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The Kingdom of Cambodia (IPA: [kæmˈbəʊdɪə], formerly known as Kampuchea (IPA: [ˌkæmpuˈtʃiːə], Image:Cambodia5.png, transliterated: Preăh Réachéanachâkr Kâmpŭchea) is a country in Southeast Asia with a population of over 13 million people. Phnom Penh is the capital city. Cambodia is the successor state of the once powerful Hindu and Buddhist Khmer Empire, which ruled most of the Indochinese Peninsula between the eleventh and fourteenth centuries.
A citizen of Cambodia is usually identified as "Cambodian" or "Khmer," the latter of which strictly refers to ethnic Khmers. Most Cambodians are Theravada Buddhists of Khmer extraction, but the country also has a substantial number of predominantly Muslim Cham, as well as ethnic Chinese, Vietnamese and small animist hill tribes.
The country borders Thailand to its west and northwest, Laos to its northeast, and Vietnam to its east and southeast. In the south it faces the Gulf of Thailand. The geography of Cambodia is dominated by the Mekong river (colloquial Khmer: Tonle Thom or "the great river") and the Tonlé Sap ("the fresh water lake"), an important source of fish. Much of Cambodia sits near sea level, and consequently the Tonle Sap River reverses its water flow in the wet season, carrying water from the Mekong back into the Tonlé Sap Lake and surrounding flood plain.
Cambodia's main industries are garments and tourism. In 2006, foreign visitors had surpassed the 1.7 million mark. In 2005, oil and natural gas deposits were found beneath Cambodia's territorial water, and once commercial extraction begins in 2009 or early 2010, the oil revenues could profoundly affect Cambodia's economy.