For decades off limits to all but the most intrepid travellers today Southeast Asia’s Cambodia is a popular destination for all kinds of folks: from independent backpackers who roam far into the hinterland to luxury tourists who stay in style and experience Angkor Wat between massages and exquisite French meals.
Tourism to Cambodia has exploded over the last two decades in two waves. The first was when security concerns were addressed, allowing easier access to Angkor and then, more recently, the second was when Cambodia’s stunning islands opened for business.
Despite an influx of visitors, mass tourism remains largely restricted to just a few destinations and it remains relatively easy to drop off the tourist highways. Don’t assume Angkor Wat is all Cambodia has to offer; there is so very much more.
The population of Cambodia today is about 10 million. About 90-95 percent of the people are Khmer ethnic. The remaining 5-10 percent include Chinese-Khmers, Khmer Islam or Chams, ethnic hill-tribe people, known as the Khmer Loeu, and Vietnamese.
About 10 percent of the population lives in Phnom Penh, the capital, making Cambodia largely a country of rural dwellers, farmers and artisans.
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