Cambodia /  hotels

Overview

Cambodia

The Kingdom of Cambodia, formerly Kampuchea, is a Southeast Asian nation that borders Thailand, Laos, Vietnam, and the Gulf of Thailand. The capital city is Phnom Penh.

Situated in the southwest of the Indochinese peninsula, Cambodia occupies a total area of 181,035 square kilometers and borders Thailand to the west and northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and Gulf of Thailand to the southwest.
Cambodia’s geographic coordinates are 13 00 N, 105 00 E. Cambodia’s terrain consists mainly of low plains, with mountains to the southwest and north. Two dominant physical features of Cambodia are the Mekong river, which runs from north to south of the country, and the Tonlé Sap Lake. Natural resources include oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates, hydropower potential.

It's population

Cambodia’s population is approximately 14 million. Ninety per cent of residents are Khmer; the rest are Cham (Khmer Muslim), Chinese, Vietnamese, Indian, Thai, Phnorng, Kuoy, Stieng, Tamil, etc. Population density is 78/ km2.

Climate

Like most of Southeast Asia, Cambodia’s climate is hot and warm almost all year round. The climate is dominated by the annual monsoon cycle of rainy and dry seasons. The rainy season lasts from May to October, and the dry season from November to April. December to January are the coolest months, while the hottest period is in April. The average temperature is around 27-28ºC.

National flower

The romduol, a small yellowish-white flower, is the national flower of the Kingdom of Cambodia. Since ancient times, Cambodian women have often been compared to the Romduol flower because of its attractive fragrance; a unique scent that is prominent in the late afternoon and can travel over long distances with the wind. With its sturdy stems that measure up to 30cm, the Romduol plant can grow to a height of 12 meters. These plants are being planted to enhance public parks.

Language

Khmer is the official language of Cambodia. The Cambodian language is derived from the Mon-Khmer (Austro-Asiatic) language family. Khmer is renowned for possessing one of the largest sets of alphabets; it consists of 33 consonants, 23 vowels and 12 independent vowels. While tourists may wish to learn a few spoken phrases before or when visiting Cambodia, English is widely spoken and understood. French and Mandarin are also spoken frequently in the country; most elderly Cambodians speak French and many people in the Khmer-Chinese population speak Mandarin.

Customs and Tradition

Cambodian culture and tradition have had a rich varied history dating back many centuries. Over the years, the people of Cambodia developed a set of unique tradition from the syncretism of indigenous Buddhism and Hinduism. Cambodians have been raised to respect their culture and are very traditional in their way of life. Tourists will see the well mannered Cambodian expressing a friendly “Chumreap Suor” when they meet one.

Chumreap Suor

Cambodians traditionally greet with a Sampeah, which involves pressing the palms together before the chest with a slight bow and greeting with a polite ‘Chumreap Suor’. Customarily, the higher the hands are held and the lower the bow, the more respect is conveyed. Except when meeting elderly people or government officials, between men, this custom has been partially replaced by the handshake. Women usually greet both men and women with the same traditional greeting. Although it may be considered acceptable for foreigners to shake hands with a Cambodian, it is more appropriate to respect the custom and respond with a ‘Chumreap Suor’.

Traditional Dances

There are many classical dance forms in Cambodia, of which a highly stylized art form was once confined mainly to the courts of the royal palace and performed mainly by females. Known formally in Khmer as Robam Apsara, the dancers of this classical form are often referred to as Apsara dancers. This dance form was first introduced to foreign countries and best known during the 1960s as the Khmer Royal Ballet. The first royal ballerina was Princess Norodom Bopha Devi, a daughter of King Norodom Sihanouk. The Apsara Dance is particularly inspired by the style from around more than a thousand Apsara carvings in the Angkor temple complex. As evidenced in part by these Apsaras (celestial dancers), dance has been part of the Khmer culture for more than a millennium. A visit to Cambodia is only complete when one has attended at least one such traditional dance performance.

Travel Guide

Cambodia Travel Guide

Nomadic Matt

http://www.nomadicmatt.com/travel-guides/cambodia-travel-tips/

Images

A Selection of our Hotels in Cambodia

Navutu Dreams Resort & Wellness Retreat

Siem Reap, Cambodia

A new concept of luxury boutique town accommodation in Siem Reap.

Rates : on request