POPULATION 13.4 million
Cambodia lies at the heart of Indochina and the Khymer empire ruled for centuries over much of South East Asia. This wonderful country has it all - ancient forgotten ruins swallowed by the jungle, a bustling capital,mile-long untouched sandy beaches, eerie but beautiful colonial towns - from the heat of the plains to the steamy jungle and the coolness of the hills. Cambodia's charms are truly awesome. Cambodia has emerged from the past to enjoy a deserved status as one of Asia's most captivating countries. Be enthralled by its most magnificent treasure- the ancient temples of ANGKOR WAT a World Heritage Site dating back to the ninth century. Explore the bustling boulevards of the capital Phnom Penh, or travel south to the exquisite beaches that pepper Cambodia's coast. Glide past floating houses and ancient citadels in Siem Reap or head deep inland to experience some of the most unspoilt scenery in the region.
CLIMATE - The climate can generally be described as tropical. As the country is affected by monsoon, it is hot and humid with average temperature around 27C (80F). There are two distinct seasons- Rainy and Dry Seasons. However dry seasons are divided into 2 sub seasons.
The Rainy Season:- From June till October 27C-35C (80-95F)
The Dry Season:- (cool) From November till February 17-27C (80-95F)
The Dry Season:- (hot) From March till May 29-38C (84-100F)
CURRENCY - US dollars are as commonly used as the Cambodian Riel, although it is recommended to have small denominations of the Cambodian Riel. Credit cards are not widely accepted.
ATM's are located in major cities, whilst travellers cheques can be exchanged in authorised foreign exchange banks in Phnom Penh and you must have a local account to use it.
LANGUAGE -The Cambodian language is Khymer. This language is written in Thai.
Ther are 10 million people in Cambodia and about 90-95%are Khymer Ethnic. 10% of the population live in the capital of Phnom Penh. Cambodia is largely a country of rural dwellers, farmers and artisans.
GETTING THERE - You cannot Fly direct between the UK and Cambodia; the main gateways are Bangkok,Kuala Lumpur and Singapore.The lowest fares are likely to be with the national carriers;
Thai Airways 0870 606 0911 www.thaiairways.co.uk from Heathrow via Bangkok
Singapore Airlines 0870 608 8886 www.singaporeair.co.uk from Heathrow via Singapore
Malaysia Airlines 0870 607 9090 www.malaysiaairlines.com from Manchester and Heathrow via Kuala Lumpur
TIPS - ( Learnt from experience ) - Share and Share alike:- share family clothes between suitcases so that if a bag goes missing you will still have someyhing to wear. If you do loose your suitcase (one of ours was left at Bangkok airport), do not loose your cool. It will get you nowhere!! Most Cambodians do not understand English and as a nation are very peaceful and will look at you as if you're mad if you raise your voice. Wait until you get to your hotel and then offer the concierge a small reward. He will then move heaven and earth to locate your luggage which will probably appear by the end of the day.
As Cambodia is such a hot country you will not need many clothes,only shorts and t'shirts. It is a very good idea to pack into your suitcase loads of childrens clothes or other gifts. If visiting the Tonle Sap Lake area the people are very poor and wear rags. Our driver distributed bags of clothes we took and we were completely humbled by the gratitude shown by the mothers.
Tourism Cambodia (00 855 23 216 666) www.tourismcambodia.com
Cambodian Embassy, 4 rue Adolphe-yvon, Paris 75116, France.(+33 1 4503 4720) There is no embassy in the UK.
And before you go check out www.fco.gov.uk/travel/countryadvice.asp for up to the minute advice.