Welcome to Cambodia - the Kingdom of Wonder - located in the heart mainland of South East Asia, the country has so much to offer in terms of cultural heritages particularly the World's famous temple of Angkor Wat fascinates millions of tourists from all over the world. Not only Angkor temples but also there are many miracles of things to discover as well as hill tribes, untamed wild landscapes, unspoiled beaches and beautiful islands surrounded by crystal clear waters and warm friendly people who are always welcoming to all visitors.
Start/End: Siem Reap /Siem Reap $
Start: Phnom Penh/End: Siem Reap $
Start/End: Phnom Penh /Phnom Penh $
Start/End: Siem Reap $
Phnom Penh - Kratie - Mondulkiri - Ratanakiri - Preah Vihear - Battambong - Siem Reap $
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Motto: Nation – Religion – King
Country Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
Land Area: 181,035 sq km (69,898 sq miles)
Capital: Phnom Penh
Population: 14, 131, 858 million (2007 estimate)
Density: 80 persons/ Sq Km /207 persons/ Sq mile (2007 estimate)
Ethnic Groups: Khmer (~95%), ethnic-Chinese, ethnic-Vietnamese, Cham, several ethnic minority groups, most located in the northeastern section of the country (groups include: Kuy, Mnong, Stieng, Brao, Tampuan, Pear, Jarai, Radee, Brao, Krung and Kavet.)
Major religion: Theravada Buddhism 85%, Indigenous beliefs 4%, Muslim 2%, Nonreligious 2%, and other 7% Christianity, Animism
Major language: Khmer, secondarily English, and French
Life expectancy: 57.7 years for male, and 61.7 years for female (2007 estimate)
Infant mortality rate: 67 deaths/ 1000 live births
Literacy rate: Female 62.5%, Male 81% (2005 estimate)
Number of years of compulsory schooling: 6 years (1997)
Number of students per teacher, primary school: 56 students per teacher (2002- 2003)
Form of government: Constitutional Monarchy
Climate: Tropical monsoon with 2 main seasons – dry season (Oct-May), and Rainy Season (June-Sept)
Terrain: Mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Currency: Riel (US$1=4000riels)
Time: GMT +7 hours
Country Calling Code: 855
Internet domain: .kh
Business Hours: 7:30-12:00 / 2:00-5:00 Closed Saturday afternoon and Sunday
Cambodia came into being, so the story goes, through the union of a princess and a foreigner. The foreigner was an Indian Brahman named Kaundinya and the princess was the daughter of a dragon king who ruled over a watery land. One day, as Kaundinya sailed by the princess paddled out in a boat to greet him. Kaundinya shot an arrow from his magic bow into her boat, causing the fearful princess to agree to the marriage. In need of a dowry, her father drank up the waters of his land and presented them to Kaundinya to rule over. The new kingdom was named Kambuja.
Like many legends, this one is historically opaque, but it does say something about the cultural forces that brought Cambodia into existence; in particular its relationship with its great subcontinental neighbors, India. Cambodia’s religious, royal and written traditions stemmed from India and began to coalesce as a cultural entity in their own right between the 1st and 5th centuries.
Very little is known about prehistoric Cambodia. Much of the south-east was a vast, shallow gulf that was progressively silted up by the mouths of the Mekong, leaving pancake-flat, mineral-rich land ideal for farming, Evidence of cave-dwellers has been found in the northwest of Cambodia. Carbon dating on ceramic pots found in the area shows that they were mane around 4200 BC, but it is hard to say whether there is a direct relationship between these cave-dwelling pot makers and contemporary Khmers. Examinations of bones dating back to around 1500 BC, however, suggest that the people living in Cambodia at that time resembled the Cambodians of today, Early Chinese records report that the Cambodians were ‘ugly’ and ‘dark’ and went about naked; but a pinch of salt is always required when reading the culturally chauvinistic reports of imperial China concerning its ‘barbarian’ neighbors.
The early Indianisation of Cambodia occurred via trading settlements that sprang up from the 1st century on the coastline of what is now southern Vietnam, but was then inhabited by Cambodians. These settlements were ports of call for boats following the trading route from the Bay of Bengal to the southern provinces of China. The largest of these nascent kingdoms was known as Funan by the Chinese and may have existed across an area between Ba Phnom in Prey Veng Province, a site only worth visiting for the archaeologically obsessed today, and Oc-Eo in Kien Giang Province in southern Vietnam. It would have been a contemporary of Champasak in southern Laos (then known as Kuruksetra) and other lesser fiefdoms in the region.
Funan is a Chinese name, and it may be a transliteration of the ancient Khmer word bnan (mountain). Although very little is known about Funan, much has been made of its importance as an early Southeast Asian center of power.
It is most likely that between the 1st and 8th centuries, Cambodia was a collection of small states, each with its own elites that often strategically intermarried and often went to war with one another. Funan was no doubt one of these states, and as a major seaport would have been pivotal in the transmission of Indian culture into the interior of Cambodia.
What historians do know about Funan they have mostly gleaned from Chinese sources. These report that Funan-period Cambodia (1st to 6th centuries AD) embraces the worship of the Hindu deities Shiva and Vishnu and, at the same time, Buddhism. The linga (phallic totem) appears to have been the focus of ritual and an emblem of kingly might, a feature that was to evolve further in the Angkorian cult of the god-king. The people practiced primitive irrigation, which enabled the cultivation of rice, and traded raw commodities such as spices with China and India.
From the 6th century, the Funan kingdom’s importance as a port of call declined, and Cambodia’s population gradually concentrated along the Mekong and Tonle Sap Rivers, where the majority remains today. The move may have been related to the development of wet-rice agriculture. From the 6th to 8th centuries it was likely that Cambodia was a collection of competing kingdoms, ruled by autocratic kings who legitimized their absolute rule through hierarchical caste concepts borrowed from India.
This era is generally referred to as the Chenla period. Again, like Funan, it is a Chinese term and there is little to support the idea that the Chenla was a unified kingdom that held sway over all of Cambodia. Indeed, the Chinese themselves referred to as ‘water Chenla’ and ‘land Chenla’. Water Chenla was located around Angkor Borei and the temple mount of Phnom Da, near the present-day provincial capital of Takeo; and land Chenla in the upper reaches of the Mekong River and east of the Tonle Sap lake, around Sambor Prei Kuk, an essential stop on a chronological jaunt through Cambodia’s history.
The people of Cambodia were well known to the Chinese, and gradually the region was becoming more cohesive. Before long the fractured kingdoms of Cambodia would merge to become the greatest empire in Southeast Asia.
A popular place of pilgrimage for Khmers today, the sacred mountain of Phnom Kulen, to the northeast of Angkor, is home to an inscription that tells us in 802 Jayavarman II proclaimed himself a ’ universal monarch’, or devaraja. It is believed that he may have resided in the Buddhist Shailendras’s court in Java as a young man. One of the first things he did when he returned to Cambodia was to reject Javanese control over the southern lands of Cambodia. Jayavarman II then set out to bring the country under his control through alliances and conquests, the first monarch to rule all of what we call Cambodia today.
Jayavarman II was the first of a long succession of kings who presided over the rise and fall of the Southeast Asian empire that was to leave the stunning legacy of Angkor. The first records of the massive irrigation works that supported the population of Angkor date to the reign of Indravarman I (877-89). His rule also marks the beginning of the Bakong. His son Yasovarman I (889-910) moved the royal court to Angkor proper, establishing a temple-mountain on the summit of Phnom Bakheng.
By the turn of the 11th century, the kingdom of Angkor was losing control of its territories. Suryavarman I (1002-49), a usurper, moved into the power vacuum and, like Jayavarman II two centuries before, reunified the kingdom through war and alliances. He annexed the Dravati kingdom of Lopburi in Thailand and widened his control of Cambodia, stretching the empire to perhaps its greatest extent. A pattern was beginning to emerge and can be seen throughout the Angkorian period: dislocation and turmoil, followed by reunification and further expansion under a powerful king. Architecturally, the most productive periods occurred after times of turmoil, indicating that newly incumbent monarchs felt the need to celebrate and perhaps legitimize their rule with massive building projects.
By 1066 Angkor was again riven by conflict, becoming the focus of rival bids for power. It was not until the accession of Suryavarman II (in 1112) that the kingdom was again unified. Suryavarman II embarked on another phase of expansion, waging wars in Vietnam and the region of central Vietnam known as Champa. He also established links with China. But Suryavaman II is immortalized as the king who, in his devotion to the Hindu deity Vishnu, commissioned the majestic temple of Angkor Wat.
Suryavarman II had brought Champa to heel and reduced it to vassal status. In 1177, however, the Chams struck back with a naval expedition up the Mekong and into Tonle Sap lake. They took the city of Angkor by surprise and put King Dharanindravarman II to death. The next year a cousin of Suryavarman II gathered forces and defeated the Chams in another naval battle. The new leader was crowned Jayavarman VII in 1181.
A devout follower of Mahayana Buddhism, Jayavarman VII built the city of Angkor Thom and many other massive monuments. Indeed, many of the monuments visited by tourists around Angkor today were constructed during Jayavarman VII’s reign. However, Jayavarman VII is a figure of many contradictions. The bas-reliefs of the Bayon depict him presiding over battles of terrible ferocity, while statues of the king show him in a meditative, otherworldly aspect. His program of temple construction and other public works was carried out in great haste, no doubt bringing enormous hardship to the laborers who provided the muscle, and thus accelerating the decline of the empire. He was partly driven by a desire to legitimize his rule, as there may have been other contenders closer to the royal bloodline, and partly by the need to introduce a new religion to a population predominantly Hindu in faith.
Some scholars maintain that decline was hovering in the wings at the time Angkor Wat was built when the Angkorian empire was at the height of its remarkable productivity. There are indications that the irrigation network was overworked and slowly starting to silt up due to the massive north deforestation that had taken place in the heavily populated areas to the north and east of Angkor. Massive construction projects such as Angkor Wat and Angkor Thom no doubt put an enormous strain on the royal coffers and on thousands of slaves and common people who subsidized them in hard work and taxes. Following the reign of Jayavarman VII, temple construction effectively ground to a halt, in large part because Jayavarman VII’s public works quarried local sandstone into oblivion and the population was exhausted.
Another important aspect of this period was the decline of Cambodian political influence on the peripheries of its empire. At the same time, the Thais were ascendant, having migrated south from Yunnan to escape Kublai Khan and his Mongol hordes. The Thais, first from Sukothai, later Ayuthaya, grew in strength and made repeated incursions into Angkor, finally sacking the city in 1431 and making off with thousands of intellectuals, artisans and dancers from the royal court. During this period, perhaps drawn by the opportunities for sea trade with China and fearful of the increasingly bellicose Thais, the Khmer elite began to migrate to the Phnom Penh area. The capital shifted several times in the 16th century but eventually settled in present-day Phnom Penh.
From 1600 until the arrival of the French in 1863, Cambodia was ruled by a series of weak kings who, because of continual challenges by dissident members of the royal family, were forced to seek the protection – granted, of course, at a price – of either Thailand or Vietnam. In the 17th century, assistance from the Nguyen lords of southern Vietnam was given on the proviso that Vietnamese be allowed to settle in what is now the Mekong Delta region of Vietnam, at that time part of Cambodia and today still referred to by the Khmers as Kampuchea Krom (Lower Cambodia).
In the west, the Thais controlled the provinces of Battambang and Siem Reap from 1794k; by the late 18th century they had firm control of the Cambodian royal family. Indeed, one king was crowned in Bangkok and placed on the throne at Udong with the help of the Thai army. That Cambodia survived through the 18th century as a distinct entity is due to the preoccupations of its neighbors: while the Thais were expending their energy and resources in fighting the Burmese, the Vietnamese were wholly absorbed by internal strife.
Cambodia’s long period of bouncing back and forth between Thai and Vietnamese masters ended in 1864 when French gunboats intimidated King Norodom I (r 1860-1904) into signing a treaty of a protectorate. French control of Cambodia, which developed as a sideshow to French-colonial interests in Vietnam, initially involved little direct interference in Cambodia’s affairs. More importantly, the French presence prevented Cambodia’s expansionist neighbors from annexing any more Khmer territory and helped keep Norodom on the throne despite the ambitions of his rebellious half-brothers.
By the 1870s French officials in Cambodia began pressing for greater control over internal affairs. In 1884, Norodom was forced into signing a treaty that turned his country into a virtual colony. This sparked a two-year rebellion that constituted the only major anti-French movement in Cambodia until after WWII. This uprising ended when the king was persuaded to call upon the rebel fighters to lay down their weapons in exchange for a return to the pre treaty arrangement.
During the next two decades senior Cambodian officials, who saw certain advantages in acquiescing to French power, opened the door to direct French control over the day-to-day administration of the country. At the same time, the French maintained Norodom’s court in a splendor unseen since the heyday of Angkor, thereby greatly enhancing the symbolic position of the monarchy. The French were able to pressure Thailand into returning the northwest provinces of Battambang, Siem Reap, and Sisophon in 1907, in return for concessions of Lao territory to the Thais, returning Angkor to Cambodia control for the first time in more than a century.
King Norodom I was successes by King Sisowath (r 1904-27), who was successes by King Monivong (r 1927-41). Upon King Monivong’s death, the French governor-general of Japanese-occupied Indochina, Admiral Jean Decoux, placed 19-year-old Prince Norodom Sihanouk on the Cambodian throne. Sihanouk would prove pliable, so the assumption went, but this proved to be a major miscalculation.
During WWII, Japanese forces occupied much of Asia, and Cambodia was no exception. However, with many in France collaborating with the occupying Germans, the Japanese were happy to let these French allies control affairs in Cambodia. The price was conceding to Thailand (a Japanese ally of sorts) much of Battambang and Siem Reap Provinces once again, areas that weren’t returned until 1947. However, with the fall of Paris in 1944 and French policy in disarray, the Japanese were forced to take direct control of the territory by early 1945. After WWII, the French returned, making Cambodia an autonomous state within the French Union, but retaining de facto control. The French deserved independence it seemed, but not its colonies. The immediate postwar years were marked by strife among the country’s various political factions, a situation made more unstable by the Franco-Viet Minh War then raging in Vietnam and Laos, which spilled over into Cambodia. The Vietnamese, as they were also to do 20 years later in the war against Lon Nol and the Americans trained and fought with bands of Khmer Issarak (Free Khmer) against the French authorities.
In late 1952 King Sihanouk dissolved the fledgling parliament, declared martial law and embarked on his ‘royal crusade’: his traveling campaign to drum up international support for his country’s independence.
Independence was proclaimed on 9 November 1953 and recognized by the Geneva Conference of May 1954, which ended French control of Indochina. In 1995, Sihanouk abdicated, afraid of being marginalized amid the pomp of royal ceremony. The ‘royal crusader’ became ‘citizen Sihanouk’. He vowed never again to return to the throne. Meanwhile, his father became king. It was a masterstroke that offered Sihanouk both royal authority and supreme political power. His newly established party, Sangkum Reastr Niyum (People’s Socialist Community Party), won every seat in parliament in the September 1955 elections and Sihanouk was to dominate Cambodian politics for next 15 years.
Although he feared the Vietnamese communists, Sihanouk considered South Vietnam and Thailand, both allies of the USA (which he mistrusted), the greatest threats to Cambodia’s security, even survival. In an attempt to fend off these many dangers, he declared Cambodia neutral in international affairs and refused to accept any further US aid, which had accounted for a substantial chunk of the country’s military budget. He also nationalized many industries, including the rice trade. In May 1965 Sihanouk convinced that the USA had been plotting against him and his family, broke diplomatic relations with Washington and tilted towards the North Vietnamese and China. In addition, he agreed to let the communists use Cambodian territory in their battle against South Vietnam and the USA.
These moves and his socialist economic policies alienated right-leaning elements in Cambodian society, including the army brass and the urban elite. At the same time, left-wing Cambodians, many of them educated abroad, deeply resented his internal policies, which did not allow for political dissent. Compounding Sihanouk’s problems was the fact that all classes were fed up with the pervasive corruption in government ranks, some of it uncomfortably close to the royal family. Although most peasants revered Sihanouk as a semidivine figure, in 1967 a rural-based rebellion broke out in Samlot, Battambang, leading him to conclude that the greatest threat to his regime came from the left. Bowing to pressure from the army, he implemented a policy of harsh repression against left-wingers.
By 1969 the conflict between the army and leftist rebels had become more serious, as the Vietnamese sought sanctuary deeper in Cambodia. Sihanouk’s political position had also greatly deteriorated – due in no small part to his obsession with film-making, which was leading him to neglect affairs of state. In March 1970, while Sihanouk was on a trip to France. General Lon Nol and Prince Sisowath Sirik Matak, Sihanouk’s cousin, deposed him as chief of state, apparently with tacit US consent. Sihanouk took up residence in Beijing, where he set up a government-in-exile nominally in control of an indigenous Cambodian revolutionary movement that Sihanouk had nicknamed the Khmer Rouge. This was a definitive moment in contemporary Cambodian history, as the Khmer Rouge exploited its partnership with Sihanouk to draw new recruits into their small organization. Many former Khmer Rouge fighters argue that they ’went to the hills’ (a euphemism for joining the Khmer Rouge) to fight for their king and knew nothing of Mao or Marxism.
Sihanouk was condemned to death in absentia, an excessive move on the part of the new government that effectively ruled out any chance for compromise over the next five years. Lon Nol gave communist Vietnamese forces an ultimatum to withdraw their forces within one week, which amounted to a virtual declaration of war, as no communists wanted to return to the homeland to face the Americans.
On 30 April 1970, US and South Vietnamese forces invaded Cambodia in an effort to flush out thousands of Viet Cong and North Vietnamese troops who were using Cambodian bases in their war to overthrow the South Vietnamese government. As a result of the invasion, the Vietnamese communists withdrew deeper into Cambodia, thus posing an even greater threat to the Lon Nol government. Cambodia’s tiny army never stood a chance and within the space of a few months, Vietnamese forces and their Khmer Rouge allies controlled almost half the country. The ultimate humiliation came in July 1970 when the Vietnamese seized the temples of Angkor.
In 1969 the USA had begun a secret programmed for bombing suspected communists base camps in Cambodia. For the next years, until bombing was halted by the US Congress in August 1973, huge areas of the eastern half of the country were carpet-bombed by US B-52s, killing what is believed to be many thousands of civilians and turning hundreds of thousands more into refugees. Some historians believe the bombing campaign may have killed as many as 250,000 Cambodians. Undoubtedly, the bombing campaign helped the Khmer Rouge in their recruitment drive, as more and more peasants were losing family members to the aerial assaults. While the final, heaviest bombing in the first half of 1973 may have saved Phnom Penh from a premature fall, its ferocity also helped to harden the attitude of many Khmer Rouge cadres and may have contributed to the later brutality of the regime.
Savage fighting engulfed the country, bringing misery to millions of Cambodians; many fled rural areas for the relative safety of Phnom Penh and provincial capitals. Between 1970 and 1975 several hundred thousand people died in the fighting. During these years the Khmer Rouge came to play a dominant role in trying to overthrow the Lon Nol regime, strengthened by the support of the Vietnamese, although the Khmer Rouge leadership would vehemently deny this from 1975 onwards.
The leadership of the Khmer Rouge, including Paris-educated Pol Pot and Ieng Sary, had fled into the countryside in the 1960s to escape the summary justice then being meted out to suspected leftists by Sihanouk’s security forces. They consolidated control over the movement and began to move against opponents before they took Phnom Penh. Many of the Vietnamese-trained Cambodian communists who had been based in Hanoi since the 1954 Geneva Accords returned town the Ho Chi Minh Trail to join the Khmer Rouge in 1970. Many were dead by 1975, execute on orders of the anti-Vietnamese Pol Pot faction. Likewise, many moderate Sihanouk supporters who had joined the Khmer Rouge as a show of loyalty to their fallen rather than a show of ideology to the radicals were victims of purges before the regime took power. This set a precedent for internal purges and mass executions that were to eventually bring the downfall of the Khmer Rouge.
It didn’t take long for the Lon Nol government to become very unpopular as a result of unprecedented greed and corruption in its ranks. As the USA bankrolled the war, government and military personnel found lucrative means to make a fortune, such as inventing ‘phantom soldiers’ and pocketing their pay, or selling weapons to the enemy. Lon Nol was widely perceived as an ineffectual leader, obsessed by superstition, fortune tellers and mystical crusades. This perception increased with his stroke in March 1971 and for the next four years, his grip on reality seemed to weaken as his corrupt brother Lon Nol’s power grew.
Upon taking Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge implemented one of the most radical and brutal restructurings of a society ever attempted; its goal was to transform Cambodia into a Maoist, peasant-dominated agrarian cooperative. Within days of the Khmer Rouge coming to power the entire population of the capital city and provincial towns, including the sick, elderly and infirm, was forced to march out to the countryside and undertake slave labor in mobile work teams for 12 to 15 hours a day. Disobedience of any sort often brought immediate execution. The advent of Khmer Rouge rule was proclaimed Year Zero. The currency was abolished and postal services were halted. Except for one fortnightly flight to Beijing (China was providing aid and advisers to the Khmer Rouge), the country was cut off from the outside world.
In the eyes of Pol Pot; the Khmer Rouge was not a unified movement, but a series of factions that needed to be cleansed. This process had begun previously with attacks on Vietnamese-trained Khmer Rouge and Sihanouk’s supporters, but Pol Pot’s initial fury upon seizing power was directed against the enemies of the former regime. All of the senior government and military figures who had been associated with Lon Nol were executed within days of the takeover. Then the center shifted its attention to the outer regions, which had been separated into geographic zones. The loyalist Southwestern Zone forces under the control of one-legged general Ta Mok were sent into region after region to purify the population, and thousands perished.
The cleansing reached grotesque heights in the final and bloodiest purge against the powerful and independent Eastern Zone. Generally considered more moderate than other Khmer Rouge factions (although ‘moderate’ is relative in a Khmer Rouge context), the Eastern Zone was closer to Vietnam. The Pol Pot faction consolidated the rest of the country before moving against the east from 1977 onwards. Hundreds of leaders were executed before the open rebellion broke out and set the scene for civil war in the east. Many Eastern Zone leaders fled to Vietnam, forming the nucleus of the government Zone leaders fled to Vietnam, forming the nucleus of the government installed by the Vietnamese in January 1979. The people were defenseless and distrusted – ‘Cambodian bodies with Vietnamese minds’ or ‘ducks’ arses with chicken’s heads’ and were deported to the northwest with new, blue karma (scarves). Had it not been for the Vietnamese invasion, all would have perishes, as the blue Krama was a secret party sign indicating an eastern enemy of the revolution.
It is still not known exactly how many Cambodians died at the hands of the Khmer Rouge during the years, eight months and 21 days of their rule. Vietnamese claimed three million deaths, while foreign experts long considered the number closer to one million. In early 1996, Yale University researchers undertaking ongoing investigations estimated that the figure was around two million.
Hundreds of thousands of people were executed by the Khmer Rouge leadership, while hundreds of thousands more died of famine and disease. Meals consisted of little more than watery rice porridge twice a day, meant to sustain men, women, and children through a back-breaking day in the field. Disease stalked the work camps, malaria and dysentery striking down whole families; death was a relief for many from the horrors of life. Some zones were better than others, some leaders fairer than others, but life for the majority was one of unending misery and suffering.
As the center eliminated more and more moderates, Angkar (the organization) was now the only family people needed and those who did not agree were sought out and destroyed. The Khmer Rouge detached the Cambodian people from all they held dear: their families, their food, their fields, and their faith. Even the peasants who had supported the revolution could no longer maintain their support. Nobody cared for the Khmer Rouge by 1978, but nobody had an ounce of strength to do anything about it…. Except for the Vietnamese.
From 1976 to 1978, the xenophobic government in Phnom Penh instigated a series of border clashes with Vietnam and claimed the Mekong Delta, once part of the Khmer empire. Khmer Rouge incursions into Vietnamese border provinces left hundreds of Vietnamese civilians dead. On 25 December 1978 Vietnam launched a full-scale invasion of Cambodia, toppling the Pol Pot government two weeks later. As Vietnamese tanks neared Phnom Penh, the Khmer Rouge fled westward with as many civilians as it could seize, taking refuge in the jungles and mountains on both sides of the Thai border. The Vietnamese installed a new government led by several former Khmer Rouge officers, including Hun Sen, who had defected to Vietnam in 1977. The Khmer Rouge’s patrons, the Chinese communists launched a massive reprisal raid across Vietnam’s northernmost border in early 1979 in an attempt to buy their allies time. It failed, and after 17 days the Chinese withdrew, their fingers badly burnt by their Vietnamese enemies. The Vietnamese then staged a show trial in which Pol Pot and Ieng Sary were condemned to death for their genocidal acts.
The social and economic dislocation that accompanied the Vietnamese invasion – along with the destruction of rice stocks and unharvested fields by both sides (to prevent their use by the enemy) – resulted in a vastly reduced rice harvest in early 1979. The chaotic situation led to very little rice being plated in the summer of 1979. By the middle of that year, the country was suffering from widespread famine.
As hundreds of thousands of Cambodians fled to Thailand, a massive international famine relief effort, sponsored by the UN, was launched. The international community wanted to inject aid across a land bridge at Poipet, while the new Phnom Penh government wanted all supplies to come through the capital via Kompong Som (Sihanoukville) or the Mekong River. Both sides had their reasons - the new government did not want aid to fall into the hands of its Khmer Rouge enemies, while the international community didn’t believe the new government had the infrastructure to distribute the aid – and both were right.
Some agencies distributed to aid the slow way through Phnom Penh, and others set up camps in Thailand. The camps became a magnet for half of Cambodia, as many Khmers still feared the return of the Khmer Rouge or were seeking a new life overseas. The Thai military bullied and blackmailed the international community into distributing all and through their channels and used this as a cloak to rebuild the shattered Khmer Rouge forces as an effective resistance against the Vietnamese. Thailand demanded that as a condition for allowing international food aid for Khmer Rouge forces encamped in the Thai border region as well. Along with weaponry supplied by China, this international assistance was essential in enabling the Khmer Rouge to rebuild its military strength. The Khmer Rouge regrouped with food and shelter from willing donors and managed to fight on for another 20 years.
In June 1982 Sihanouk agreed, under pressure from China, to head a military and political front opposed to the Phnom Penh government. The Sihanouk-led resistance coalition brought together – on paper, at least – Funcinpec (the French acronym for the National United Front for an Independent, Neutral, Peaceful and Cooperative Cambodia), which comprised a royalist group loyal to Sihanouk; the Khmer People’s National Liberation Front, a noncommunist grouping formed by former prime minister Son Sann; and the Khmer Rouge, officially known as the Party of Democratic Kampuchea and by far the most powerful of the three. The undisputed crimes of the Khmer Rouge were conveniently overlooked to ensure a compromise to suit the great powers.
For much of the 1980s, Cambodia remained closed to the Western world save for the presence of some aid groups. Government policy was effectively under the control of the Vietnamese so Cambodia found itself very much in the Eastern-bloc camp. The economy was in tatters for much of this period, as Cambodia like Vietnam, suffered from the effects of a US-sponsored embargo.
In 1985 the Vietnamese overran all the major rebel camps inside Cambodia. Forcing the Khmer Rouge and its allies to retreat into Thailand. From that time the Khmer Rouge – and, to a limited extent, the other two factions – engaged in guerrilla warfare aimed at demoralizing its opponents. Tactics used by the Khmer Rouge included shelling government-controlled garrison towns, planting thousands of mines along roads and in rice-fields, attacking road transport, blowing up bridges, kidnapping village chiefs, and killing local administrators and school teachers. The Khmer Rouge also forced thousands of men, women, and children living in the refugee camps it controlled to work as porters, ferrying ammunition and other supplies into Cambodia across heavily mined sections of the border. The Vietnamese for their part laid the world’s longest mind field, known as K-5, stretching from the Gulf of Thailand to the Lao border, in an attempt to seal out the guerrillas. They also sent Cambodians into the forests to cut down trees on remote sections of road to prevent ambushes. Hundreds, surely thousands died of disease and from injuries sustained from land mines.
By the late 1980s the military wing of Funcinpec, the Armee Nationale Sihanoukiste, had 12,000 troops; Son Sann’s faction, plagued by internal divisions, could field some 8000 soldiers; and the Khmer Rouge’s National Army of Democratic Kampuchea was believed to have 40,000 troops. The army of the Phnom Penh government, the Kampuchean People’s Revolutionary Armed Forces, had 50,000 regular soldiers and another 100,000 men and women serving local militia forces.
Most legal holidays fall on the same dates every year. Some holidays such as Khmer New Year, Visakhaboja, Royal Ploughing Ceremony, Prachum Ben and the Water Festival follow the lunar calendar and move a few days forward or back each year. Some holidays which are not legal holidays in Cambodia such as Chinese New Year receive almost as much attention and celebration as legal holidays.
January 01, International New Year's Day
January 07, Victory Day over Genocide Day (Liberation Day)
This holiday commemorates the fall of the Khmer Rouge on January 7, 1979, and honors those lost in the genocide and who sacrificed in retaking the country. Colorful ceremonies are held at the Independence Monument (Vimean Ekareach.)
January 26, Chinese New Year
Chinese New Year is not a legal or official holiday in Cambodia but is widely celebrated anyway, primarily by those of Chinese and part Chinese descent and ethnic Vietnamese. This year the Year of the Rat will come to an end and the Year of the Ox begins. Red and yellow are the colors of the day and celebrants decorate the homes and workplaces in tune with the holiday, preparing a festive displays of offerings including red pig, drinks, fruits, cigarettes and other treats. Traditional ‘lion dancers’ can be seen performing at homes and businesses across town for several days around New Years Day. On the night of New Year’s Eve people flock to the pagodas to make offerings. Wat Phnom is one of the busiest and most popular pagodas, especially New Years Eve midnight.
February 02, Meak Bochea Day' (Magha Puja Day)
Falling on the day of the full moon of the third lunar month, Meak Bochea Day commemorates a great meeting of Buddha and monks in which there were four significant events and where Buddha gave an oration laying out the principles of his teachings. Meak Bochea is an important Buddhist holiday though it is not as conspicuously celebrated as other holidays such as Visaka Boche later in the year. The pagodas are quite active and colorful on this day
March 08, International Women's Day
April 14-16, Khmer New Year (Chaul Chhnam Thmey)
Along with Ph’chum Benh and the Water Festival, Khmer New Year is one of the most important and popular holidays of the year, generating a festive air of parties and visits to the pagoda. In the weeks leading up to the holiday children and teens play special holiday games in the streets. Come New Years eve beautiful offerings of food, drink and incense are set on palm-frawned tables in front of homes and the New Year enters at an hour designated by the lunar calendar, not necessarily at midnight. The New Year is traditionally accompanied by the practice of tossing water and powder on friends and passers-by, and though the practice is discouraged in the city, the area around Wat Phnom still sees a lot of good-natured water throwing on New Year.
May 01, International Labor Day
May 8, Visaka Bochea Day
Often referred to as ‘Buddha's birthday,’ the holiday actually takes in the birth, enlightenment and passing of Buddha. The faithful attend pagoda, make offerings and engage in kind and charitable acts and reverent behavior. A colorful, busy day at the pagodas.
May 12, Royal Ploughing Ceremony (Bonn Chroat Preah Nongkoal)
The Royal Ploughing ceremony marks the beginning of the rainy season and the planting season. In a ceremony led by the King or other high official, highly adorned sacred cows plow a sacred furrow and then are led to trays containing rice, corn, beans and other foods. Agricultural predictions are made based on the quantity and order in which the cows eat the food. Ceremonies are usually held next to the Royal Palace, in front of the National Museum.
May 13-14-15, Birthday of the King
The birthday of His Majesty Preah Bat Samdech Preah Boromoneath NORODOM SIHAMONI's.
June 01, International Children's Day
June 18, Birthday of the former Queen
The birthday of Her Majesty Samdech Preah Reach Aka Mohesey NORODOM MONINEATH SIHANOUK's.
September 18-20, Bonn Pchum Ben
Pchum Ben generates an air of spiritual reverence and holiday expectations throughout the country. Along with Khmer New Year and the Water Festival, Pchum Benh is one of the most important Khmer holidays of the year. It is a holiday to honor and care for the spirits of ancestors, said to return to earth during this period. People travel to pagodas to make offerings of food, incense, and money to help ease spirits’ burden. This is a colorful, photogenic time at the pagodas. All government offices and many businesses close for the holiday.
September 24, Constitution's Day
October 23, Paris Peace Agreement on Cambodia (No longer an official holiday.)
October 29, Coronation Day
Anniversary of the coronation of His Majesty King NORODOM SIHAMONI of Cambodia. The Palace is lighted at night and always looking its best on this holiday.
October 31, Birthday of the King Father
His Majesty King Father NORODOM SIHANOUK of Cambodia.
November 1-3, Water and Moon Festival
Bonn Om Touk, also known as the Water Festival and the Boat Race Festival, celebrates the reversing of the current in the Tonle Sap River and marks the beginning of the fishing season. Traditional long-boat races are held on the Tonle Sap River centered in front of the Royal Palace. Dozens of colorful dug-out row boats compete for prizes and honors. Fireworks and a water-borne parade of lighted barges cap events in the early evening. People and vendors pack the riverfront parks to watch the races and the whole area takes on a carnival atmosphere. The best views are from hotel balconies and restaurants such as the FCC overlooking the river.
November 09, Independence Day
Colorful ceremonies held at the Independence Monument in the morning. Fireworks on the riverfront in the evening. December 10, Human Rights Day
Please note the information below is current as of the date of publication. However, immigration procedures and travel conditions can change. Always verify such details before you travel.
Visa Condition Fees:
One passport size photo is required
Completed visa form (visa form is available at the airport & overland borders)
Passport with at least 4 months validity
In order to visit Cambodia, a visa is required for most nationalities. However, the Philippine and Malaysian, Laotians nationals do not require tourist visas for a stay up to 21 and 30 days respectively. Singaporean nationality is also exempt from the usual visa requirement.
Visa on arrival is not permitted for holders of the following passports: Afghanistan, Algeria, Bangladesh, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Saudi Arabia, Sri Lanka, and Sudan. Holders of these passports must obtain a Cambodian visa before arriving in the country. Holders of these passports are also required to hold a sponsor letter or invitation from a company, organization or travel agent and you are also advised to hold a valid return ticket.
Where to apply?
The travelers can get a Cambodian visa issued through many channels. We can classify into 2 major types as following:
1- Visa before arrival:
- Oversea Cambodian Embassies
If you choose to obtain your visa before arrival, you should contact an Embassy or a Consulate of the Kingdom of Cambodia.
The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs now offers 'e-visa' - visas available online through the Ministry's website (http://www.mfaic.gov.kh/e-visa/index.aspx). Scan of passport and passport size photo required. Payment would be done by credit card. There is a charge of US$35 for a 30-day visa (three-month validity). The process needs 3 days. Visa is issued via an e-mail. You can print it out from your computer. The Ministry recently announced that e-visa entry points now include Siem Reap International Airport, Phnom Penh International Airport, the Bavet - Moc Bai border crossing, the Poipet - Aranyaprathet border crossing and the Koh Kong - Had Lek border crossing.
2- Visa upon arrival:
Visa can be obtained at the following points of entry:
- Phnom Penh International Airport
- Siem Reap International Airport
30-day tourist visa (Type ‘T’): US$30
Tourist visas can be extended for one month, but only one time.
30-day business visa (Type ‘E’): US$35
Business visas can be renewed indefinitely, one month.
Diplomatic, Official, Courtesy and Special (Cambodian) visas are issued free of charge.
Cambodia Border Crossings:
Cambodia shares borders with neighboring countries as well, Vietnam, Thailand, and Laos.
1- With Vietnam:
- Bavet International Checkpoint, Svay Rieng Province
- Kaoam Samnor International Checkpoint, Kandal Province
- Phnom Den, Takeo
- Trapaing Sre, Kratie/ - Le Thanh, Oyadao, Rattanakiri
Note: Cambodian visas are available at the Moc Ba, Bavet and 'Chau Doc' border crossings. Vietnamese visas are not available at any overland border crossing.
2- With Thailand:
- Cham Yeam International Checkpoint, Koh Kong Province
- Poi Pet International Checkpoint, Banteay Mean Chey Province
- O’Smach International Checkpoint, Odar Mean Chey Province
- Chom Kamrieng, Oddar Mean Chey Province
- Prom, Pailin Province
- Daung' Battambang Province
Note: Cambodian visas and 30-day Thai transit visas are available at all Thai - Cambodian border crossings. Thai transit visas are free of charge. Other types of Thai visas are not available. At the Poipet and Koh Kong crossings, Cambodian immigration usually charges 1000-1200 baht for a tourist visa and 1500-1600 baht for a business visa. Unlike the rest of the country, they usually refuse dollars. At current exchange rates, the price in baht is significantly more expensive than the official prices of $30 and $35. Some people have had some success paying the official price in dollars by being politely insistent.
3 - With Laos:
Dong Kralor, Stung Treng Province
Note: Border policies are not stable. Travelers report that Cambodian visas are available at the border but Laotian visas are not available at the border.
At Asia Travel Needs we believe that a key part of your holiday is having a knowledgeable and enthusiastic guide to greet you, to introduce you to their country and to ensure you leave with both fabulous memories and a smile. A great guide has the ability to bring your holiday alive and take you to places that the guidebooks haven’t even heard of yet! By traveling with these members of the local communities, you will be unlocking otherwise closed doors. A great guide offers you a real insight into the culture of their home country; they provide more than just dates or names; they are the key to getting you ‘under the skin’ of your destination.
When traveling in remote, rural or infrequently visited areas your guide will not only ensure that you benefit from your unique experiences but that you also understand local customs and cultures, helping you to interact with local folk who will almost certainly be as interested in you as you are in them!
We pride ourselves on using only the best guides working in any region. The standard of every aspect of our holidays is constantly monitored through the provision of feedback forms provided for all clients upon their return home. All guides have been trained to the highest level and are certified and licensed within their region or country of operation.
On most of our holidays, you will change the guide at some point(s) in your journey, most commonly after a flight from one region of a country to another. You will also change guides as you cross borders between neighboring countries. This ensures that you benefit from true local knowledge and expertise at all times. With Asia Travel Needs, local means local!
Whilst we understand that you will want to take advantage of the many benefits your local guide will bring to your time in Southeast Asia, we also appreciate that you will not want to be smothered by their attendance 24/7. Because of this, the holiday itineraries on our website have varying amounts of free time included, ensuring that once introduced to the highlights by your guide, you get to explore each destination independently. After all, half the fun is discovering that most memorable little side-street cafe on your own!
Asia Travel Needs has selected many kinds of modern air-conditioned luxurious vehicles, serial from 2018 - 2000 on all sightseeing tours. Your comfort and safety are the most important to us. We ensure that all of the vehicles that we use are well maintained and always very clean.
The VIP clients, we also can arrange luxurious vehicles as well as BMW, MERCEDES, LEXUS. For remote area adventure in Cambodia, Pajero 4WD is sufficiently comfortable for adventurous visitors and your journey is proceeding smoothly.
Cambodian hotels are our specialty and passion. From budget to the most luxurious, for business travelers or holidaymakers we provide the key to the best deals in Cambodian Hotels. All Hotels listed meet our high standards and we can ensure the best rates available. Book your Cambodia hotels with our experienced advisers.
Asia Travel Needs offers tailor-made vacations and is able to come up with interesting programs for the individual traveler, family, friends, school groups, clubs, societies, associations, etc. In case you don't find an option that matches your expectations or you want to follow your own itinerary, then do not hesitate to fill out the customized form and return it to us. We’ll gladly work out a trip to meet your expectations and we’ll get back to you within 24 hours.
Cambodian cuisine, though uniquely Khmer, draws heavily on the traditions of both its Thai neighbors and Chinese residents. An oft-repeated generalization which is, nevertheless pretty accurate, likens Cambodian food to Thai food but without the spiciness. The main national staple is of course rice, but French colonial influence has dictated that the Cambodians eat more bread--generally French-style baguettes--than any other Southeast Asian country. Because of the country's incredible richness in waterways including the Mekong, Ton Le Sap, and Ton Le Bassac Rivers, not to mention the Tonlé Sap Lake, freshwater fish and prawns are especially popular--in addition to which plenty of fresh seafood is available from the Gulf of Thailand. Beef, pork, chicken, duck, and other poultry are widely available but generally more expensive than fish dishes, whilst other less well known Cambodian delicacies include locusts, field rats, snakes, and land crabs.
Soup is served as an accompaniment to almost all Cambodian meals, though it is always served with the main dishes, not before as in the West. Some of the better-known soup dishes include Somlar Machou Banle (Sour fish soup), Somlar Machou Bangkang (Sour and spicy prawn soup, akin to Thai tom yam gung), Somlar chapek (Pork soup with ginger) and Mon sngor (chicken and coriander soup). Num Banh Choc (Rice noodle and fish soup) is a common and popular Cambodian breakfast.
Other common dishes include Khao Poun (Rice noodles in a coconut-based sauce), Amok (fish with coconut milk steamed in a banana leaf), Sach Mon Chha Khnhei (stir-fried chicken with ginger), Somlar Machou Sachko (Sour beef stew) and Choeeng Chomni Chrouc Chean (Fried pork spareribs). An Sam Chruk (Pork & soybeans marinated in ginger and chili) can be delicious but packs a fairly hefty punch. Similarly watch out for Pong Tea Kon (Fertilized duck egg containing an embryo, like the Filipino balut) which is not to everybody's taste. Many dishes are served Trey, or grilled. Thus Trey Aing (Grilled fish) is available just about everywhere, as is trey Chean Neung Spey (fried fish with vegetables). By extension, Trey Mon is grilled chicken, Trey Sachko is grilled beef, and so on. Fish and meat dishes not served with noodles are generally accompanied by rice. Indispensable condiments--certainly as far as the Cambodians are concerned--are Prahoc (fish sauce just like Thai Nam Pla and Vietnamese Nuoc Mam) and Tuk Trey (fish sauce with the ground, roasted peanuts added).
Travelers upcountry will generally find themselves limited to Cambodian cuisine or to the fairly ubiquitous baguette and paté. In towns of any size--all provincial capitals, for example--Chinese food is widely available, generally reflecting the southern coastal origin of most of Cambodia's Overseas Chinese migrants. Expect, therefore, Cantonese, Hokkien, Teochou and Hailam fare, but don't waste your time looking for Szechuan or Yunnanese cuisine. In the west of the country, notably at Poipet, Sisophon, Battambang and Siem Reap, Thai cuisine is widespread. Similarly in the east, at Kampot, Takeo, Kompong Cham, and Svay Rieng, Vietnamese culinary influence is common. Sihanoukville excels at seafood cooked in every conceivable way and also has a fast-growing smattering of Western food outlets--French, Italian, British, German and Australian.
Phnom Penh has, naturally enough, the widest range of restaurants in the city. Here the visitor can find everything listed above as well as Greek, Turkish, North Indian, South Indian, Malay and-increasingly--'Fast Food' restaurants. The capital also serves some of the best French food available in Indochina, as well as some unexpected colonial hangovers from the Middle East and North Africa, notably couscous and merguez spicy Moroccan sausage. Pizza is increasingly popular, but the 'Pizza Hut' restaurant near the Cambodia-Vietnam Friendship Monument is, at the time of writing, a copycat operation.
There is an abundance of fruit in Cambodia. In the appropriate seasons--especially towards the end of the hot season in May--the markets overflow with a wide variety of exotic fruits. There's fruit to be had the year-round, though, and it's generally both reasonably priced and (if carefully washed) healthy and safe. Amongst the most popular and widespread fruits are mango, coconut, rambutan, durian, mangosteen, starfruit, pineapple, watermelon and a wide variety of bananas.
It's always best to drink bottled water in Cambodia. The traveler should also beware of ice of unknown provenance, particularly upcountry or at street stalls. Soft drinks like cola and lemonade manufactured by internationally known companies are available everywhere, as is canned and bottled beer. International beers to look for are Carlsberg, Heineken, Tiger, ABC, Victoria Bitter, Fosters, San Miguel and Singha; local brands include Angkor, Angkor Stout, and Bayon. Draft Angkor is available in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville, and Siem Reap. Imported wine--shades of Cambodia's colonial past--is similarly available in major towns, whilst domestic varieties promising strength and virility are widespread. Caution should be exercised with fresh fruit juices and sugar cane juice, but cartons and cans of fruit juice, milk, and drinking yogurt are available on supermarket shelves in the capital and at Sihanoukville. Coffee--often very good--and tea are generally available throughout the country.
Our goal is to offer the best travel experience at the keenest price.
At Asia Travel Needs we aim to offer that elusive combination of the highest-quality travel experiences at the most competitive price possible. We don’t cut corners to keep our prices artificially low. We don’t arrange only the cheapest possible rooms in a hotel. And we certainly don’t herd you on to a multi-stop coach, preferring to provide holidays that are individually designed and tailored to meet your exact requirements. Our staffs continually monitor and personally inspect hotels, boats and the other travel products we offer to ensure that you are getting the highest standards you would expect for your money. Our buying power in Southeast Asia ensures that we are able to purchase services at a lower rate than those available to an individual booking directly, which enables us to pass on significant savings to you.
How are we so much cheaper than other better-known operators?
Quite simply, with Asia Travel Needs you are not paying for high-street shops, large marketing departments or expensive, glossy brochures. Being a web-based business allows us to use the internet to our, and your, advantage. This website allows you to fully research your holiday from start to finish, safe in the knowledge that the information is as up-to-date as possible. By using the internet to its full potential, we are able to convey a huge amount of information to you in a format that is manageable and will offer you real benefits before and during your holiday. Having said that, we are real people! Our Cambodia sales office is based in Siem Reap, and our staffs are amongst the most knowledgeable and skilled in the industry.
... ABC Company
Hereinafter referred to as the Sender on the one part.
Asia Travel Needs (ATN)
Phum Svay Dangkum, Siem Reap City, Cambodia.
Office Phone: +855 63 966 769
H/P: +855 87 767 888
Hereinafter referred to as The Receiver on the other part.
The two parties have approved of signing the Contract on handling package tours for tourists to Cambodia with the following articles:
Article1: General Terms & Conditions
a/ Package tour in this Contract means the services that ensure for tourists departing from Europe, America and Asia possessive all necessary legal passport and visa to visit Cambodia and enjoy a Tour Program agreed by both parties then return home.
b/ The number of tourists of each group and details of Tour Programs will be fixed by both parties. The Tour Guide designated by the Receiver for each group must assume the responsibility in carrying out the itinerary that had been agreed by both parties. The Tour Leader designated by the Sender for each group is to help the Tour Guide in communicating with tourists.
Article 2: Bookings
a/ At least 30 days before the Group's arrival date, the Sender must confirm the Receiver final naming list of the Group
b/ Upon arrival, each tourist group shall give the voucher with the form as stipulated in the annex enclosed. The Receiver is to provide services to every tourist on the basis of the voucher. Any service not be mentioned in the voucher has to be paid on spot by the tourist.
c/ The Sender shall send rooming list and other information to The Receiver at least 30 days prior to Group's arrival date.
d/ The Receiver has to inform the Sender when there is any change concerning the service for a confirmed group at least 15 days prior to the arrival date and these changes must be agreed by the Sender. Otherwise, The Receiver shall bear all extra expenses or all compensation requested by the tourists.
Article 3: Payment
a/ Tour payment shall be done either by bank transfer to Receiver Access A/C at least 14 days before arrival or by cash upon arrival of each group. The Receiver shall inform the Sender of the total amount to be paid in advance and forward the invoice of each group to the Sender.
b/ Our bank in Siem Reap is the Singapore Banking Cooperation Ltd. (SBC). In order to send money there, have your bank adhere to the following Instructions:
c/ Account Name: Asia Travel Needs Co., LTD.
Account Nº: 31-2021-600043-8
SWIFT Code: CSBCKHPP
Bank Name: Singapore Banking Cooperation Ltd
Address:#68, Samdech Pan Street (St214), Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh, Cambodia.
Note: All bank service charges will be borne by the payee.
The Receiver has to give the receipt to the Sender when getting the payment from the Tour Leader of each group.
Article 4: Inevitable Cause
Neither parties shall be responsible for any damages caused by inevitable causes whatsoever and howsoever beyond the control of The Sender or The Receiver affected by, including but not limited to, decrees of the Government or Government Agencies, refusal of Government authorizations, court orders act of God, the Public Enemy, strikers or concerted act of workman, fire, flood, hail storm, explosions, earthquakes, epidemics, riot, war, rebellion or quarantine restrictions.
Article 5: Revision / Amendment
a/ This Contract can be revised or amended whenever necessary.
Modifications or additions to the Contract shall be made in the form of annexes and must be approved in writing by both parties. Either party can request modifications or Additions to the Contract by written notice sending to other parties. If there is no objection, the modification or additions requested shall be automatically deemed to be effective after 30 days from the date of receipt of written notice.
b/ If a party objects to the modifications or additions, the requested party shall inform the requesting party within 60 days from the date of receipt of the written notice of such objection. In such circumstances, the Agreement shall be deemed to be suspended as from the date the requesting party receives the written notice of objection until both parties reach the agreement in such regard in writing. Without prejudice to the suspension, each party agrees to fulfill all obligations arising before.
Article 6: Annexes
All Annexes agreed and confirmed by the parties are an inseparable part of this Contract and having legal value with this Contract.
Article 7: Execution & Termination
a/ This Contract shall be effective from the date of signature by both parties and shall remain in force from the day signed by both parties until further notice.
b/ This Contract may be terminated by either party, giving to the other party 60 days prior notice by registered letter.
c/ Termination of this Contract shall not relieve the parties from any obligation or liability incurred thereunder before termination.
d/ This Contract is made in English on 16th August 2009 into 2 copies of which one for each party with the same legal validity.
For and on behalf of
Asia Travel Needs. For and on behalf of
- Siem Reap province is located in northwest Cambodia. It is the major tourist hub in Cambodia, as it is the closest city to the world-famous temples of Angkor (the Angkor temple complex is north of the city). The provincial capital is also called Siem Reap and is located in the South of the province on the shores of the Tonle Sap Lake, the greatest sweet water reserve in whole Southeast Asia. The name of the city literally means "Siamese defeated", referring to the victory of the Khmer Empire over the army of the Thai kingdom in the 17th century.
- The proximity of the Angkorian ruins turned Siem Reap into a boomtown in less than half a decade. Huge, expensive hotels have sprung up everywhere and budget hotels have mushroomed. Property values have soared to European levels and tourism has become a vast, lucrative industry. The Siem Reap of today is barely recognizable from the Siem Reap of the year 2000.
- Siem Reap province is 10,299 square kilometers big and definitely one of the most famous ones in Cambodia. It’s located in the Northwest of the country bordering to the North with Oddor Meanchey, to the East with Preah Vihear and Kampong Thom, to the West with Banteay Meanchey and to the South with the biggest sweet water reserve in Southeast Asia, the huge Tonle Sap Lake. The province in general, especially in the Southern part consists of the typical plain wet area for Cambodia, covering lots of rice fields and other agricultural plantations. The northern part is turning into an undulating area covered with some deeper, green forests. A quite distinguished mark of Siem Reap Province is the smaller, but important Siem Reap River. It rises from Phnom Kulen, meanders through the northern part of Siem Reap Province and eventually into the Tonle Sap Lake.
- The current population in this province is about 903,030 people or 6.3% of the country’s total population (14,363,519 people in Cambodia, 2007, provincial government data), with 440,395 male and 462,635 female. The population density is therefore 87,7 people per square kilometer.
The best time to visit Cambodia is between November and April when it sees very little rain. During this time you’ll see clear blue skies making it a great time to enjoy a relaxing getaway on the southern coast.
Outside of this period, humidity increases and the rains come, assisting Cambodian farmers in the growing of their crops. However, you shouldn’t be deterred from traveling – the countryside is lush and green, rivers are full and flowing, and the temples are quiet. This is the best time to visit some of the outer-lying temples, which will often be deserted.
At the end of the summer, one of Cambodia’s true wonders comes to life – The Tonle Sap, the largest freshwater lake in Southeast Asia and home to Cambodia’s floating villages.
January is the driest month of the year in Cambodia and has a comfortable average temperature of 26°C, making this the perfect time to explore the temples in Siem Reap or relax on the southern coast's beaches.
February sees little rain and temperatures are still cool enough to enjoy long walks around the temples. Conditions are still perfect for river travel during this time, and the great Tonle Sap still holds the bulk of its volume.
This is the peak time to visit Cambodia, and temperatures are likely to rise to the low 30°Cs. Water levels begin to fall towards the end of the month, meaning that the Tonle Sap is not as impressive. Hotels are often booked up far in advance during this period.
The peak season continues and temperatures reach sizzling heights, often exceeding 33°C. It is, therefore, best to explore early in the morning and in the late afternoon rather than embarking on full-day excursions. The Chaul Chnam (Cambodian New Year) takes place during April, and although the rains should hold off, you should be prepared to get wet if venturing around town during those dates.
Events & Festivals
Khmer New Year (14th - 16th April): The country's most celebrated holiday, with towns and cities becoming deserted as people head home to be with their families.
With the wet season fast approaching, May provides a good opportunity to take advantage of promotional shoulder season offers as crowds begin to disperse. You should expect a few showers during this time of year, but nothing that will greatly impact on your trip. In fact, the showers help to break up the humidity, making for more comfortable conditions.
The rains come to Cambodia in June, bringing great relief to the farmers. For the most part, showers are short and sharp and should not impact on your trip, with plenty of sunshine still seen. Temples and other tourist sites are quieter at this time of year, and you can take advantage of many hotel promotions during Cambodia's 'green season'.
The rains continue across the country and the beaches on the southern coast are best avoided. Temperatures start to decrease, averaging 27°C, and some of the outer lying temples are deserted at this time of year, making it a great time to explore some of the lesser-known destinations. Lots of families choose to visit at this time of year as it coincides nicely with European summer holidays.
Temperatures reduce further, making temple exploration all that more comfortable. Rains continue throughout the country and reach their peak; although showers only usually last for a few hours at most and tend to be more prevalent in the north of the country. The Tonle Sap fills up again, and flora and fauna are in full bloom, making this a good time to visit for wildlife enthusiasts.
September is Cambodia's wettest month and you should expect heavy showers daily; although these are normally short-lived and exploration is still possible. The rain does mean that some rural areas are difficult to access by road, so visiting a month either side is more attractive.
The rains begin to die down and temperatures average 27°C, making October a lovely time to visit Cambodia and its lush landscape. Beat the crowds and take advantage of early season promotional offers.
Events & Festivals
Pchum Ben (October): An important Buddhist festival marked throughout the country over 15 days, with main celebrations taking place on the final day as locals pay their respects to deceased relatives.
Cambodia's peak season begins again and the crowds flock to the temples, with temperatures averaging a comfortable 25°C. It is the perfect time to venture out onto Tonle Sap lake. The Cambodian Water Festival usually takes place in November, and hotel prices are often higher at this time of year, so it is essential to book far in advance.
Events & Festivals
Bon Om Touk/Cambodian Water Festival (November): One of the nation's most popular festivals, celebrated over three days with concerts and boat races in Phnom Penh.
During December, Cambodia sees great weather throughout and can make for a rewarding Christmas destination. Hotels are often booked up far in advance.
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