Cambodia - A Country With a Glorious Past But an Uncertain Future, One of Sam's Exotic Travels
The Kingdom of Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy in Southeast Asia with a population of more than 13 million people. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the 11th and 14th centuries.
The country shares a border with Thailand to its west, with Laos to its north, with Vietnam to its east, and with the Gulf of Thailand to its south. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong river (colloquial Khmer: Tonle Thom, i.e. "the great river") and the Tonle Sap (i.e. "the fresh water river"), an important source of fish.
Despite the recent progress, the Cambodian economy continues to suffer from the effects of decades of civil war and internal strife. The per capita income, is rapidly increasing, but is low compared with other countries in the region. Most rural households depend on agriculture and its related sub-sectors. Rice, fish, timber, garments and rubber are Cambodia's major exports, and the United States, Singapore, Japan, Thailand, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Malaysia are its major export partners.
The recovery of Cambodia's economy was adversely affected by regional economic crisis, civil violence, and political infighting in 1997-1998, but has recovered to some extent since that time. Tourism is Cambodia's fastest growing industry, with visitors growing from 219,000 in 1997 to 1,055,000 in 2004. As of 2004 GDP per Capita was $1900 USD, which ranked it 175th out of 232 countries
The population lacks education and productive skills, particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an almost total lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid.
We visited Cambodia over Chinese New Year in 2006. Places visited include:
I hope you enjoy my views.
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