Sunday, February 06, 2011
柬埔寨王國 / Travel to Cambodia - A Developing Country
According to Wikipedia: "..... 柬埔寨王國（高棉語：ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា），舊稱高棉，是位於東南亞中南半島的一個國家，首都金邊，人口15,000,000（2009年）。柬埔寨國民通常稱為柬埔寨人或高棉人，其中大部分為信奉上座部佛教的高棉人，此外還有信奉伊斯蘭教的占人以及華人、越南人和一小部分山地部落。柬埔寨西部及西北部與泰國接壤，東北部與老撾交界，東部及東南部與越南毗鄰，南部則面向暹羅灣。柬埔寨領土為碟狀盆地，三面被丘陵與山脈環繞，中部為廣闊而富庶的平原，佔全國面積四分之三以上。境內有湄公河和東南亞最大的淡水湖－洞里薩湖（又稱金邊湖）。2005年，柬埔寨領海內發現石油和天然氣，商業開發預計於2009年或2010年開始，將對柬埔寨經濟產生重要影響。柬埔寨目前實行君主立憲的兩院內閣制，現任國家元首為國王諾羅敦·西哈莫尼，政府首腦為首相洪森。柬埔寨是東南亞國家聯盟成員國之一。柬埔寨是東南亞發展較為落後的國家，經濟以農業、加工業和旅遊業為主。2006年，國外遊客人數超過170萬。 ...."
The following notes are written Feb 6, 2011 in Bangkok:
This morning, K and I flew from Cambodia 柬埔寨王國 back to Thailand. During our approximately one week stay, we visited two major cities, the country's capital Phnom Penh 首都金邊, and Siĕm Reab 暹粒, plus a few villages and towns close by. There is no doubt that Cambodia is a developing country that needs to grow its economic base in a sustainable manner. According to Wikipedia:
" ..... As of 2005, GDP per capita in PPP terms was $2,200, which ranked 178th (out of 233) countries. The older population often lacks education, particularly in the countryside, which suffers from a lack of basic infrastructure. Fear of renewed political instability and corruption within the government discourage foreign investment and delay foreign aid, although there has been significant assistance from bilateral and multilateral donors. Donors pledged $504 million to the country in 2004, while the Asian Development Bank alone has provided $850 million in loans, grants, and technical assistance....."
When we were there, we visited a village school as well as a community clinic. We talked to the administrators there and learnt that the country is really over-stretched financially and knowledge-wise, with little resources to satisfy the growing population.
Currently, Cambodia is relying a lot on tourism as a major source of revenue. Both K and I are quite impressed with the country's rich culture and especially historical sites such as Angkor Wat 吳哥窟. According to Wikipedia:
"..... The tourism industry is the country's second-greatest source of hard currency after the textile industry. Between January and December 2007, visitor arrivals were 2.0 million, an increase of 18.5% over the same period in 2006. Most visitors (51%) arrived through Siem Reap with the remainder (49%) through Phnom Penh and other destinations. Other tourist destinations include Sihanoukville in the south east which has several popular beaches, and the area around Kampot and Kep including the Bokor Hill Station. Tourism has increased steadily year on year in the relatively stable period since the 1993 UNTAC elections. ...."
Unfortunately, in the Prasat Preah Vihear region, Cambodia is currently having a military conflict over ownership of the UN Heritage Site with Thailand. Hopefully, that can be resolved satisfactorily in a peaceful manner.
I will report more abt Cambodia and post some pics on this blog upon my return back to Ottawa. Stay tuned !!!
References / Photo Credit:
* Wikipedia: Cambodia
* 維基百科: 柬埔寨
(Feb 6, 2011, 17h15 local time)