Dancers in traditional Khmer dress prepare to perform at the Angkor temple complex. Khmer culture almost vanished during the bloody reign of the Khmer Rouge communists in the 1970s, but Cambodians today are reclaiming their inheritance.
Giant strangler fig tree roots embrace the crumbling Ta Prohm temple at Angkor. Although the forest has overrun this sacred site, it has largely escaped the looting that decimated many of its fellow Cambodian
A Buddha statue brings life to the stone remnants of Angkor Thom. Unfortunately, the poverty and strife that has gripped Cambodia since the 1970s has led to the pervasive looting of temples, leaving only a few hints of the region's previous glory.
Silhouetted against a cloudy sky, a young man rides an elephant outside the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh, the capital city of Cambodia, which is now a constitutional monarchy.
The hustle and bustle of modern-day Phnom Penh is a far cry from the poor farmlands that stretch across much of the country, most of which still lack infrastructure such as roads, phones, and electricity.
A group of monks walks along the wall of the Royal Palace's Silver Pagoda temple complex in Phnom Penh. Most Cambodians practice Theravada Buddhism, which has been popular in the region for at least 1,500 years.
Cambodian farmers in traditional bamboo hats carry their products to a local market in Siem Reap. Close to three-quarters of Cambodia's population are agricultural laborers, but the textile industry and tourism are quickly changing the nation's economy.
Traditional boats cross the Mekong River at dusk. Famed for its endangered giant catfish, which can grow nearly ten feet (three meters) long, the Mekong River has always played an important role in Cambodian culture.
The ruins of the Bokor Palace Hotel overlook the Gulf of Thailand. Once an idyllic resort during the French colonial period, Bokor is now best known for its vistas.
A man naps in his hammock along the bank of the Sangker River in Battambang. Inland waterways like the Sangker still often act as primary travel routes between remote cities.
Two Buddhist monks relax in the ruins of Bayon Temple. The site is just one of many wonders at Angkor—ancient capital of the Khmer Empire. Source: NGC
Cambodia Information and History where _ID = ''"> -->'"> --> A mostly flat and forested land, Cambodia is a small, compact country. But for more than 500 years, Angkor (in northwestern Cambodia) was the capital of the Khmer Empire, which controlled mainland Southeast Asia from the 9th to the 13th century. Thailand and Vietnam encroached upon the kingdom until 1863, when France made Cambodia a protectorate. Independence came in 1953. The Vietnam War spilled into Cambodia, igniting conflict, and in 1970 a pro-Western military government overthrew longtime ruler Prince Norodom Sihanouk. Five years later Pol Pot's Khmer Rouge guerrillas began brutally enforcing radical communism, killing some two million Cambodians. After intense border clashes, Vietnam invaded and occupied Cambodia from 1978 to 1989, with up to 200,000 troops. In 1991 three rebel groups and the Phnom Penh government signed a UN-sponsored peace accord. Returned from exile in 1993, Sihanouk became king, leading the new constitutional monarchy. Coming into the 21st century, Cambodia enjoys relative stability; but subsistence farming employs 75 percent of the workforce and many live in poverty. Cambodians hope that tourism focused on Angkor Wat, meaning "capital monastery," will bring prosperity; it is the largest temple at Angkor—its image is on Cambodia's flag. ECONOMY
Industry: tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products. Agriculture: rice, rubber, corn, vegetables. Exports: timber, garments, rubber, rice, fish.
Text source: National Geographic Atlas of the World, Eighth Edition, 2004
Cambodia Flag and Fast Facts '"> --> '"> --> Population 13,329,000 '"> --> Capital Phnom Penh; 1,157,000 '"> --> Area 181,035 square kilometers (69,898 square miles) '"> --> Language Khmer, French, English '"> --> Religion Theravada Buddhist
where _ID = ''"> -->'"> -->
Login to add comments on this post.