Cambodia is a Constitutional Monarchy, which official name is KINGDOM OF CAMBODIA. In Khmer language it is ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា (Preah Riecheanchak Kampuchea). It is relatively a small country of 181,035 kilometers squares, two times smaller than the territory of France, but its Khmer culture goes beyond its borders, especially with the south of Vietnam (the Mekong Delta) where Khmer people is known as “Khmer Kraom” (Lower Cambodia – ខ្មែរកម្ពុជាក្រោម) and some provinces of Thailand like Surin where Khmer people is known as “Khmer Sarin” (ខ្មែរស៊ូរិន). Further than this, many tribes of Laos, Thailand and Vietnam – even Myanmar – keep blood linage with the Khmer people and the bigger family group “Mon-Khmer”. This situation comes from the time when most part of the Indochina Peninsula was the natural expansion area of the Khmer Empire (802-1431) that decayed during the 14th century to give birth to modern states.


The Khmer Empire included territory of what is today Cambodia, the south of Vietnam, Laos and Thailand.

With the decay of the Khmer Empire – also known as Angkor Empire – northern tribes like the Thai and Vietnamese, began to found what we know today as Thailand, Laos and Vietnam on most part of the ancient Khmer Empire. This breaking down of the ancient Khmer territory into four states does not come from night to morning. It included battles, concessions, agreements and many events that would give form to the present geopolitical situation.

It means also that the Khmer people were never expelled from those territories, but these peoples, Thai and Vietnamese, mixed with the older settlers. We have to consider also that when we talk about Khmer people, we are talking about many other tribes and groups, not about a single ethnic group. The molting soup of the genesis of these four countries was, anyway, the Khmer ancient culture, religion and language.


There are 25 Cambodian provinces. A province is an administrative division in Cambodia. It is very similar to the French Departments. It is the same as in Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. It has nothing to see with Federal States like the ones of India. The Province (ខេត្ត  – Kaeth) is divided in Districts (ស្រុក – Sarok) and each District in Sub-Districts (ឃុំ – Kum), and the Kum in Communes (សង្កាត់ – Sangkat) and, lastly, the Sangkat in villages or quarters (ភូមិ – Pum).

Phnom Penh is, by itself, a Province, but it is called Royal Capital of Phnom Penh (រាជធានីភ្នំពេញ – Riech Tieny Phnom Penh).

No Translation English name Khmer name Provincial Capital Population (2008) Area (km²)
1 Lady Penh Mountain Phnom Penh Municipality ភ្នំពេញ Chamkarmon District 1,501,725 678.46
2 Victory Fortress Banteay Meanchey Province បន្ទាយមានជ័យ Serei Saophoan 677,872 6,679
3 Lost Scepter Battambang Province បាត់ដំបង Battambang 1,058,174 11,702
4 Cham Port Kampong Cham Province កំពង់ចាម Kampong Cham 928,694 4,549
5 Chinang Port Kampong Chhnang Province កំពង់ឆ្នាំង Kampong Chhang 472,341 5,521
6 Speu Port Kampong Speu Province កំពង់ស្ពឺ Chbar Mon 716,944 7,017
7 Big Port Kampong Thom Province កំពង់ធំ Stueng Saen 631,409 13,814
8 Kampot (A kinf of three) Kampot Province កំពត Kampot 585,850 4,873
9 Central Kandal Province កណ្តាល Ta Khmau 1,265,280 3,568
10 Kong Island Koh Kong Province កោះកុង Khemarak Phoumin 117,481 11,160
11 Saddle Kep Province កែប Kep 35,753 336
12 Kratíe Kratié Province ក្រចេះ Kratié 319,217 11,094
13 Central Mountain Mondulkiri Province មណ្ឌលគីរី Senmonorom 61,107 14,288
14 Victory Udor Oddar Meanchey Province ឧត្តរមានជ័យ Samraong 185,819 6,158
15 Pailín Pailin Province បៃលិន Pailin 70,486 803
16 City of King Sihanouk Preah Sihanouk Province ព្រះសីហនុ Sihanoukville 221,396 868
17 Sacred Temple Preah Vihear Province ព្រះវិហារ Tbeng Meanchey 171,139 13,788
18 Pursat Pursat Province ពោធិ៍សាត់ Pursat 397,161 12,692
19 Long Forest Prey Veng Province ព្រៃវែង Prey Veng 947,372 4,883
20 Jewelery Mountain Ratanakiri Province រតនគីរី Banlung 150,466 10,782
21 The Fall of the Siamese Siem Reap Province សៀមរាប Siem Reap 896,443 10,299
22 Reed River Stung Treng Province ស្ទឹងត្រែង Stung Treng 111,671 11,092
23 Every Mangoe Svay Rieng Province ស្វាយរៀង Svay Rieng 482,788 2,966
24 Grand Father Keo Takéo Province តាកែវ Doun Kaev 844,906 3,563
25 Southern Bee Tboung Khmum Province

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About Albeiro Rodas

Albeiro Rodas (in Cambodia Sky Ly Samnang), is a MA in Digital Communication, independent journalist and a Salesian of Don Bosco from Amalfi, Colombia, based in Cambodia since 1999. He is the creator of the Don Bosco schools of journalism in Sihanoukville and Kep with young people from poor communities and the founder of the Don Bosco Kep Children Fund. Medal for Social Commitment UPB (2010); among the 100 more upstanding Colombians abroad (Marca Colombia, 2012, and among the 12 Colombians that are making this a better world 2013 (

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