Cambodia <<kam BOH dee uh>> is a small country in Southeast Asia. It is sometimes called Kampuchea <<KAM poo CHEE uh>>. Cambodia borders the Gulf of Thailand and countries of Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam. Phnom Penh is the capital of Cambodia.
Low mountains border most of Cambodia. The Mekong River flows south from Laos through eastern Cambodia. The river valleys are good for growing rice. The land along the Mekong is filled with rice fields. Farmland and forests cover much of Cambodia.
Much of Cambodia’s income comes from garment making. Agriculture is also important, and most Cambodians are farmers. In the past, the country was a major producer of rubber. However, many of Cambodia’s rubber plantations and factories were destroyed during the Vietnam War (1957-1975) and other wars. As a result, rubber production in Cambodia decreased greatly.
Many Cambodians died or left the country during the wars of the 1970′s and 1980′s. Today, most Cambodians are Khmer people. The Khmer, one of the oldest groups in Southeast Asia, first built a great kingdom in what is now Cambodia over 1,000 years ago. They speak the Khmer language.Vietnamese make up the second largest group in Cambodia. Most of Cambodia’s people live in small villages.