Brief History of Cambodia:The most famous period in Cambodia's history came from 900 to 1400 AD during the rule of the Khmer Kingdom. The Khmer Kingdom ruled the area and was Southeast Asia's largest empire for part of its history. Their capital city was Angkor where its possible more than 1 million people lived at the height of its power. There are many famous temples build here including the most famous Angkor Wat. In the 15th century the Khmer Kingdom collapsed and never regained its former glory.
In 1863 Cambodia became a protectorate of France. This continued for nearly 100 years until it gained full independence on November 9, 1953.
In the early 1970's Cambodia became embroiled into the Vietnam War. However, things got even worse after the war. A group called the Khmer Rouge took over led by a man named Pol Pot. They forced people into horrible work conditions and around 1 million Cambodians, around 12% of the total population, were killed.
The Geography of CambodiaTotal Size: 181,040 square km
Size Comparison: slightly smaller than Oklahoma
Geographical Coordinates: 13 00 N, 105 00 E
World Region or Continent: Southeast Asia
General Terrain: mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Geographical Low Point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
Geographical High Point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m
Climate: tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
Major cities: PHNOM PENH (capital) 1.519 million (2009), Battambang, Siem Reap
The People of CambodiaType of Government: multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
Languages Spoken: Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
Independence: 9 November 1953 (from France)
National Holiday: Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
Religions: Theravada Buddhist 95%, other 5%
National Symbol: Angkor Wat temple; kouprey (wild ox)
National Anthem or Song: Nokoreach (Royal Kingdom)
Economy of CambodiaMajor Industries: tourism, garments, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
Agricultural Products: rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca
Natural Resources: oil and gas, timber, gemstones, some iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential
Major Exports: clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
Major Imports: petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials, machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
Currency: riel (KHR)
National GDP: $33,820,000,000
** Source for population (2012 est.) and GDP (2011 est.) is CIA World Factbook.
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