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Thursday 23rd November
Cambodia Information - Page 1
Geography
The Kingdom of Cambodia is in Southeast Asia. It is bordered by Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand.

Phnom Penh is the capital city.

Cambodia is mainly low-lying, with flat plains; mountain ranges are the Cardamom Mountains and the Dangrek Mountains. The Mekong is the main river in Cambodia.

The climate is tropical with a wet season from May to October.

Environment
The Mekong River, the largest river in Southeast Asia, flows across Cambodia, from the north of the country to the south. The Tonle Sap or Great Lake is formed by the Mekong River.

Over half of Cambodia is covered with forests but the practice of illegal logging has been a cause for concern. The Ministry of Agriculture Forestry and Fisheries and the Ministry of Environment, aided by international bodies, have taken steps to prevent the destruction of the country's forests. In 2002 the government placed a large area of the Cardamom Mountains under legal protection.

In 1993 twenty-three areas, including seven National Parks, came under government protection. Rare and endangered animal species living in Cambodia include the Asian elephant and the Indo-Chinese tiger.

Architecture
Traditional architecture of the Khmer includes the stilt house, built with a wooden frame and a steep thatched roof overhanging the walls. These stilt houses are up to three metres off the ground to protect against floods, while providing shelter for the family's domestic animals below the house.

Cambodia's wooden architecture has perished with time but the country has one of the most important Archaeological Parks in Southeast Asia. Angkor Wat and the other temples of Angkor date from the Khmer Empire (ninth to fifteenth century). The Park covers four hundred square kilometres and includes the Hindu Temple of Angkor Wat and the Buddhist Bayon Temple.

Population
The population of Cambodia was estimated at 14,241,640 in 2008.

Languages
Khmer is the official language.

Religion
The majority of the people in Cambodia are Buddhists. There is still a following in the animist religion which believes that there is a spirit in everything.

Food
Rice and fish are the staple foods in Cambodia. Fish is dried and salted and fish paste is used in recipes. Herbs and spices used are coriander, ginger, lemon grass, mint and hot peppers.

Meals include soups, curries, fried fish, stir fried vegetables and noodles. Families keep chickens, pigs and cattle; produce from the animals is used to supplement the diet.

Desserts include cakes and puddings. Some recipes use tropical fruits such as bananas, mangoes, oranges, papayas and pineapples.

Tea is a popular drink and fermented palm juice is the local alcoholic drink.

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