With a history both brutal and inspiring Cambodia is a difficult country to judge. While the terror of the Khmer Rouge is long gone, the country still ranks poorly in terms of poverty, corruption and its human development indexes are among the lowest in the world. Still, the majesty of the vast Angkor Wat temple complex and the rather charming Siem Reap town adjacent draws millions of tourists and much needed foreign exchange to the country. Phnom Penh (the only real expat living choice) remains a rough and edgy destination for retirees and only the very brave and bold attempt permanent residence there.
Population: 15,200,000 (Est. 2013)
Capital city: Phnom Penh
Largest city: Phnom Penh - Pop. 2,100,000
Political system: Constitutional Monarchy. King Norodom Sihamoni appoints the Prime Minister. One real political party led by PM Hun Sen.
Language: Khmer - 90% Khmer, 5% Vietnamese, 1% Chinese, 4% other.
BEST TIME TO GO
Cambodia, like most of South Asia, has its weather dominated by monsoon seasons. The rainy season runs from May to October with resulting high humidity but lower temperatures, as low as 22°C. The northeast monsoon brings drier weather November to April with temperatures as high as 40°C. Tourists tend to fill up Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor Wat in April, the hottest month of the year. February and March are hot, but a better and slightly cooler time to visit than April.