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Cambodia is a country in mainland South-east Asia, bordering Thailand, Laos, Vietnam and the Gulf of Thailand. Its main geographical features include the low central plain of the Tonlé Sap basin surrounded by mountain ranges. The highest peak is Phnom Aural, which is 1,810 metres (5,938 ft) above sea level. The south-western coastal area is characterized by mangrove marshes, over 60 islands, peninsulas, headlands and bays.
The country is bisected by the Mekong river, which at 450 km (280 mi) is the longest river in Cambodia. It flows south from Stung Treng province, feeds the seasonal Tonlé Sap lake in central Cambodia and reaches Vietnamese territory south of Koh Thom and Loek Daek districts of Kandal Province.
Cambodia covers a total area of 181,035 km2 (69,898 sq mi), in central Indochina and in its entirety inside the tropical Indomalaya ecozone.
The country lies within two climate zones; Tropical savanna climate and Tropical monsoon climate - both with a wet and a dry season of relatively equal length as temperatures and humidity are generally high throughout the entire year.
Cambodia's climate, like that of much the rest of mainland Southeast Asia is dominated by monsoons, which are known as tropical wet and dry because of the distinctly marked seasonal differences. The monsoonal air-flows are caused by annual alternating high pressure and low pressure over the Central Asian landmass. In summer, moisture-laden air—the southwest monsoon—is drawn landward from the Indian Ocean. The flow is reversed during the winter, and the northeast monsoon sends back dry air. The southwest monsoon brings the rainy season from mid-May to mid-September or to early October, and the northeast monsoon flow of drier and cooler air lasts from early November to March. The southern third of the country has a two-month dry season; the northern two-thirds, a four-month one. Short transitional periods, which are marked by some difference in humidity but by little change in temperature, intervene between the alternating seasons. Temperatures are fairly uniform throughout the Tonlé Sap Basin area, with only small variations from the average annual mean of around 25 °C (77.0 °F). The maximum mean is about 28.0 °C (82.4 °F); the minimum mean, about 22.98 °C (73.36 °F). Maximum temperatures of higher than 32 °C (89.6 °F), however, are common and, just before the start of the rainy season, they may rise to more than 38 °C (100.4 °F). Minimum temperatures rarely fall below 10 °C (50 °F). January is the coolest month, and April is the warmest. Tropical cyclones that often devastate coastal Vietnam rarely cause damage in Cambodia.
The total annual rainfall average is between 1,000 and 1,500 millimeters (39.4 and 59.1 in), and the heaviest amounts fall in the southeast. Rainfall from April to September in the Tonlé Sap Basin-Mekong Lowlands area averages 1,300 to 1,500 millimeters (51.2 to 59.1 in) annually, but the amount varies considerably from year to year. Rainfall around the basin increases with elevation. It is heaviest in the mountains along the coast in the southwest, which receive from 2,500 millimeters (98.4 in) to more than 5,000 millimeters (196.9 in) of precipitation annually as the southwest monsoon reaches the coast. This area of greatest rainfall, however, drains mostly to the sea; only a small quantity goes into the rivers flowing into the basin. The relative humidity is high at night throughout the year; usually it exceeds 90 percent. During the daytime in the dry season, humidity averages about 50 percent or slightly lower, but it may remain about 60 percent in the rainy period.
Cambodia's boundaries were for the most part based upon those recognized by France and by neighboring countries during the colonial period. The 800-kilometer boundary with Thailand runs along the watershed of the Dangrek Mountains, although only in its northern sector. The 541-kilometer border with Laos and the 1,228-kilometer border with Vietnam result from French administrative decisions and do not follow major natural features. Border disputes have broken out in the past between Cambodia and Thailand as well as between Cambodia and Vietnam.
Map of Cambodia's provinces Kingdom of Cambodia
|NAME BY PROVINCE||
||14. Mondulkiri Province
15. Oddar Meanchey Province
16. Pailin Province
17. Preah Sihanouk Province
18. Preah Vihear Province
19. Pursat Province
20. Prey Veng Province
21. Ratanakiri Province
22. Siem Reap Province
23. Stung Treng Province
24. Svay Rieng Province
25. Takéo Province
26. Tbong Khmum Province
total: 181,035 km²
land: 181,035 km²
water: 4,520 km²
contiguous zone: 24 nmi (27.6 mi; 44.4 km)
continental shelf: 200 nmi (230.2 mi; 370.4 km)
exclusive economic zone: 200 nmi (230.2 mi; 370.4 km)
territorial sea: 12 nmi (13.8 mi; 22.2 km)
lowest point: Gulf of Thailand 0 m
highest point: Phnum Aoral 1,810 m