cambodia សូមស្វាគមន៍ / Welcome to the Cambodia Portal Angkor Wat

Topographical map of Cambodia

Cambodia (/kæmˈbdiə/ (About this soundlisten); also Kampuchea /ˌkæmpʊˈə/; Khmer: កម្ពុជា [kam.pu.ciə]; French: Cambodge), officially the Kingdom of Cambodia (Khmer: ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, prĕəh riəciənaacak kampuciə, IPA: [prĕəh riə.ciə.naː.caʔ kam.pu.ciə]; French: Royaume du Cambodge), is a country located in the southern portion of the Indochina peninsula in Southeast Asia. It is 181,035 square kilometres (69,898 square miles) in area, bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.

The sovereign state of Cambodia has a population of over 16 million. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, practised by approximately 95 percent of the population. The country's minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economic and cultural centre of Cambodia. The kingdom is an elective constitutional monarchy with a monarch, currently Norodom Sihamoni, chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is the Prime Minister, currently Hun Sen, the longest serving non-royal leader in Southeast Asia, ruling Cambodia since 1985.

In 802 AD, Jayavarman II declared himself king, uniting the warring Khmer princes of Chenla under the name "Kambuja". This marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire, which flourished for over 600 years, allowing successive kings to control and exert influence over much of Southeast Asia and accumulate immense power and wealth. The Indianised kingdom facilitated the spread of first Hinduism and then Buddhism to much of Southeast Asia and undertook many religious infrastructural projects throughout the region, including the construction of more than 1,000 temples and monuments in Angkor alone. Angkor Wat is the most famous of these structures and is designated as a World Heritage Site.

After the fall of Angkor to Ayutthaya in the 15th century, a reduced and weakened Cambodia was then ruled as a vassal state by its neighbours. In 1863, Cambodia became a protectorate of France, which doubled the size of the country by reclaiming the north and west from Thailand. Read more...

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The Cambodian Civil War was a conflict that pitted the forces of the Communist Party of Kampuchea (known as the Khmer Rouge) and their allies the Democratic Republic of Vietnam and the National Liberation Front (NLF) against the government forces of Cambodia (after October 1970, the Khmer Republic), which were supported by the United States (U.S.) and the Republic of Vietnam.

The struggle was exacerbated by the influence and actions of the allies of the two warring sides. North Vietnamese involvement was designed to protect its base areas and sanctuaries in eastern Cambodia, without which the prosecution of its military effort in South Vietnam would have been more difficult. The U.S. was motivated by the need to buy time for its withdrawal from Southeast Asia and to protect its ally, South Vietnam. American, South Vietnamese, and North Vietnamese forces directly participated (at one time or another) in the fighting. The central government was mainly assisted by the application of massive U.S. aerial bombing campaigns and direct material and financial aid.

The Republican government, after five years of savage fighting (and after suffering massive casualties, the destruction of its economy, the starvation of its population, and grievous atrocities committed by its enemy), was defeated on 17 April 1975. The victorious Khmer Rouge proclaimed the establishment of Democratic Kampuchea.

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Rice 02.jpg

Credit: Photo by Oliver Spalt, Upload by User:Spolloman

A worker is removing the rice seedlings in Kratié Province, Cambodia.

Recognized content

Did you know

...that Sisowath Monivong was the king of Cambodia from 1927 until his death in 1941?

...that the primary rainforest of Cambodia went from 70% in the 1970s to 3% in today's time?

...that there were 150,000 to 200,000 Muslims in Cambodia as late as 1975? Read more at Islam in Cambodia

...that King Norodom Sihamoni is one-fourth Italian?

...that the kouprey was declared the national animal of Cambodia by Norodom Sihanouk?

...that the Cambodia national football team finished fourth in the Asian Cup 1972?

...that former King Norodom Sihanouk holds the Guinness World Record for the politician who has occupied the greatest variety of political offices?

...that current Prime Minister Hun Sen started his term in 1985?

...that the Tonlé Sap supplies 60% of Cambodia's protein intake?

...that Saigon was founded by Cambodians?

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