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Wildlife Shelters

Wildlife Shelters are the natural boundaries that provide the natural habitats and protection for a wide variety of native flora and fauna. 

This area is very important for tourists who wish to learn about Cambodian wildlife. There are 10 main wildlife shelters in Cambodia. 

■  Phnom Oral is located at the junction of Koh Kong, Pursat and Kampong Chhnang provinces. It covers 253, 750 hectares and is home to tigers and elephants.    

■  Piem Krasaob is in Koh Kong province. It covers 23, 750 hectares and is rich in birds. 
■  Phnom Som Kos is in Koh Kong province. It covers 333,750 hectares. Elephants have been spotted in the area. 
■  Ro Niem Daun Som is in Battambang province and covers 178, 750 hectares.
■  Kulen Prom Tep is in Siem Reap and Preah Vihear provinces. It covers 402,500 hectares. 
■  Beung Pe is in Kampong Thom province. It covers 242,500 hectares. 
■  Lum Phat is located in Rattanakiri and Mondulkiri provinces. It covers 250,000 hectares and is home to wild buffalo and Tunsaong, a type of wild ox. 
■  Phnom Prich is located in Mondulkiri and Kratie provinces. It covers 222,500 hectares and is home to wild oxen. 
■  Phnom Nam leat is in Mondulkiri province. It covers 47, 500 hectares and is home to elephants, tighers and a variety of wild birds. 
■  Snuol is located in kratie province. It covers 75,000 hectares. Many varieties of quadrupeds live in this area. 
Wildlife in Cambodia is classified into four main categories: 
■  Mammals (quadruped): 36 species remain so far
■  Reptiles: 6 species remain so far. 
■  Birds: 102 species remain so far. Among these, 10 species are rare species
■  Fishes: there are two types of fish in Cambodia—fresh water fish, of which 105 species remain, and sea fish. The seas off of Cambodia’s coast are home to 183 species of fish. In addition, there are a variety of crabs, lobsters, shrimp, snail, calms and oysters. 
There are three main water bird perches in Cambodia.
■  Prek Tol is located in the villages of Kampong Prohok, Along Ta Ur, Thvang 9the second fishing lot), Koh Chiviang commune, Ek Phnom district next to Sangke district along Prek Da and Prek Sport, Batambang province. A variety of wildlife coexists in this area, which comprises 9 square kilometers. The wildlife includes 64 species of birds, 14 species of mammals and 19 species of reptiles. 
■  Beung Chhmar (Chhmar River) is located in Srorng district in Kampong Thom province. A wide variety of bird species can be seen in the area during the dry season. 
■  Tropang Thma is located in Phnom Srok district, Bateay Meanchey province. Gray cranes, which are almost extinct, inhabit this area. The cranes move twice per year from Rattanakiri to Banteay Meanchey province.


Mekong Dolphin

The Mekong River dolphin or Irrawadi dolphin, also known as Occelo Brevirostrial, is one of the mammals in the Cetacen family. The Irrawadi is an endangered species—only between 40 and 50 are known to exist in Cambodia. They can be found in the deep parts of the Mekong River in Stung Treng and Kratie provinces. In addition, between 15 and 20 of the dolphins are known to inhabit the deep parts of the Tonle Mok, near Konsaom Bat village, about 15 kilometers north of Kratie provincial town. 

The Mekong River dolphin grows up to 2.8 meters in length. They can live 20-30 years. The female dolphin produces only baby every two years. Dolphins have brains that are larger and more complex that the human brain. They navigate the water using sonar and are believed to be very clever, which is why they are often trained to perform in water shows. 
Mekong dolphins swim in groups. Oftentimes when one dolphin is found, many others are nearby. The dolphin can remain under the surface for 5 to 10 minutes at a time and can swim to very deep water. 
Before 1970s, thousands of Mekong River dolphins could be found. They migrate in rainy season between the Upper Mekong, the Tonle Sap, and the Lower Mekong rivers. During the Khmer Rouge regime, from 1975 to 1979, the dolphins were killed for their fat, which was used to run engines. 
Besides the Mekong River dolphin, Cambodia is also home to sea dolphins. They inhabit the waters off of Piem Krasaob in Koh Kong district, Koh Kong province. Dolphins are an important part of Cambodia’s ecosystem. They also attract tourists, and therefore are a source of income for government and Cambodians.
There are two other creatures worth mention here; both are believed to exist only in Cambodia. The first is the Chak Chreng, a snaillike creature about 3 to 4 centimeters long with a rough shell lives along the rocks. In dry season, local Cambodians catch the creatures to sell and eat, because they are delicious. 
The second species is the Dambang fish. It looks like the Ros fish or Katungchey fish, but it has a longer body. Once abundant, its numbers have been depleted in recent years by fishermen using batteries or bombs to catch fish. 


Cambodia Geography

Cambodia, a country in Southeast Asia in the southern part of Indochina, covers an area of 181,035 square kilometers and has a population of 13.124764 million (2003 est.). The country’s shape is an almost-square polygon, with Kampong Thom province as it central point. The country extends 440 kilometers from north to south and 560 kilometers from west to east. This shape makes Cambodian easy for tourists to navigate and poses no difficulties for the development of tourism. 

Among the 10 member countries of the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), Cambodia ranks eighth in land size and seventh in population. Its geographical location makes Cambodia an easily accessible ecotourism destination for travelers in neighboring counties and other parts of the world. 
The country is situated geographically between 10th and 15th latitudes north and the 102nd and 108th longitudes east. The country has a tropical climate-warm and humid. In the monsoon season, abundant rain allows for the cultivation of a wide variety of crops. This year-round tropical climate makes Cambodia ideal for developing tourism. Travelers need not fear natural disasters such as erupting volcanoes or earthquakes, and the country is not directly affected by tropical storms.


Cambodia History

Most people knew Cambodia by the story of Pol Pot or Khmer Rouge or Genocidal Regime since this incredibly harsh regime has gathered most attention, but Cambodia enjoyed a long and often triumphant history. People who visit Angkor, they will see the story of the Khmer Empire was once wealthy, and major force in the region. Its zenith came under Jayavarman VII (1181-ca. 1218), where the Empire made significant territorial gains from the Vietnamese and Cham. 

The period following the demise of the Khmer Empire has been described as Cambodia’s dark ages. 
The expansion of French colony in the area was then known as Indochina included coming to dominate Cambodia as a protectorate under French political control. However, the concern of French regarding their possession in Vietnam raised more and more. The education of Cambodia was ignored for all but the established Elite. It was from this elite that many “Red Khmers” would emerge. Japan’s hold on Southeast Asia during the Second World War undermined French prestige and following the Allied victory Prince Sihanouk soon declared independence. This was a relatively peaceful transition; France was too absorbed with its struggle in Vietnam, which it saw as more important to its conception of L’Indochine Franciase. 
After this event, Prince Sihanouk was the main power figure in the country. He was noted for making very strange movies in which we starred, wrote and directed. His rule was characterized at this point with a Buddhist revival and an emphasis on education. This was a mixed blessing however. He succeeded in making an educated elite who became increasingly disenchanted with the lack of jobs available. As the economic situation in Cambodia deteriorated, many of these young people were attracted to the Indochinese Communist Party, and later the Khmer Rouge.

As the Second Indochina War spread to Cambodia's border (an important part of the "Ho Chi Minh trail"), the USA became increasingly concerned with events in the country. While traveling to Moscow and Beinjing, Sihanouk was overthrown by Lon Nol and other generals who were looked upon favorably by the United States. Sihanouk then put his support behind the Khmer Rouge. This change influenced many to follow suit; he was after all considered a Boddhisatva. Meanwhile the Khmer Rouge followed the Vietnamese example and began to engender themselves to the rural poor. 
Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns. Over 1 million people (and possibly many more) died from execution or enforced hardships. Those from the cities were known as "new" people and suffered worst at first. The rural peasantry were regarded as "base" people and fared better. However, the Khmer Rouge's cruelty was enacted on both groups. It also depended much upon where you were from. For example, people in the East generally got it worse. It is debated whether or not the Khmer Rouge began "crimes against humanity" or a protracted "genocide". What is clear, as Ben Kiernan argues, there was a disproportionate number of ethnic Chams killed, and the ethnically Vietnamese also suffered persecution. Nonetheless, being Khmer did not save you from the often indescriminate mass killings. A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and ended 13 years of fighting (but the fighting would continue for some time in in border areas). As a result of the devastating politics of the Khmer Rouge regime, there was virtually no infrastructure left. Institutions of higher education, money, and all forms of commerce industries were destroyed in 1978, so the country had to be built up from scratch. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy, as did the rapid diminution of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces. 
The International Criminal Court is currently putting Ieng Sary, Pol Pot's brother in law, on trial for 'crimes against humanity'. (Source: Wiki)

Brief Overview

Main Language: Khmer
Main Religion: Buddhism (Theravada)
Population: 14.8 million (UN, 2005)
Ethnic group: Khmer, Vietnamese and Chinese minorities
Monetary unit: 1riel = 100 sen
Climate: tropical humid climate: rainy (monsoon) season (May to November) and dry season (December to April)
Capital: Phnom Penh
Major Cities: Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanouk Ville, Koh Kong
Area: 181,035 sq km (69,898 sqmiles); Water 2.5%
Border counties: Laos 541 km, Thailand 803 km, Vietnam 1,228km
Coastline: 443 km
Independence: November 9, 1953
GNI per capita: US$490 (WB, 2006)
Major Exports: Garments, Fisheries Products, Rubber
Major Exports Trading Countries: United States, Germany, UK, Singapore, Japan
Major Imports: petroleum products, construction materials, vehicles and motorcycles, clothing
Major Import Tading Countries: Thailand, Singapore, Hong Kong, China, South Korea
Internet domain: KH
Internet dialing code: +855
Electricity: 220V AC 50 Hz
Driving: Right hand side; International Driving Permit required
Direct Flight: from Bangkok, Taipei, Hong Kong, Singapore, Ho Chi Minh City, Vientiane, Kuala Lumpur and Guangzhou
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