|Cambodia is in Southeast Asia. To the west and
northwest it borders Thailand. Laos is to the north and Vietnam is east
and southeast. The Bay of Thailand is to the southwest. The countries of
Southeast Asia are south of China and east of India, and the area used
to be known as Indochina.
Located a short distance north of the equator, Cambodia has a tropical climate. Its temperatures range from 35°C during the day to 18°C at night. The weather is dominated by winds called monsoons. The country has a dry season from November to April and a rainy season from May to October. Nearly 80% of the yearly rainfall comes at this time.
|Cambodia is surrounded by mountains. The Dang
Raek Mountains skirt the border with Thailand in the north and northwest.
Near Laos and Vietnam are short mountain ranges and in the southwest are
the Cardamom (Kravanh) Mountains and the Elephant (Domray)
Mountains. The mountainous areas are largely rainforests.
The central area of Cambodia is a fertile agricultural region. Here are two important bodies of water-the Tonle Sap (Great Lake) and the Mekong River. Between the Tonle Sap and the Mekong is a channel called the Tonle Sap River. During the rainy season, the Tonle Sap forms a huge lake as a result of the heavy rains and as the Mekong River flows into the Tonle Sap. In the dry season the water reverses and flows from the lake back into the Tonle Sap River and then into the Mekong River.
|This unusual process of water reversal at different
times of the year helps Cambodian farmers and fishers. When the lake shrinks
during the dry season, it leaves behind fertilized ground for growing crops.
When the lake swells, it is home to abundant freshwater fish. Cambodians
catch carp, chub and eels.
Elephants, wild boars, bears, monkeys, leopards and tigers roam the rainforests. In this area grow 30-metre- high mahogany and teak trees. Bamboo, sugar palms and rattan palms also grow in these areas.