Cambodia is a small country with a big history. Now a modest player on the world stage, this was once the seat of one of Asia's most magnificent early civilizations, the mighty Khmer empire of Angkor, whose legendary temples continue to provide a touchstone of national identity – as well as attracting millions of visitors every year. Away from the temples, much of the country remains refreshingly untouristed and, in many places, largely unexplored.
Cambodia, Kingdom of Wonder, situated in South-East Asia, within Hindochina Peninsula and bordered to Thailand and Laos on the North, Vietnam on the South and East and the Thai gulf on the West. Cambodia covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers with a subdivision of 24 provinces and 26 cities. The total population of Cambodia is about 15 millions in which 80% are Khmer and the remaining 20% make up of Thai, Vietnamese, Burmese, Chinese, Laos and the various ethnic hill tribes of Phnuong, Tampoun and so forth. Cambodia has two primary seasons. Rainy season is from May to October which known as the rice season. The temperature varies from 18-25c. Dry season is from November to April. The temperature arises 25-30c.
The religion governed the concept and execution of all Khmer art and architecture is enhanced by an understanding of the religious beliefs of the Khmers. According to belief, when a person died his soul was reincarnated and his spirit became free. The former religious practices, which were adopted in Cambodia at a later date recognized a common belief in rebirth , the idea that one is born again and again in different forms. At the present time, 90% of the Cambodian people are of the Buddhist religion. Hinduism for the most part has gone away.
Buddhism has existed in Cambodia since at least the 5th century AD, with some sources placing its origin as early as the 3rd century BC. The history of Buddhism in Cambodia spans nearly two thousand years, across a number of successive kingdoms and empires. Buddhism entered Cambodia through two different streams. The earliest forms of Buddhism, along with Hindu influences, entered the Funan kingdom with Hindu merchants. In later history, a second stream of Buddhism entered Khmer culture during the Angkor empire when Cambodia absorbed the various Buddhist traditions of the Mon people|Mon kingdoms of Dvaravati and Haripunchai.
Visas for Cambodia can be obtained on arrival. Two passport photographs are required. A business visa costs US $25 for one month and can be renewed indefinitely. A tourist visa costs US $20 for one month and can be extended for only one extra month. The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs operates an electronic visa ("e-Visa") facility for tourist visas only. The e-Visa costs US $20. e-Visa can only be used at the main entry crossings with the immigration IT system. Applications should be made through the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs' website, where full terms and conditions are also listed, with information on which border entry points accept the e-Visa.Tourist visas issued by a Royal Cambodian Embassy abroad may appear to have a longer validity than one month. Their validity refers to time to enter Cambodia. The visa is valid for 30 days from the actual date of entry into Cambodia. Make sure your passport is stamped on arrival, whether entering through an airport or land crossing. Overstaying either business or tourist visas without the proper authority is a serious matter and you can be held in detention until a fine is paid ($5 per day for the first 30 days, followed by $6 thereafter). Travellers have been imprisoned and deported at their own expense for overstaying. If you have any queries about visas or entry requirements, check with the The Royal Cambodian Embassy.
Entry to Cambodia is normally refused if you have a passport with less than six months' validity, or which is damaged or has pages missing. Neighbouring counties have different validity requirements and travellers should check those separately.
Cambodian Riel is the national currency but it is seldom used at the tourist places to purchase stuff. US Dollar is the widely used currency in Cambodia to pay for large expense and riel is used to pay simple things like soft drink and food. Currency rates fluctuate but as a guide there are 4000 riel to $1. Another acceptable currency is Thai bath. There are 10000 riel to 100bath.