Cambodia, known as the Kingdom of Cambodia and in the past as the Khmer Empire, is a country located in the Southern part of the Indochina Peninsula in Southeast Asia. Its bordered countries are Laos in the northeast, Thailand in the northwest and Vietnam in the east. The Gulf of Thailand runs the length of the southwest coast.
The capital and biggest city is Phnom Penh with 1,300 000 inhabitants.
Population is over 15 million inhabitants: around 94% of Cambodian population belongs to the Khmer ethnic group and the other groups are composed of Chinese, Vietnamese, Cham and non-native people such as the Saochs, the Pears, the Braus and the Kuys in mountain areas.
Around twenty languages are spoken in Cambodia. All of them belong to the Proto-Mon-Khmer language (Proto-Austroasiatic).
Buddhism is the main religion in Cambodia, in the countryside all the villages have their own temple. But since the french colonization, new religions have been introduced, Christianity arrived in the 19th century.
Cambodia became a protectorate of France in 1863, and gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into Cambodia with the US bombing of Cambodia from 1969 until 1973.
In 1970, the deposed king gave his support to his former enemies, the Khmer Rouge. The Khmer Rouge emerged as a major power, taking Phnom Penh in 1975 and later carrying out the Cambodian Genocide from 1975 until 1979, when they were chased by Vietnam.
The country undergoes numerous challenges and sociopolitical issues, including widespread poverty, pervasive corruption, lack of political freedoms, low human development and a high rate of hunger.
Since 2000, tourism has increased thanks to the famous Angkor temples in the Siem Reap province. Hotels and other infraestrutures developed to face the flow of massive tourism.