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 The Geography of Cambodia

Cambodia, also known as Kampochea, is a country located in Southeast Asia that is bordered by Laos, Vietnam, and Thailand.  Covering an area of about 181,035 sq km, Cambodia is about half the size of Vietnam.  The capital of Cambodia is Phnom Penh and has the distinction of also being the largest city. 

A low-lying alluvial plain in the center of Cambodia makes up most of the country, although in the South there is the Mekong Delta.  There are several mountainous regions, one of which forms a border along the coastline with another separating Cambodia from Thailand. 


The tenth largest river in the world, the Mekong River, is the longest river in Southeast Asia and the most important river in Cambodia.  One of its important uses is that it is navigable for most of its "run" through the country, as well as the Mekong delta in the South.

Cambodia is also home to the largest lake in Southeast Asia, the Tonle Sap (Great Lake), which connects with the Mekong River in Phnom Penh.  The Tonle Sap enlarges to four times its normal size when the Mekong rises during the monsoon season thus causing the Tonle Sap River to flow northward into the Lake.

During the dry season it reverses its flow and goes back into the Mekong River.  As a result of this, The Tonle Sap Lake is a great resource for freshwater fish, actually being one of the richest sources in the world.

There are two monsoons which make up Cambodia's climate, a cool, dry, north-eastern one that is rather dry and comes from November to March and a south-western one which brings with it heavy rain, high winds and high humidity from May to early October.

December and January are considered to be the coolest months and fall in the dry monsoon season.   Annually, Cambodia gets about 1,400 mm (55 in) and the temp averages around 27 degrees C (80 degrees F).



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