Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia and has a total land area of 69,898 square miles. Cambodia shares a border with three countries; Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam together with the Gulf of Thailand. The country’s population was estimated at 15 million in 2016, and the dominant religion in the country is Buddhism. The total land border has a length of 1,572 miles. The country’s coastline is 275 miles, and it runs along the Gulf of Thailand. Cambodia is divided into two by the Mekong River, and the areas around the river’s course are densely populated as they are fertile. Cambodia is a constitutional monarchy governed by King Norodom Sihamoni. Some of the problems the country face include corruption, poverty, and environmental destruction. The country has a robust economy and is ranked as one of the Asian countries with a fast-growing economy. Cambodia got its independence in 1953, and there have been two military coups in the country since, one in 1970 and another in 1997. The coup in 1997 saw a change in the country’s leadership, and the present Prime Minister, Hun Sen, was given sole leadership.
Thailand is located in Southeast Asia and borders Cambodia to the West where the border is 508 miles long. The country has a total land area of 198,120 square miles, and the population was estimated at 68 million in 2016. The country was once known as Siam, and its capital is Bangkok. Thai translates to free man in English, and the word is used to differentiate the natives from the immigrants. Thailand is a constitutional monarchy with 76 provinces. The country is a NATO ally, a member of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations, and it maintains close ties with the other ASEAN countries. Thailand had the highest economic growth rate globally from 1985 to 1996. The northern part of Thailand has a mountainous terrain, with the Thai highlands located in the region. The Khorat plateau is located in the North-eastern region and the Mekong River borders it to the East. The central part of the country is flatland, and the Southern region is made up of the Kra Isthmus. The Gulf of Thailand is 124,000 square miles and the Chao Phraya Tapi, and Bang Pakong Rivers empty their water into it. The Dangrek Mountains form a natural border between Thailand and Cambodia. The two countries have six border crossings between them.
Laos, also known as Muang Lao, borders Cambodia to the northeast and the border is 345 miles long. The country is located on the Indochinese peninsula in Southeast Asia and has had a long-standing relationship with Cambodia. Laos has a total land area of 91,875 square miles, and the population was estimated at six million in 2016. The country is unique among the Southeast Asia countries in that it is landlocked, and about 4% of the total land area is fertile. Despite the little fertile land, agriculture is the major contributor to the country’s economy. The terrain in the country is mountainous, and part of the country is covered with dense. The country experiences a tropical climate and is one of the countries that grow opium. Vientiane is Laos’s capital, and it is also the country’s biggest city. Deforestation in Laos is becoming a major issue resulting in environmental issues. The Mekong River marks a more significant part of the Eastern border of the country. Mekong River is used as one of the transportation routes in the country, and mainland transport is challenging as the country is not developed. Ox-carts and foot trekking are used as a means of moving in the country. There are two crossing between Laos, and Cambodia one is the Riverine crossing located at Koh Cheuteal Thom, and the other is located at Dom Kralor.
Vietnam is situated in Southeast Asia and borders Cambodia to the Northeast, with the border having a length of 720 miles. The country has an S shape and a land area of 127,888.9 square miles. Vietnam’s population was estimated at 94 million in 2016. Vietnam is a Chinese word, and it translates to Southern Viet in English. The country has a combined land border that is 2,883 miles long, and Hanoi is its capital. Vietnam is mostly forested and has a hilly terrain with mountains making up 40% of the country’s land area, and 42% of the area being occupied by forests. Vietnam is divided into three regions, the highlands that are located in the northern region, the Mekong Delta, and the central lowlands. The climate in the country is a humid sub-tropical climate which varies throughout the country due to the varied landscape. The country’s economy is mostly dependent on agriculture with the cultivation of rice taking center stage as the primary agricultural activity. There are about five crossings between Vietnam and Cambodia that are accessible via road.
Border DisputesCambodia had a border dispute with Thailand in June 2008 which lasted to December 2011. The dispute was about the region around the Preah Vihear Temple. The conflict began when Thai soldiers encroached to the Keo Sikha Kiri Svara region, which is claimed to be Cambodia’s territory. Thailand purports that the area around the Temple had not finished marking to distinguish the border between the two countries. The conflict resulted in the deaths of about five civilians and 36 soldiers. The matter was then settled at the International Court of Justice which ruled in favor of Cambodia and Thailand had to withdraw its soldiers from the region. Cambodia and Vietnam have had good relations over the years being that they were both French colonies. There have also been several conflicts between the two, and in 2005, the two countries signed an additional treaty to one that they had signed in 1985 to mark their borders. Cambodia did not agree with the initial treaty, and Vietnam had made claims to Cambodian territory. In 2014, there were protests in Cambodia after Vietnam mentioned that Kampuchea Krom was Vietnamese territory, Cambodian activists went up in protest demanding an apology and for Vietnam to acknowledge that the region was a former Cambodian turf.
Which Countries Border Cambodia?
Thailand shares its border with three nations: Laos, Thailand, and Vietnam.
About the Author
Benjamin Elisha Sawe holds a Bachelor of Arts in Economics and Statistics and an MBA in Strategic Management. He is a frequent World Atlas contributor.
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