Travellers Insurance

In CategoryJohns blog

The blog

contains articles or
issues as they may arise on Educating Cambodia and also Cambodian issues in
general. After you may have browsed through the blog, please open the HOME page
of the site and then onto the main sections such as SCHOOLS, VILLAGE LIFE
and many more:

This article should be a warning
for anyone travelling to Cambodia (or any poor country) … Take out health insurance
AND read the fine print. HOWEVER, personally I have my own faith in Calmettes
doctors and it’s skills… To every other visitor – read this article and get
The Irish Times

Corkman injured in Cambodia
to be brought home


Sat, Aug 27, 2011

A MEDICAL team is to be transported by the Air Corps to London today to
bring an injured Corkman back to Ireland following his emergency transfer from
Michael Riordan (30), from Mallow, who was critically injured in a road
incident near the Vietnamese border at the end of last month, was travelling on
a stretcher on a Thai Airlines flight from Bangkok to London Heathrow last
night, accompanied by a doctor and his mother.
The Air Corps Lear Jet 45 flies to Cork this morning to collect a
medical team before continuing to Heathrow to collect Michael and his mother
Breda and bring them to Cork. Michael is to be transferred to Cork University
Hospital. His father, John Riordan, said the family was “tremendously relieved”
Michael would be home.
Ten months ago, Michael left Ireland on a trip that was to culminate in
New Zealand for the Rugby World Cup next month.
His father said the family got a call from a doctor at the Calmette
Hospital in Phnom Penh, Cambodia, on August 1st to say Michael had been
seriously injured when the bus he was travelling on in Vietnam had collided
with a grain truck. “We contacted the Irish Embassy in Vietnam, who began a
search for him. About three to four hours later, he was found in Phnom Penh,
semi-conscious, by the British consul. Ireland has no embassy in Cambodia.”
Though Michael had taken out travel insurance 15 days previously, his
father said the company refused to cover his transfer to Bangkok for treatment
as the insurance had not been taken out in Ireland. “It was dreadful. We had to
pay for everything upfront and deal with the language difficulties and the
emotional nightmare, thousands of miles away from Michael,” he said. Michael
was evacuated to Bangkok on August 2nd at a cost of €11,000 for the air-lift
and a €15,000 deposit to the Bangkok hospital, where he had surgery and
remained “in a critical condition for the next two weeks”.
© 2011 The Irish Times


Copies and fakes

In CategoryJohns blog

This is John’s Blog of thoughts and issues as they arise or
have arisen in the past in Cambodia.

After you have scrolled through the Blog please click on The
Home Page to your right to get to the main site and all our children and projects in the villages –

Copied or faked goods are for sale in most South East Asian countries but in most
it is partially hidden- in a market you are furtively shown a catalogue of
watches, DVDS and handbags and you are taken to some storage room to buy. There
are also occasional police crackdowns in most countries…but not here…

In Cambodia the sale of fake goods is open…. But it’s not
all fake – as you will read within the site, the garment industry is massive
here, making many of the worlds well known brands. These brands are available
in Cambodian markets EXTREMELY cheaply compared with final overseas destination
prices (dealt with thoroughly within the site).

There are hundreds of small shops and stalls in all
Cambodian towns selling DVD copies for US$1.50. If it’s a boxed set of say a UK
or US TV series, then the box is also perfectly copied!

Any book that you can buy can also be copied, including
the binding and cover.

One of the photos shows a fake book and pen shop. This shop,
within a market, specialises in the complete Montblanc  pen range including fully working fountain pens at US$12.

There are very few phone landlines in Cambodia. The combined white
and Yellow Pages for the entire country is just two centimetres thick.

Within the site you’ll see that mobile phones are everywhere
and almost everywhere is within range of a tower. Reconditioned Nokias with a
new cover can be bought for $13 so even in the villages there are some phones,usually
to share. There is big competition between phone companies so calls are
affordable…. a few cents and a 1, 2 or $5 phone top up comes often with
hundreds of free SMS.






There are mobile phone shops everywhere….often tiny stalls…they
all sell some genuine brand phones but also copies of almost every brand. I’ve
included two photos of a mobile phone shop where almost every phone is a
Chinese copy..(all the thousands of shops are like this). This particular shop is where I’ve been buying pre-peid vouchers for years. I’ve also bought several phones for village famililies here.  On the top row you
can see Iphones – these are all Chinese copies – very cheap, but a complete
waste of the 50 or $60 because most functions don’t work.

People in the west imagine that all medicines here are fake.
Personally I have come across none; however the government does from time to
time close down unregistered pharmacies who are or might be selling fake
medicines. All my medicine and medicine for the villages we help are bought in
Cambodia and I am very satisfied.

Most schools and university students rely on photocopied
books and texts to financially survive.

Before we completely condemn copied papers, DVDs and CDs, if
Khmer people had to pay say Australian prices for any of this, no one would
ever read a western book or see a western movie. Their own film and TV
programmes are all copied. To argue that movie producers and movie stars need
paying would be a very hard argument to sell in a country where a Hospital
Surgeon earns $80 a month.

Regarding copied clothing, please bear in mind that in Cambodia ( but more so in China) the GENUINE clothing is made for European or US brands in huge factories and the workers are paid slave labour wages.. In the same town COPIES are made by the same working families also receiving low wages  . One shirt sells for $100, the other shirt sells for $4. Its hardly surprising that the big brands and their middle men complain. One is legal and the other isn’t. In both cases the workers receive almost none of the profits.

United Nations Development Programme with the BBC

In CategoryJohns blog

Thanks to the wonderful Helen Clark who runs The UNITED NATIONS Development Programmes – they will
start a campaign with the BBC Worldservice (100FM in Phnom Penh)
starting in January 2012. The campaign will be to encourage young
Cambodians to be involved in and encourage their communities.
This is a YouTube movie from the UN and the BBC.

I responded – ‘thanks so much – even though 80 to 90% of young people here will have no direct way of seeing this it may turn just some of the students into teachers or ambassadors and spread the word and the potential for growth through examples. It’s vital to understand that although worldwide there have been several examples of millions dying through genocide and war both before and since… the Khmer Rouge is unique.. It is by far the worlds most ‘successful’ mass murder in history. It selected the ‘educated’ and ‘apparently educated’ pure and simple , and the prevention of education to happen in the future eg. all teachers and teachers of teachers; doctors and medical school staff.. etc. In our villages 50% are under 15 years of age. this is mostly the high death rate’.

I will keep you informed through the website with reminders via emails and Facebook.

Brief History and National Statistics

In CategoryJohns blog







Introduction (this is a lengthy posting; below it are many more dated postings to browse through. Then please look at other or all sections starting with The Home page. There is also a secure PayPal link to Rotary’s account for our project.

I’ve gathered and edited together these notes on a snapshot history of Cambodia but mostly considerable detail on the current statistical ‘State of the Nation’ as of August 2011. There is considerable detail particularly about the Khmer Rouge years and the aftermath within the site sections “KHMER ROUGE”. At a later date I may well further edit and move this information to within the site sections. There is a reference to this blog posting in the PLACES section, dated today.
Most Cambodians consider themselves to be Khmers, descendants of the Angkor Empire that extended over much of Southeast Asia and reached its zenith between the 10th and 13th centuries. Attacks by the Thai
and Cham (from present-day Vietnam) weakened the empire, ushering in a long period of decline. The king placed the country under French protection in 1863 and it became part of French Indochina in 1887.
Following Japanese occupation in World War II, Cambodia gained full independence from France in 1953 but in 1949 France had given what was to be known as South Vietnam – to Vietnam. Previously the area from Saigon south was known as South Cambodia (Khmer Krom).

In April 1975, after a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh and evacuated all cities and towns.(separate section specifically on the KHMER ROUGE) At least 1.5 million Cambodians died from execution, forced hardships, or starvation during the Khmer Rouge regime under POL POT. A December 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside, began a 10-year Vietnamese occupation, and touched off almost 13 years of civil war.


The 1991 Paris Peace Accords mandated democratic elections and a ceasefire, which was not fully respected by the Khmer Rouge. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy under a coalition government. Factional fighting in 1997 ended the first coalition government, but a second round of national elections in 1998 led to the formation of another coalition government and renewed political stability. The remaining elements of the Khmer Rouge
surrendered in early 1999. Some of the surviving Khmer Rouge leaders are awaiting trial for crimes against humanity by a hybrid UN-Cambodian tribunal supported by international assistance.
Elections in July 2003 were relatively peaceful, but it took one year of negotiations between contending political parties before a coalition government was formed.


In October 2004, King Norodom SIHANOUK abdicated the throne and his son, Prince Norodom SIHAMONI,
was selected to succeed him. Local elections were held in Cambodia in April 2007, with little of the pre-election violence that preceded prior elections. National elections in July 2008 were relatively

Southeastern Asia, bordering the Gulf of Thailand, between Thailand,
Vietnam, and Laos
Geographic coordinates:
13 00 N, 105 00 E
Map references:
Southeast Asia
total: 181,035 sq km
country comparison to the world: 90
land: 176,515 sq km
water: 4,520 sq km

Land boundaries:
total: 2,572 km
border countries: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228 km
443 km
Maritime claims:
territorial sea: 12 nm
contiguous zone: 24 nm
exclusive economic zone: 200 nm
continental shelf: 200 nm
tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season
(December to April); little seasonal temperature variation
mostly low, flat plains; mountains in southwest and north
Elevation extremes:
lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m
Natural resources:
oil and gas, timber, gemstones, iron ore, manganese, phosphates,
hydropower potential
Land use:
arable land: 20.44%
permanent crops: 0.59%
other: 78.97% (2005)
Irrigated land:
2,850 sq km (2008)
Total renewable water resources:
476.1 cu km (1999)
Freshwater withdrawal (domestic / industrial / agricultural):
total: 4.08 cu km/yr (1%/0%/98%)
per capita: 290 cu m/yr (2000)
Natural hazards:
monsoonal rains (June to November); flooding; occasional droughts
Environment – current issues:
illegal logging activities throughout the country and strip mining for gems in the western region along the border with Thailand have resulted in habitat loss and declining biodiversity (in particular, destruction of mangrove swamps threatens natural fisheries); soil
erosion; in rural areas, most of the population does not have access to potable water; declining fish stocks because of illegal fishing and
Environment – international agreements:
party to: Biodiversity, Climate Change, Climate Change-Kyoto Protocol,
Desertification, Endangered Species, Hazardous Wastes, Marine Life
Conservation, Ozone Layer Protection, Ship Pollution, Tropical Timber
94, Wetlands, Whaling
signed, but not ratified: Law of the Sea
Geography – note:
a land of paddies and forests dominated by the Mekong River and Tonle

14,701,717 (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
note: estimates for this country take into account the effects of
excess mortality due to AIDS; this can result in lower life
expectancy, higher infant mortality, higher death rates, lower
population growth rates, and changes in the distribution of population
by age and sex than would otherwise be expected
Age structure:
0-14 years: 32.2% (male 2,375,155/female 2,356,305)
15-64 years: 64.1% (male 4,523,030/female 4,893,761)
65 years and over: 3.8% (male 208,473/female 344,993) (2011 est.)
Median age:
total: 22.9 years
male: 22.2 years
female: 23.7 years (2011 est.)
Population growth rate:
1.698% (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
Birth rate:
25.4 births/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 57
Death rate:
8.07 deaths/1,000 population (July 2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 102
Net migration rate:
-0.34 migrant(s)/1,000 population (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 131
urban population: 20% of total population (2010)
rate of urbanization: 3.2% annual rate of change (2010-15 est.)
Major cities – population:
PHNOM PENH (capital) 1.519 million (2009)
Sex ratio:
at birth: 1.045 male(s)/female
under 15 years: 1.02 male(s)/female
15-64 years: 0.95 male(s)/female
65 years and over: 0.6 male(s)/female
total population: 0.96 male(s)/female (2011 est.)
Infant mortality rate:
total: 55.49 deaths/1,000 live births
country comparison to the world: 38
male: 62.54 deaths/1,000 live births
female: 48.13 deaths/1,000 live births (2011 est.)
Life expectancy at birth:
total population: 62.67 years
country comparison to the world: 178
male: 60.31 years
female: 65.13 years (2011 est.)
Total fertility rate:
2.84 children born/woman (2011 est.)
country comparison to the world: 71
HIV / AIDS – adult prevalence rate:
0.5% (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 66
HIV / AIDS – people living with HIV / AIDS:
63,000 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
HIV / AIDS – deaths:
3,100 (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 45
Major infectious diseases:
degree of risk: very high
food or waterborne diseases: bacterial and protozoal diarrhea,
hepatitis A, and typhoid fever
vectorborne diseases: dengue fever, Japanese encephalitis, and malaria
note: highly pathogenic H5N1 avian influenza has been identified in
this country; it poses a negligible risk with extremely rare cases
Drinking water source:
urban: 81% of population
rural: 56% of population
total: 61% of population
urban: 19% of population
rural: 44% of population
total: 39% of population (2008)
Sanitation facility access:
urban: 67% of population
rural: 18% of population
total: 29% of population
urban: 33% of population
rural: 82% of population
total: 71% of population (2008)
noun: Cambodian(s)
adjective: Cambodian
Ethnic groups:
Khmer 90%, Vietnamese 5%, Chinese 1%, other 4%
Buddhist (official) 96.4%, Muslim 2.1%, other 1.3%, unspecified 0.2%
(1998 census)
Khmer (official) 95%, French, English
definition: age 15 and over can read and write
total population: 73.6%
male: 84.7%
female: 64.1% (2004 est.)
School life expectancy (primary to tertiary education):
total: 10 years
male: 10 years
female: 9 years (2007)
Education expenditures:
2.1% of GDP (2009)
country comparison to the world: 154

Country name:
conventional long form: Kingdom of Cambodia
conventional short form: Cambodia
local long form: Preahreacheanachakr Kampuchea (phonetic pronunciation)
local short form: Kampuchea
former: Khmer Republic, Democratic Kampuchea, People’s Republic of Kampuchea, State of Cambodia
Government type:
multiparty democracy under a constitutional monarchy
name: Phnom Penh
geographic coordinates: 11 33 N, 104 55 E

Administrative divisions:
23 provinces (khett, singular and plural) and 1 municipality (krong,
singular and plural)
provinces: Banteay Mean Choay, Batdambang, Kampong Cham, Kampong
Chhnang, Kampong Spoe, Kampong Thum, Kampot, Kandal, Kaoh Kong, Keb,
Krachen, Mondol Kiri, Otdar Mean Choay, Pailin, Pouthisat, Preah
Seihanu (Sihanoukville), Preah Vihear, PREY VENG, Rotanokiri, Siem
Reab, Stoeng Treng, Svay Rieng, Takev
municipalities: Phnum Penh (Phnom Penh)
9 November 1953 (from France)
National holiday:
Independence Day, 9 November (1953)
promulgated 21 September 1993
Legal system:
civil law system (influenced by the UN Transitional Authority in
Cambodia) customary law, Communist legal theory, and common law
International law organization participation:
accepts compulsory ICJ jurisdiction with reservations; accepts ICCt jurisdiction

18 years of age; universal
Executive branch:
chief of state: King Norodom SIHAMONI (since 29 October 2004)
head of government: Prime Minister HUN SEN (since 14 January 1985) [co-
prime minister from 1993 to 1997]; Permanent Deputy Prime Minister MEN
SAM AN (since 25 September 2008); Deputy Prime Ministers SAR KHENG
(since 16 July 2004); BIN CHHIN (since 5 September 2007); KEAT CHHON,
YIM CHHAI LY (since 24 September 2008); KE KIMYAN (since 12 March 2009)
cabinet: Council of Ministers named by the prime minister and
appointed by the monarch
(For more information visit theWorld Leaders website )
elections: the king chosen by a Royal Throne Council from among all
eligible males of royal descent; following legislative elections, a
member of the majority party or majority coalition named prime
minister by the Chairman of the National Assembly and appointed by the
Legislative branch:
bicameral, consists of the Senate (61 seats; 2 members appointed by
the monarch, 2 elected by the National Assembly, and 57 elected by
parliamentarians and commune councils; members serve five-year terms)
and the National Assembly (123 seats; members elected by popular vote
to serve five-year terms)
elections: Senate – last held on 22 January 2006 (next to be held in
January 2012); National Assembly – last held on 27 July 2008 (next to
be held in July 2013)
election results: Senate – percent of vote by party – CPP 69%,
FUNCINPEC 21%, SRP 10%; seats by party – CPP 45, FUNCINPEC 10, SRP 2;
National Assembly – percent of vote by party – CPP 58%, SRP 22%, HRP
7%; NRP 6%; FUNCINPEC 5%; others 2%; seats by party – CPP 90, SRP 26,
Judicial branch:
Supreme Council of the Magistracy (provided for in the constitution
and formed in December 1997); Supreme Court (and lower courts)
exercises judicial authority
Political parties and leaders:
Cambodian People’s Party or CPP [CHEA SIM]; Human Rights Party or HRP
[KHEM SOKHA, also spelled KEM SOKHA]; National United Front for an
Independent, Neutral, Peaceful, and Cooperative Cambodia or FUNCINPEC
(formerly the NRP); Sam Rangsi Party or SRP [SAM RANGSI, also spelled
Political pressure groups and leaders:
Cambodian Freedom Fighters or CFF; Partnership for Transparency Fund
or PTF (anti-corruption organization); Students Movement for
Democracy; The Committee for Free and Fair Elections or Comfrel
other: human rights organizations; vendors
International organization participation:

Flag description:
three horizontal bands of blue (top), red (double width), and blue
with a white three-towered temple representing Angkor Wat outlined in
black in the center of the red band; red and blue are traditional
Cambodian colors
note: only national flag to incorporate an actual building in its design
National anthem:
name: “Nokoreach” (Royal Kingdom)
lyrics/music: CHUON NAT/F. PERRUCHOT and J. JEKYLL
note: adopted 1941, restored 1993; the anthem, based on a Cambodian
folk tune, was restored after the defeat of the Communist regime

Economy – overview:
From 2004 to 2007, the economy grew about 10% per year, driven
largely by an expansion in the garment sector, construction,
agriculture, and tourism. GDP contracted slightly in 2009 as a result of the global economic slowdown, but climbed more than 4% in 1010, driven by renewed exports. With the January 2005 expiration of a WTO
Agreement on Textiles and Clothing, Cambodian textile producers were forced to compete directly with lower-priced countries such as China,
India, Vietnam, and Bangladesh. The garment industry currently employs more than 280,000 people – about 5% of the work force – and contributes more than 70% of Cambodia’s exports. In 2005, exploitable
oil deposits were found beneath Cambodia’s territorial waters, representing a new revenue stream for the government if commercial extraction begins. Mining also is attracting significant investor interest, particularly in the northern parts of the country. The
government has said opportunities exist for mining bauxite, gold, iron and gems. Rubber exports increased about 25% in 2009 due to rising global demand. The tourism industry has continued to grow rapidly, with foreign arrivals exceeding 2 million per year in 2007-08; however, economic troubles abroad dampened growth
in 2009. The global financial crisis is weakening demand for Cambodian exports, and construction is declining due to a shortage of credit.
The long-term development of the economy remains a daunting challenge.
The Cambodian government is working with bilateral and multilateral
donors, including the World Bank and IMF, to address the country’s many pressing needs. The major economic challenge for Cambodia over
the next decade will be fashioning an economic environment in which the private sector can create enough jobs to handle Cambodia’s demographic imbalance. More than 50% of the population is less than 25
years old. The population lacks education and productive skills
particularly in the poverty-ridden countryside, which suffers from an
almost total lack of basic infrastructure.

GDP (purchasing power parity):
$30.18 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 108
$28.47 billion (2009 est.)
$29.04 billion (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP (official exchange rate):
$11.63 billion (2010 est.)
GDP – real growth rate:
6% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 54
-2% (2009 est.)
6.7% (2008 est.)
GDP – per capita (PPP):
$2,100 (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 189
$2,000 (2009 est.)
$2,100 (2008 est.)
note: data are in 2010 US dollars
GDP – composition by sector:
agriculture: 33.4%
industry: 21.4%
services: 45.2% (2009 est.)
Labor force:
8.8 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 53
Labor force – by occupation:
agriculture: 57.6%
industry: 15.9%
services: 26.5% (2009 est.)
Unemployment rate:
3.5% (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 29
2.5% (2000 est.)
Population below poverty line:
31% (2007 est.)
Household income or consumption by percentage share:
lowest 10%: 3%
highest 10%: 34.2% (2007)
Distribution of family income – Gini index:
43 (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 48
40 (2004 est.)
Investment (gross fixed):
23% of GDP (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 58
revenues: $1.413 billion
expenditures: $2.079 billion (2010 est.)
Inflation rate (consumer prices):
4.1% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
-0.7% (2009)
Central bank discount rate:
NA% (31 December 2008)
country comparison to the world: 79
5.25% (31 December 2007)
Commercial bank prime lending rate:
17% (31 December 2009)
country comparison to the world: 36
16.01% (31 December 2008)
Stock of narrow money:
$850.7 million (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 144
$747.2 million (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of broad money:
$4.982 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 119
$3.899 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Stock of domestic credit:
$2.195 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 124
$1.991 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Market value of publicly traded shares:
Agriculture – products:
rice, rubber, corn, vegetables, cashews, tapioca, silk
tourism, garments, construction, rice milling, fishing, wood and wood products, rubber, cement, gem mining, textiles
Industrial production growth rate:
5.7% (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 63
Electricity – production:
1.273 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 142
Electricity – consumption:
1.272 billion kWh (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 143
Electricity – exports:
0 kWh (2008 est.)
Electricity – imports:
167 million kWh (2007 est.)
Oil – production:
0 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 157
Oil – consumption:
4,000 bbl/day (2009 est.)
country comparison to the world: 173
Oil – exports:
0 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 153
Oil – imports:
30,970 bbl/day (2007 est.)
country comparison to the world: 97
Oil – proved reserves:
0 bbl (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 113
Natural gas – production:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 107
Natural gas – consumption:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 154
Natural gas – exports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 69
Natural gas – imports:
0 cu m (2008 est.)
country comparison to the world: 161
Natural gas – proved reserves:
0 cu m (1 January 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 117
Current account balance:
$-918 million (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 130
$-865.7 million (2009 est.)
$4.687 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 109
$4.186 billion (2009 est.)
Exports – commodities:
clothing, timber, rubber, rice, fish, tobacco, footwear
Exports – partners:
Hong Kong 33%, US 31.2%, Singapore 9.7% (2009)
$6.005 billion (2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 106
$5.876 billion (2009 est.)
Imports – commodities:
petroleum products, cigarettes, gold, construction materials,
machinery, motor vehicles, pharmaceutical products
Imports – partners:
China 22.6%, Vietnam 12.7%, Hong Kong 12.4%, Thailand 11.9%, South
Korea 5.4%, Singapore 5.4% (2009)
Reserves of foreign exchange and gold:
$3.84 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 81
$3.289 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Debt – external:
$4.338 billion (31 December 2010 est.)
country comparison to the world: 111
$4.284 billion (31 December 2009 est.)
Exchange rates:
riels (KHR) per US dollar –
4,145 (2010)
4,139 (2009)
4,070.94 (2008)
4,006 (2007)
4,103 (2006)

Telephones – main lines in use:
54,200 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 160
Telephones – mobile cellular:
5.593 million (2009)
country comparison to the world: 91
Telephone system:
general assessment: adequate fixed-line and/or cellular service in Phnom Penh and other provincial cities; mobile-cellular phone systems
are widely used in urban areas to bypass deficiencies in the fixed-
line network; mobile-phone coverage is rapidly expanding in rural areas
domestic: fixed-line connections stand at well less than 1 per 100
persons; mobile-cellular usage, aided by increasing competition among
service providers, is increasing and stands at 40 per 100 persons
international: country code – 855; adequate but expensive landline and
cellular service available to all countries from Phnom Penh and major
provincial cities; satellite earth station – 1 Intersputnik (Indian
Ocean region) (2009)
Broadcast media:
mixture of state-owned, joint public-private, and privately-owned
broadcast media; 9 TV broadcast stations with most operating on
multiple channels, including 1 state-operated station broadcasting
from multiple locations, 6 stations either jointly operated or
privately-owned with some broadcasting from several locations, and 2
TV relay stations – one relaying a French television station and the
other relaying a Vietnamese television station; multi-channel cable
and satellite systems are available; roughly 50 radio broadcast
stations – 1 state-owned broadcaster with multiple stations and a
large mixture of public and private broadcasters; several
international broadcasters are available (2009)
Internet country code:
Internet hosts:
5,452 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 138
Internet users:
78,500 (2009)
country comparison to the world: 166

17 (2010)
country comparison to the world: 141
Airports – with paved runways:
total: 6
2,438 to 3,047 m: 3
1,524 to 2,437 m: 2
914 to 1,523 m: 1 (2010)
Airports – with unpaved runways:
total: 11
1,524 to 2,437 m: 1
914 to 1,523 m: 9
under 914 m: 1 (2010)
1 (2010)
total: 690 km
country comparison to the world: 101
narrow gauge: 690 km 1.000-m gauge
note: under restoration (2010)
total: 38,093 km
country comparison to the world: 90
paved: 2,977 km
unpaved: 35,116 km (2007)
2,400 km (mainly on Mekong River) (2010)
country comparison to the world: 36
Merchant marine:
total: 620
country comparison to the world: 20
by type: bulk carrier 40, cargo 526, carrier 5, chemical tanker 5,
container 5, liquefied gas 1, passenger 1, passenger/cargo 7,
petroleum tanker 12, refrigerated cargo 13, roll on/roll off 5
foreign-owned: 426 (Belgium 1, Canada 2, China 203, Cyprus 8, Egypt
12, Estonia 1, French Polynesia 1, Gabon 1, Greece 2, Hong Kong 11,
Indonesia 2, Japan 2, Latvia 1, Lebanon 6, Netherlands 1, Romania 1,
Russia 60, Singapore 4, South Korea 11, Syria 22, Taiwan 1, Turkey 26,
UAE 2, UK 3, Ukraine 37, US 4, Vietnam 1)
note: this country allows large numbers of ships owned by foreign
entities to be registered in its national shipping registry and to fly
its flag; these ships operate under the laws of the flag state (2010)
Ports and terminals:
Phnom Penh, Kampong Saom (Sihanoukville)

Military branches:
Royal Cambodian Armed Forces: Royal Cambodian Army, Royal Khmer Navy,
Royal Cambodian Air Force (2011)
Military service age and obligation:
conscription law of October 2006 requires all males between 18-30 to
register for military service; 18-month service obligation (2006)
Manpower available for military service:
males age 16-49: 3,883,724
females age 16-49: 4,003,585 (2010 est.)
Manpower fit for military service:
males age 16-49: 2,638,167
females age 16-49: 2,965,328 (2010 est.)
Manpower reaching militarily significant age annually:
male: 151,143
female: 154,542 (2010 est.)
Military expenditures:
3% of GDP (2005 est.)
country comparison to the world: 46

Transnational Issues
Disputes – international:
Cambodia is concerned about Laos’ extensive upstream dam construction;
Cambodia and Thailand dispute sections of boundary; in 2011 Thailand
and Cambodia resorted to arms in the dispute over the location of the
boundary on the precipice surmounted by Preah Vihear temple ruins,
awarded to Cambodia by ICJ decision in 1962 and part of a planned UN
World Heritage site; Cambodia accuses Vietnam of a wide variety of
illicit cross-border activities; Progress on a joint development area
with Vietnam is hampered by an unresolved dispute over sovereignty of
offshore islands

Illicit drugs:
narcotics-related corruption reportedly involving some in the
government, military, and police; limited methamphetamine production;
vulnerable to money laundering due to its cash-based economy and porous borders


In CategoryJohns blog

After you have browsed through the blog, please look through the site. There are 100 photos and lots of stories and ways to donate..thanks.

This is a photo of the outer wall of Prey Veng jail. Its the provincial jail for our villages.  It’s square – four walls. I know two of the inmates, neither of whom seems to have done very much.

A problem for struggling Cambodia is that some in government see little need for punishment other than incarceration. If you are accused of defaulting on a contract to pay a few hundred dollars or you steal a chicken you will probably spend time in prison at least until its sorted out. Prison is also sadly used as a way of getting your own back on someone eg. ‘’he owes me money.’’

There are no fines as such or community service or institutions to train offenders outside the prison system and since these would cost money that Cambodia doesn’t have, the arguement that incarceration is fine, prevails.

Phnom Penh’s main prison is Prey Sar. It is officially at twice its capacity. This has no meaning till we look at what overcrowding means.

I would like you to pace out a room area of three metres by three metres, please:- Imagine that is your sleeping room. There are no beds. Fifty men sleep in that room on the floor….yes 50..fifty. Turning in your sleep is impossible…it is done in groups and no one sleeps on their backs.

There are foreign organistaions trying to influence the penal system…and legal system but with little money, this part of Cambodia’s education will be slow.

missionary intent – direct or indirect!

In CategoryJohns blog

This photo is of the meeting of The Rotary Club of Phnom Penh Metro on August 1st. It was a wonderfully busy meeting with visitors from around the world. I’ll tell you about the meeting briefly then I want to share a very serious concern with you.

On the left there are two great Rotarians from Hungary and Chris from England- who was a Rotarian in Bexhill but now lives here and will probably join the club..Chris has a professional employment company in Phnom Penh. Next to Chris is a guy fro Kenya who is friend of Chris’and may well join too. Towards the end of the left side are two very very welcome men from the province of Kompong Spieu. The older guy left Cambodia as a refugee 30 years ago and has come back from the USA to help.. He has a school in a village. It is wonderful and sadly quite rare for past refugees to return to help.. I write about that issue and its reasons within the website (please look for it).

Tom at the end is President of the club. On the right side we have Sokchea and Sophea from Attitude Centre… They do marvellous things and I refer to them throughout the site. There are also two people from Sydney: The lady is starting out trying to make sure that children in an orphanage she deals with close to Phnom Penh can actually afford to attend a school. ….This resulted a much talk because of course if it costs children money to attend school…then WE HAVE FAILED.. the main answer is that we or someone, pays the teachers to teach ALL children and not just a select few.. again this is covered in several places within the site.


Recently I have seen an increase in the number of organisations seeking to be either under the ROTARY umbrella or close to it – with Christian missionary intent either directly or indirectly. Many churches, particularly in the USA and Korea are utterly determined to spread ‘Gods word’, to under privileged people and build schools and clinics while they do it. Rotary will have nothing to do with projects that have direct or indirect missionary intent. It is regarded as an abuse of poor peoples situation

Churches are well organised to raise money for good works and surely can do whatever they want, but not under the Rotary umbrella. Cambodia is 90% Khmer Buddhist and much of the rest is Khmer Islam. Buddhism is central to this country – that doesn’t make it any better than Christianity but it is THEIR religion and the basis of their society.

Regardless of all the above, Rotary does not help or support direct or indirect missionary work in any guise or disguise.