Khmer is the official language of Cambodia and is used in most social contexts including government administration, education at all levels, and in the mass media. It is spoken by some 7 million people living there, roughly 90% of the population.
Regional differences are slight and normally mutually intelligible. Based on the dialect of the capital city of Phnom Penh, Modern Khmer is used throughout the nation and widely understood by its inhabitants. Much Khmer vocabulary used in literature, the military, and administration is borrowed from Sanskrit, or Pali. Due to years of French colonial rule, numerous French words have been incorporated into the language as well.
Being located in the tropical zone north of the equator, Cambodia has a monsoon climate. Monsoon season runs May - November, meaning that the most pleasant season for visitors is generally the dry season, stretching from November/December - April. Immediately after the monsoon, the blanketing green of the countryside can be stunningly beautiful.
In the north, winters are generally colder, while throughout most of the country temperatures remain fairly constant. The average year-round temperature in Cambodia is 27. 7C (the highest monthly average being 35C, the lowest monthly average being 21C). There is often seasonal flooding in Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia in late July and early August, and, because the majority of roads are dirt, travel may be disrupted at these times. At the peak of the wet season it can rain as often as two in every three days.
As elsewhere in Southeast Asia, the quality of the food is a draw in its own right. Khmer cuisine shares much with that of both Thailand and China, although it tends to steer clear of excessive use of spices. Quality restaurants are found in all areas that see mainstream tourism, while cheap but tasty food stalls are ubiquitous around the country. Most meals are rice-based.
• Prahok (fermented fish paste) is used to flavour many dishes.
• Local fruits include banana, coconut, the durian fruit (known for its distinctive odour), jackfruit, longan fruit, lychee, pineapple and rambutan fruit (which has translucent white flesh).
• Crispy fried spiders are a snack for the adventurous in Northern Cambodia.
• Amok trey (fish in a thick coconut curry sauce, wrapped in banana leaves and steamed).
• Rice noodles proliferate and can be bought covered in curry sauce from street vendors.
The riel (Khmer: រៀល, sign: ៛; code: KHR) is the currency of Cambodia. There have been two distinct riel, the first issued between 1953 and May 1975. Between 1975 and 1980, the country had no monetary system. A second currency, also named "riel", has been issued since April 1, 1980. However, this currency has never gained public acceptance, with most Cambodians preferring gold or foreign currency.  The UN occupation of 1993 injected a large quantity of dollars into the local economy. As a result, the dollar has become the country's common currency. Riel notes are used for fractional dollar amounts as U. S. coins are not in circulation. The symbol is encoded in Unicode at U+17DB ៛ khmer currency symbol riel (HTML: ៛ ).
Cambodia (;dictionary. reference. com : to the southwest.
With a population of over 14. 8 million, Cambodia is the 69th most populous country in the world. The official religion is Theravada Buddhism which is practiced by around 92% of the Cambodian population. The country minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams and 30 various hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economical, cultural center of Cambodia.
The kingdom is a constitutional monarchy with Norodom Sihamoni an elected monarch chosen by the Royal Throne Council as head of state. The head of government is Hun Sen who is currently the longest serving leader in South East Asia and has ruled Cambodia for over 25 years.
In 802 AD Jayavarman II declared himself king which marked the beginning of the Khmer Empire. Successive kings flourished which marked the Khmer empire's immense power and wealth who dominate much of South East Asia for over 600 years. Cambodia was ruled as a vassal between its neighbors, until it was colonized by the French in mid-19th century. Cambodia gained independence in 1953. The Vietnam War extended into Cambodia, giving rise to the Khmer Rouge, which took Phnom Penh in 1975. Cambodia reemerged several years later within a socialistic sphere of influence as the People's Republic of Kampuchea until 1993. After years of isolation, the war-ravaged nation was reunited under the monarchy in 1993.
Rebuilding from decades of civil war, Cambodia has seen rapid progress in the economical and human resource areas. The country has had one of the best economic records in Asia, with economic growth growing an average 6. 0% for the last 10 years. Strong textiles, agriculture, construction, garments, and tourism sectors led to foreign investments and international trade.. The Phnom Penh Post (May 18, 2011). Retrieved on June 20, 2011. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial waters, and once commercial extraction begins in 2011, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy.
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