Cambodia Religion, Transport, Geography, Politics and Population

Religion in Cambodia

97% of the population of Cambodia profess Theravada Buddhism, which in 1989 was declared the state religion. The Chinese profess Confucianism and Buddhism of the northern branch, the Chams and Malays – Sunni Islam, the French and part of the Vietnamese – Catholicism. Minor groups of the population worship pagan gods.

Transport in Cambodia

The transport network of Cambodia is poorly developed. The main transportation is carried out by road and water transport. The main mode of transport is river: roads in Cambodia are rarely paved, especially since it would be washed away anyway in the rainy season. There is a bus connection between administrative centers, and there are local flights to remote cities. There is a railway connection between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville (south coast), and between Phnom Penh and Poipet Sisophen (this branch goes to Thailand). The trains are uncomfortable, they go very slowly, but it is possible to ride on the roof, which allows, if desired, to examine in detail the picturesque area along which the railway passes.

There is no public transport in cities. You can travel by taxi or motorbike taxi. A taxi in Phnom Penh from the airport to the center costs about 8 dollars, in Siem Reap – 5 dollars, and on a motorcycle you can get there for 1 dollar.

In Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville you can rent a car or motorbike. In Siem Reap, the rental of vehicles by foreigners is prohibited, so the only way to get around is to hire a car with a driver or a tuk-tuk. It will cost you very little. So, the cost of renting a car with a driver for the whole day to inspect the Angkor complex will cost $15-20, a tuk-tuk – $5

Plant and Animal World in Cambodia

3/4 of the territory of Cambodia is occupied by forests. In the east of the country, deciduous tropical forests grow, in the mountains – evergreen forests of valuable tree species (salt, teak, lacquer, camphor), in the rest of the territory – savannas with light forests, dense thickets of bamboo and various shrubs. The most common plants are rubber ficus, coconut palm, banana tree. The shallows of the Gulf of Thailand are mainly occupied by mangrove forests. Among the representatives of the fauna, buffaloes, wild bulls, elephants predominate, there are bears, panthers; among the birds are pheasants, wild ducks, cranes and cormorants. In the Mekong and its tributaries, crocodiles have been preserved, pelicans and flamingos are found. In Cambodia, there are many insects, poisonous varieties of snakes.

Minerals in Cambodia

In Cambodia, deposits of precious stones and phosphates are being developed. The country also has deposits of iron ore, manganese, tin, copper, zinc. There are a number of indications that deposits of alumina, gold and limestone are possible.

Banks in Cambodia

Each bank operates according to its own schedule, but almost all of them work from 8:30 to 12:00. Exchange offices (bureau de change) are open from Monday to Saturday from 7:30 to 11:00, and after a lunch break – from 14:30 to 17:00.

Money in Cambodia

The currency of Cambodia is the riel. After the 1995 denomination, notes of 50, 100, 200, 500, 1000, 2000, 5000, 10,000, 20,000 and 100,000 riels have been issued. Banknotes of 50 and 100 riels are almost never found. Coins of 50, 100, 200 and 500 riels were also issued, but this is a real numismatic rarity. Dollars are widely accepted. Euros are not popular and are often equated to the dollar as 1:1. It should be noted that when traveling to remote areas in the northern and northeastern parts of the country, riels will come in handy. In the western regions and the territories bordering Thailand, the Thai baht is in circulation. Even the prices there are often indicated in Thai baht.

Traveler’s checks can only be exchanged at certain banks in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

Credit cards can only be used for payments in hotels, some restaurants and when buying air tickets. There are no ATMs in the cities.

Rate: 10000 Cambodian Riel (KHR) = 2.24 USD

Political State in Cambodia

Since September 1993, Cambodia’s political system has been a multi-party liberal democracy under a constitutional monarchy. According to politicsezine, the head of state is the king, the head of government is the prime minister. The monarch appoints the Council of Ministers. Legislative power in the country belongs to a bicameral body consisting of the Senate and the National Assembly.

Population in Cambodia

Cambodia is home to 12.5 million people. The largest ethnic group are the Khmers, who make up 90% of the population. The country is also home to Vietnamese (5%), Chinese (1%) and other nationalities (4%).

The official language of Cambodia is Khmer, which is spoken by most of the country’s population. English is tolerably spoken in almost every official institution, hotel, restaurant, market. A large percentage of older Cambodians speak French. Many city dwellers speak Vietnamese, Chinese or Thai.

Cuisine in Cambodia

The development of national Cambodian cuisine was mainly influenced by neighboring countries: Thailand, Laos and Vietnam, as well as close religious and trade ties with China and India. The basis of most dishes is rice, fish, eggs, greens and vegetables, as well as meat (chicken, beef, pork and goat), in the south of the country – seafood. A huge number of various dishes are prepared from these components, among which the main place should be given to soups. Oddly enough for us, Cambodians start breakfast with rice noodle soup with various herbs, meat, fish or shrimp – kyteow, or fried rice with similar ingredients – baicha. The use of various sauces and seasonings, which often have a specific taste and smell, is widespread. A characteristic product is prahok, a paste made from fermented fish, which has a sharp smell and a sharply salty taste. In the restaurants you will discover a variety of both meat (luk – lak) and fish dishes (amok). The fish is cooked only fresh. Not even an hour after she was caught, she falls into the hands of a cook. Dairy products are not popular in Khmer cuisine and all you can taste is a fruit cocktail with the addition of condensed milk. Of course, Cambodia is a paradise for lovers of exotic cuisine. There is no living creature that would not be eaten: cockroaches, snakes, spiders, caterpillars… Many restaurants have a menu of European and vegetarian dishes. Food prices in Cambodia are extremely low. No matter how much you order, the bill is unlikely to exceed 10-15 dollars. Food prices in Cambodia are extremely low. No matter how much you order, the bill is unlikely to exceed 10-15 dollars.

If this food does not suit you, then go to the supermarket, which can be found in every locality, where you will find a large selection of products – a magnificent heritage of French colonialism – delicious bread, wine and cheeses. In local markets, a huge amount of vegetables and fruits at “ridiculous” prices.

Cuisine in Cambodia

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