Size: 69,898 square miles
Capital: Phnom Penh
Currency: Riel, United States Dollar
Weather / Climate:
Cambodia’s climate, like that of the rest of Southeast Asia, is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences.
Cambodiahas a temperature range from 21 to 35 °C (69.8 to 95 °F) and experiences tropical monsoons. Southwest monsoons blow inland bringing moisture-laden winds from the Gulf of Thailand and Indian Ocean from May to October. The northeast monsoon ushers in the dry season, which lasts from November to March. The country experiences the heaviest precipitation from September to October with the driest period occurring from January to February.
Cambodiahas two distinct seasons. The rainy season, which runs from May to October, can see temperatures drop to 22 °C (71.6 °F) and is generally accompanied with high humidity. The dry season lasts from November to April when temperatures can rise up to 40 °C (104 °F) around April. Disastrous flooding occurred in 2001 and again in 2002, with some degree of flooding almost every year.
Taken from wikipedia
Khmeror Cambodian, is the language of the Khmer people and the official language ofCambodia. It is the second most widely spoken Austroasiatic language (after Vietnamese), with speakers in the tens of millions. Khmer has been considerably influenced by Sanskrit and Pali, especially in the royal and religious registers, through the vehicles of Hinduism and Buddhism. It is also the earliest recorded and earliest written language of the Mon–Khmer family, predatingMon and by a significant margin Vietnamese. The Khmer language has influenced, and also been influenced by, Thai, Lao, Vietnamese and Cham, all of which, due to geographical proximity and long-term cultural contact, form a sprachbund in peninsular Southeast Asia.
The Khmer language is written with an abugida known in Khmer as âksâr khmêr. Khmer differs from neighboring languages such as Thai, Lao and Vietnamese in that it is not a tonal language.
The main dialects, all mutually intelligible, are:
Battambang, spoken in northern Cambodia.
Phnom Penh, the capital dialect and is also spoken in surrounding provinces.
Northern Khmer, also known as Khmer Surin, spoken by ethnic Khmer native to Northeast Thailand
Khmer Kromor Southern Khmer, spoken by the indigenous Khmer population of the Mekong Delta.
Cardamom Khmer, an archaic form spoken by a small population in the Cardamom Mountains of western Cambodia and eastern Central Thailand
As of 2010, Cambodia has an estimated population of 14,805,358 people. Ninety percent of Cambodia’s population is of Khmer origin and speak the Khmer language, the country’s official language. Cambodia’s population is relatively homogeneous. Its minority groups includeVietnamese (2,800,000), Chinese (1,180,000), Cham (317,000), and Khmer Loeu (550,000).The country’s birth rate is 25.4 per 1,000. Its population growth rate is 1.70%, significantly higher than those of Thailand, South Korea, and India.
The Khmer language is a member of the Mon–Khmer subfamily of the Austroasiatic languagegroup. French, once the language of government in Indochina, is still spoken by many older Cambodians. French is also the language of instruction in some schools and universities that are funded by the government of France. Cambodian French, a remnant of the country’s colonial past, is a dialect found in Cambodia and is sometimes used in government, particularly in court.
In recent decades, many younger Cambodians and those in the business-class have favoured learning English. In the major cities and tourist centers, English is widely spoken and taught at a large number of schools because of the overwhelming number of tourists from English-speaking countries. Even in the most rural outposts, most young people speak at least some English, as it is often taught by monks at the local pagodas where many children are educated.
The civil war and its aftermath have markedly affected the Cambodian population; 50% of the population is younger than 22 years old. At a 1.04 female to male ratio, Cambodia has the most female-biased sex ratio in the Greater Mekong Subregion. In the Cambodian population over 65, the female to male ratio is 1.6:1.
The food of Cambodia includes tropical fruits, rice, noodles, drinks, dessert and various soups.
The staple food for Cambodians is rice. Almost every meal includes a bowl of rice, although noodles are also popular. A wide range of curries, soups and stir fries are served with rice. Many rice varieties are available in Cambodia, including aromatic rice and glutinous or sticky rice. The latter is more commonly found in desserts with fruits like durian.
Khmer Cuisine shares much in common with the food of neighbouring Thailand, although it is generally not as spicy; and Vietnam, with whom it shares and adopts many common dishes and a colonial history, both being part of the French colonial empire in Southeast Asia. It has also drawn upon influences from the cuisines of China and France, both of whom are powerful players in Cambodian history. Curry dishes, known as kari (in Khmer, ????) show a trace of cultural influence from India. The many variations of rice noodles show the influences from Chinese cuisine.Preserved lemons are another unusual ingredient not commonly found in the cooking of Cambodia’s neighbours, which is used in some Khmer dishes. Coconut milk is the main ingredient of many Khmer curries and desserts.
A legacy of the French is the baguette, which the Cambodians often eat with pâté, tinned sardines or eggs. One of these with a cup of strong coffee, sweetened with condensed milk, is an example of a common Cambodian breakfast.
Typically, Cambodians eat their meals with at least three or four separate dishes. A meal will usually include a soup, or samlor, served alongside the main courses. Each individual dish will be either sweet, sour, salty or bitter. Chili is served on the side, and left up to individual diners and to their taste. In this way Cambodians ensure that they get a bit of every flavor to satisfy their palates.
Several cooking courses are now run in popular tourist areas, giving visitors the chance to share the culinary secret of the Khmers.
A common ingredient, almost a national institution, is a pungent type of fermentedfish paste used in many dishes, a distinctive flavoring known as prahok . It’s an acquired taste for mostWesterners, but is an integral part of Khmer cuisine and is included in many dishes or used as a dipping sauce. The liberal use of prahok, which adds a salty tang to many dishes, is a characteristic which distinguishes Khmer cuisine from that of its neighbours. Prahok can be prepared many ways and eaten as a dish on its own right. Prahok jien is fried and usually mixed with meat (usually beef or pork) and chilli. It can also be eaten with dips, vegetables like cucumbers or eggplants, and rice. Prahok gop or Prahok is covered with banana leaves and left to cook under a fire under pieces of rock or over the coals.
When prahok is not used, kap? , a kind of fermented shrimp paste is used instead. Khmer cuisine also uses fish sauce widely in soups and stir-fried dishes, and as a dipping sauce.
The Cambodian herb and spice base paste Kroeung.
Unknown in Asia prior to the 16th century, the chili pepper arrived with the Portuguese. More years still passed before the chili pepper reached Cambodia, and to this day it lacks a certain status in Khmer cooking and is not extensively used, unlike neighbouring Thailand, Laos orMalaysia. Black pepper is the preferred choice when heat is required in a dish. Tamarind is commonly employed as a soup base for dishes such as samlar machu. Star anise is a must when caramelizing meat in palm sugar like pork in the dish known as pak lov. Turmeric, galangal,ginger, lemongrass and kaffir lime leaves are essential spices in Khmer cooking, Khmer stews, and nearly all curries.
As the country has an extensive network of waterways, freshwater fish plays a large part in the diet of most Cambodians, making its way into many recipes. Daily fresh catches come from theMekong River, Bassac River and the vast Tonlé Sap. While freshwater fish is the most commonly-used meat in the Cambodian diet, pork and chicken are also popular. Though not as common as in neighboring Vietnam, vegetarian food is still a part of Khmer cuisine and often favored by more observant Buddhists.
From India, by way of Java, Cambodians have been taught the art of blending spices into a paste using many ingredients like cardamom, star anise, cloves, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger andturmeric. Other native ingredients like lemongrass, galangal, garlic, shallots, cilantro, and kaffir lime leaves are added to this mix to make a distinctive and complex spice blend called “kroeung.” Other ingredients for kroeung used by Khmers in America are lemongrass, turmeric powder, garlic, prahok, and lemon leaf. This is an important aromatic paste commonly used in Cambodian cooking.
Many vegetables used in Khmer cuisine are also used in Chinese cuisine. Unusual vegetables such as winter melon, bitter melon, luffa, and yardlong beans can be found in soups and stews. Oriental squash can be stewed, stir fried or sweetened and steamed with coconut milk as a dessert. Vegetables like mushrooms, cabbage, baby corn, bamboo shoots, fresh ginger, Chinese broccoli, snow peas, and bok choy are commonly used in many different stir fry dishes. Together these are known by the generic term chha . Banana blossoms are sliced and added to some noodle dishes like nom banh chok.
Fruits in Cambodia are so popular that they have their own royal court. The durian is considered the “king,” the mangosteen the “queen,” sapodilla the “prince” and the milk fruit (phlai teuk doh ko) the “princess.” Other popular fruits include: the jan fruit, kuy fruit, romduol, pineapple, star apple, rose apple, coconut, palmyra fruit, jackfruit, papaya, watermelon, banana, mango andrambutans. Although fruits are usually considered desserts, some fruits such as ripe mangoes,watermelon, and pineapples are eaten commonly with heavily salted fish with plain rice. Fruits are also made into beverages called tuk kolok mostly shakes. Popular fruits for shakes are durian,mangoes, bananas.
Fish is the most common form of meat in Khmer cuisine. Dried salted fish known as trei ngeatare a favourite with plain rice porridge. The popular Khmer dish called amok uses a kind of catfish steamed in a savoury coconut-based curry. Pork is quite popular in making sweet Khmer sausages known as twah ko. Beef and chicken are stewed, grilled or stir fried. Seafood includes an array of shellfish like clams, cockles, crayfish, shrimp and squid. Lobsters are not commonly eaten because of their price, but middle class and rich Cambodians enjoy eating them atSihanoukville. Duck roasted in Chinese char siu style is popular during festivals. More unusual varieties of meat include frog, turtle, and various arthropods like tarantulas; these would be difficult to find in Khmer cuisine abroad, but are used in everyday dishes in Cambodia.
While many elements of Cambodian noodle dishes were inspired by Chinese and Vietnamese cooking, a strictly Khmer noodle is noum prajok. Noum prajok is a distinct thin round rice noodle served with fresh vegetables and a choice of Khmer curry (red) or somla brahay (green soup with the main ingredient being fish, lemon grass, prahok, galanga, tumeric, garlic). (source is wong/inaccurate) Rice stick noodles are used in Mee Katang, which is a Cambodian variation ofch?o f?n with gravy. Unlike the Chinese styled ch?o f?n, the noodles are plated under the stir fry beef and vegetables and topped off with scrambled eggs. Burmese style noodles (Mee Kola) is a vegetarian dish made from thin rice stick noodles, steamed and cooked with soy sauce and garlic chives. This is served with pickled vegetables Jroak julienned eggs, and sweet garlic fish saucegarnished with crushed peanuts. Mi Cha is stir fried egg noodles.
- Amok trey– Fish covered with kroeung and coconut milk, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed.
- Ansom chek– A cylindrical rice cake wrapped in banana leaves and filled with bananas (sweet). There is also a savoury version filled with pork and mung bean paste called ansom chrook .
- Babar– A type of congee or rice porridge, plain or usually with chicken or pork served with fresh bean sprouts and green onions. (Babar Praey – salted Congee)
- Bai cha– A Khmer variation of fried rice which includes Chinese sausages, garlic, soy sauce, and herbs, usually eaten with pork.
- Banh chiao– The Khmer version of the Vietnamese dish bánh xèo.
- Ban hoaw– Steamed rice vermicelli noodles with mint, crushed peanuts, pickled vegetables, and deep fried egg rolls, cut into bite sized pieces, lathered in sweet fish sauce.
- Bok L’hong– Khmer green papaya salad, pounded in a mortar and pestle. Related to LaotianTam mak hoong, the salad may include the herb kantrop, asian basil, string beans, roasted peanuts, cherry tomatoes, salted preserved small crabs, smoked or dried fish, and chili peppers. Mixed with a savory dressing of lime juice, fish sauce and/or prahok.
- Caw– A braised pork or chicken and egg stew flavored in caramelized palm sugar. It may contain tofu or bamboo shoots. A typical Khmer Krom dish, who are ethnic Khmer indigenous to southern Vietnam, this dish is similar to the Vietnamese dish of Th?t Kho and the Filipino dish called Humba.
- Cha knyey– A spicy dish of meat stir fried with julienne ginger root, black pepper, and freshjalapeños or fresh peppers.
- Jroak sway– Unripe julienned mango salad flavored with fish sauce and peppers. Usually served as a side dish with fried or baked fish and rice.
- Ka tieu – This traditional pork broth based noodle soup dish is a popular dish in Cambodia. It is served with the garnishes of fresh bean sprouts, chopped green onions and cilantro.
- Kralan– A cake made from steamed rice mixed with beans or peas, grated coconut and coconut milk.
- Loc Lac– Stir fried cubed beef served with fresh red onions, served on a bed of lettuce, cucumbers, and tomatoes and dipped in a sauce consisting of lime juiceand/or black pepper. It is the Cambodian version of the Vietnamese Bò lúc l?c.
- Lou– Cambodian thick short noodles, with added eggs and chicken, eaten mainly with fish sauce.
- Mee Katang– Wide rice noodles in an oyster sauce typically stir fried with eggs, baby corn, carrots, Chinese broccoli, mushrooms and a choice of meat, usually beef. This dish is similar to the Thai dish Rad Na.
- Mee M’poang– crispy yellow noodles served under a gravy sauce of eggs, carrots, Chinese broccoli, bok choy and a meat.
- Ngam nguv– A chicken soup flavored with whole preserved lemons.
- Num Yip– yellow star like dessert made of egg yolk, flour, and sugar.
- Pleah– Partially cooked beef salad with beef tripe, flavored with prahok and tossed with onions and fresh herbs.
- Samlor kari– A traditional spicy coconut chicken curry with a soupy consistency, often cooked with sweet potatoes, juliennedonion, and bamboo shoot. The soup is also used as a dipping sauce for fresh baguettes.
- Samlor machu– A popular sour soup with a tamarind base. Includes meat such as chicken or fish, tomatoes, lotus roots, water greens, herbs and may be flavored with prahok. It is derived from the Vietnamese sour soup canh chua.
- Sankya Lapov – A dessert made of pumpkin and coconut flan.
- Yaohonor yaohon – A Khmer-style hot pot for dipping beef, shrimp, spinach, dill, napa cabbage, rice noodles and mushrooms. It is similar to the Japanese sukiyaki, however, it is derived from Chinese hot pot.
- Num Ppang Chen(literally Chinese Bread): Spring onion bread often referred as Chinese pizza. It combines Chineses and French styles foods. It is flat and bake and fry simultaneously rather than simply being fry like its Chinese counterpart.
Taken from wikipedia
In 2011 Cambodia’s per capita income in PPP is $2,470 and $1,040 in nominal per capita. Cambodia’s per capita income is rapidly increasing but is low compared to 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. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines. These varieties had been collected in the 1960s.
Based on the Economist, IMF: Annual average GDP growth for the period 2001–2010 was 7.7% making it one of the world’s top ten countries with the highest annual average GDP growth. Tourism was Cambodia’s fastest growing industry, with arrivals increasing from 219,000 in 1997 to over 2 million in 2007. In 2004, inflation was at 1.7% and exports at $1.6 billion US$.
Chinais Cambodia’s biggest source of foreign direct investment. China planned to spend $8 billion in 360 projects in the first seven months of 2011. It is also the largest source of foreign aid, providing about $600 million in 2007 and $260 million in 2008.
The National Bank of Cambodia is the central bank of the kingdom and provides regulatory oversight to the country’s banking sector and is responsible in part for increasing the foreign direct investment in the country. Between 2010 and 2012 the number of regulated banks and micro-finance institutions increased from 31 covered entities to over 70 individual institutions underlining the growth within the Cambodian banking and finance sector.
In 2012 Credit Bureau Cambodia was established with direct regulatory oversight by the National Bank of Cambodia. The Credit Bureau further increases the transparency and stability within the Cambodian Banking Sector as all banks and micro-finance companies are now required by law to report accurate facts and figures relating to loan performance in the country.
One of the largest challenges facing Cambodia is still the fact that the older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant aid from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004, while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance.
The tourism industry is the country’s second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south west which has several popular beach resorts and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station. Tourism has increased steadily each year in the relatively stable period since the 1993 UNTAC elections; in 1993 there were 118,183 international tourists, and in 2009 there were 2,161,577 international tourists.
Taken from wikipedia
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