Cambodia

A poor country which has a complicated history, but dating the slope gradually.

La vidéo de notre passage au Cambodge

Avec des touts petits cochons trop mignons !

Where is Cambodia?

Its flag:

Cambodia

General data

Area: 181 035 km².

Population: 14.8 million inhabitants (of which 33% were between the ages of 1 and 14).

Capital: Phnom Penh (population 1.5 million)

Religion: Buddhism (96% of the population, State religion): Muslims (2%); Christians (1%).

Political system: constitutional monarchy with authoritarian trend.

King: Norodom Sihamoni (since 2005).

Languages: Khmer, french (administrative written language), English and Vietnamese.

Currency: the Riel. But transactions are commonly settled in US dollars (USD) especially for large amounts - $1 = 4000 Riel

Life expectancy: at the age of 62.

Unesco World Heritage sites: Angkor (1992) (it went there, obviously!) It is also what is seen on the Cambodian flag.

Lag: 5 h in summer, 6 h in winter.

Economy

THEAgriculture remains the dominant (57.6% of the active population) economic sector. The main industries of Cambodia are the confection (textile and shoes) and the Tourism. Despite the extreme poverty of a large part of the population (31% below the poverty line), Cambodia has known since the end of the 1990s a strong economic development and benefit of the inflow of international investment.

Nevertheless, Cambodia remains one of poorest countries of the world. There are of very strong inequalities among a very small number of rich in beautiful villas and Land Cruiser, and the rural population, which accounts for almost 80% of the total. The average wage is 773 dollars per capita. The labour market offers only few jobs for young people and the country suffers from corruption, at all levels of the administration.

THEinternational assistance remains essential, since it represents about 12% of its GDP.

Human rights

Corruption, impunity and authoritarian still constitute the main attributes of the Phnom Penh regime. The attacks on freedom of expression are recurrent. The recurrent violations to freedom of the press and the rights of the opposition impede the implementation of a real multiparty system, and Cambodian political life is still dominated by far by the Cambodian people's Party.

History

The history of Cambodia is quite painful. And it knows often wrong. Try to do a summary...
November 9, 1953 : independence of the country, following the end of the first Indochina war. The France which had established a protectorate, withdrew from the country. He became a constitutional monarchy headed by King Norodom Sihanouk.
On March 18, 1970, there is a coup while the King is moving abroad. General Lon Nol established the Khmer Republic; became ally of the United States, Cambodia is then integrated into the strategy of containment of communism in Southeast Asia.
With the support of China, the Khmer Rouge then trigger a war against Government forces (US pro). In addition to this civil war, the country is drawn into the Vietnam war. Pol Pot, the People's Republic of China-backed Khmer Rouge take Phnom Penh the April 17, 1975 and install an authoritarian regime Maoist. The Khmer Rouge then apply a policy maximalist, even more extremist than the Soviets and the Maoists, notably to "cleanse the country of the urban and bourgeois civilization": the systematic hounding of the old elites, "identified" because speaking foreign languages or glasses (for example). The figure of 1.7 million of direct and indirect victims is more widely accepted. The December 25, 1978Fearing chaos settling in neighbouring Viet Nam invaded Cambodia and causes the destruction of rice paddies, causing the collapse of the regime of the Khmer Rouge.

During the Decade of the 1980s, the country is ruined and divided at the discretion of the fighting against the Vietnamese invaders. Malnutrition wreaks havoc and epidemics cause thousands of deaths while the country no longer has neither power nor drugs.

After the departure of the forces from Vietnam in 1989 and the dispatch of forces of the United Nations in the early 1990s, the regime will find little by little a semblance of autonomy.

Geography

Located in the heart of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia is stuck between the Thailand (to the West), the Viet Nam (to the East) and the Laos (to the North). Area: three times less than the France.

The terrain is average, with still a top to nearly 1,800 m altitude (South-West), a few plateaus in the North (the chain of the Dangrek, 400 m average altitude) and two chains of low mountains (the cardamom and Elephant) West. South Coast borders the Gulf of Siam on about 250 km.

Let us not forget the forestswhich surround the country from the southwest to the Northeast. Those chain of Cardamoms and Ratanakiri are still the domain of the Tigers, snakes, elephants. Guaranteed primitive jungle atmosphere.

The climate is tropical, as in Thailand.

Manners and customs

Customs in Asia are very different from those in Europe. We must learn to know to not offend or annoy people.

- As everywhere in Asia, from do not get excited and do not speak nor to be threatening. This kind of behaviour is losing face to a Cambodian, and it will keep you resentment.

-It is very badly seen to contradict someone. If your interlocutor is wrong, him do not notice.

It is not tightened the hand and they kiss again moins. to greet someone, bring your hands together at the front of the chest.

-It is customary to give money to real beggarsespecially the elderly and (many) war amputees, who have nothing else to live. A ticket of 500 riels enough. Here the stinginess is a shame (especially that of Westerners).

Never touch the head of a person (even), this gesture is considered an insult. On the other hand, the Cambodians wander willingly in holding the little finger.

-In the temples, bypass the Buddha by the left, counterclockwise and clockwise. Do not sit back to the Buddha and not to point their feet in its direction, it is very frowned. In no case a woman must touch a monk, otherwise it would lose all its acquired merits.

Thank you The backpacker !