Cambodia, 2004
Country name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Governement type: multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
National holiday: Independence Day, 9 November
Historical background: From the 1st to the 6th centuries, much of Cambodia belonged to the South-East Asian kingdom of Funan. However, it was the Angkorian era, beginning in the 8th century, that really transformed the kingdom into an artistic and religious power. A series of weak kings ruled from 1600 until the French arrived in 1863. In 1941 the French installed 19-year-old Prince Sihanouk on the Cambodian throne. Cambodian independence was eventually proclaimed in 1953, the enigmatic King Norodom Sihanouk going on to dominate national politics for the next 15 years before being overthrown by the army. During the Vietnam war, the Cambodia's leftist guerillas (the Khmer Rouge) took the power, with Phnom Penh falling to the Khmer Rouge in April 1975. Over the next four years the Khmer Rouge, under Pol Pot's leadership, systematically killed an estimated two million Cambodians. Responding to recurring armed incursions into their border provinces, Vietnam invaded Cambodia in 1978, forcing the Khmer Rouge to flee. In mid-1993, UN-administered elections led to a new constitution and the reinstatement of Norodom Sihanouk as king. Since then, President Hun Sen dominated the country.
Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 105 00 E
Map: Cambodia
Highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m
Border countries: Laos, Thailand, Vietnam
Capital: Phnom Penh
Major cities: Battambang, Pursat, Kompong Cham, Kampot, Siem Reap, Kratie, Kompong Chhnang
Population: 13,1  millions (2003)
Density: 70.57 hab./km²
Life expectancy: 53 years
Ethnic groups: Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%
Languages: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Religion: Theravada Buddhist 95%
Currency: Riel
GDP per capita: € 1,500 (2002 est)
Internet country code: .kh

Flag description: three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in black in the center of the red band. Flag.
National anthem: listen the anthem illustrated with the cambodian coat of arms.
Homepage | Around the world | Gazette | Jules Vernes | Quid