ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា – Kampŭchea
Capital city Phnom Penha
Surface 181,035 km²
Population 16,245,000
Road network length 2,406 km
Length of highway network 187 km
First highway 2022
Motorway name ផ្លូវ លឿ លឿ
Traffic drives Right
License plate code KH

The Kingdom of Cambodia (Khmer: ព្រះរាជាណាចក្រកម្ពុជា, Preăh Réachéa Anachâk Kâmpŭchea) is a small country in Southeast Asia. The country has 16 million inhabitants and is about 4.5 times the size of the Netherlands. The capital is Phnom Penh.


According to ABBREVIATIONFINDER, Cambodia is located in Southeast Asia, located on the Gulf of Thailand. It borders Thailand, Laos and Vietnam. The country measures 570 kilometers from west to east and 450 kilometers from north to south. Large parts of Cambodia are relatively flat, with low mountains on the border of Laos and in the southwest, where the 1,813 meter high Phnom Aural, the highest point in Cambodia, is located. The country has one large lake: Tonlé Sap. The Mekong River also flows through Cambodia, both of which form a flood zone. The coastline is flat to slightly hilly and has few real beaches.

The country has a tropical climate with a dry season and a wet season. The average maximum temperature in Phnom Penh is between 31 and 35°C all year round. Phnom Penh averages 1,400 mm of precipitation per year, almost entirely in the period from April to November.


Cambodia’s population grew from 4.3 million in 1950 to 12.4 million in 2000, with an estimated 16 million in 2017. See Cambodia population density. The country has one major city, the capital Phnom Penh, which has approximately 2.2 million inhabitants. In addition, there are 5 regional cities that have between 100,000 and 200,000 inhabitants. The main port city is Sihanoukville.

The vast majority of the population is formed by the Khmar (95%). They speak Khmer, the official national language. This is the most widely spoken Austroasiatic language after Vietnamese. Khmer also has its own script. French is still spoken by older Cambodians as a foreign language. Since the 1990s, however, English has taken the place of French. The media in Cambodia is partly in English.


Cambodia is a developing country, it has a fast-growing economy, which, however, is starting from a low level. In 2017, the country was no longer considered a “lowest developed country” but a low-income country. The main industry in Cambodia is the textile industry, which accounts for 80% of exports. Tourism also plays an important role in Cambodia. The temples of Angkor Wat are world famous. Agriculture still plays an important role in rural areas.


The Khmer Empire ruled the region for centuries between 802 and 1431. The Khmer Empire encompassed much of Southeast Asia except for the east coast (modern day Vietnam) and what is today Malaysia. The area later came under the influence of Thai kings. In 1863 Camodja became a French protectorate, reclaiming land from Thailand to the north and west. Cambodia became independent from France in 1953. The Vietnam War then spread to Cambodia. In the 1970s, the Khmer Rouge advanced, after which a repressive dictatorship was installed. Between 1975 and 1979, the Cambodian genocide took place in which approximately 1.8 million Cambodians died, 25% of the population at the time. The Khmer Rouge wanted to establish a socialist agrarian republic in Cambodia, in which all inhabitants had to work in the countryside. At the end of 1978, a Vietnamese invasion followed, which overthrew the government and ended the genocide. The pro-Vietnamese People’s Republic of Cambodia was established in 1979. The Vietnamese troops did not leave Cambodia until 1989. Prime Minister Hun Sen has been in power since 1985.

Road Network

Cambodia’s main road network.

The bombing rains of the 1960s and early 1970s had left little of the French colonial road network. More recently, roads have been refurbished, with the main road from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City being first refurbished in the 1980s, through Vietnam. Nevertheless, there is a paved road network, which is about 2,400 kilometers long. 36,000 kilometers of road is unpaved, leaving the country with quite an underdeveloped road network compared to neighboring countries apart from Laos. Since 2022, Cambodia has a highway, the 187-kilometer Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Expressway. Also, there are a number of multi-lane roads in Phnom Penh. There are four bridges over the Mekong in Cambodia, but before 2010 there was only one. There are no bridges over the Mekong in Phnom Penh.

The road network is clearly densest in the southeast of the country, from Phnom Penh to the Vietnamese border region. In other regions there are only a few main roads. The main roads have been greatly improved from the mid-2000s, especially the roads between the major cities are now all paved. The focus is now on paving the secondary roads. The Prek Tamak Bridge was recently built over the Mekong, 40 kilometers north of Phnom Penh. This bridge was opened in 2010.

The Tsubasa Bridge over the Mekong was opened at Neak Loeung in 2015, on the route from Phnom Penh to Vietnam. It is planned to build an expressway from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh City. The Airport Expressway in Phnom Penh was planned as Cambodia’s first expressway, but was scrapped in 2016.

Main road network

The main roads are the former Route Nationales, now just the National Highways.

  • National Highway 1 Phnom Penh – Svay Rieng – Vietnamese Border (Ho Chi Minh City)
  • National Highway 2 Phnom Penh – Takeo – Vietnamese border (Long Xuyen)
  • National Highway 3 Phnom Penh – Kampot – Veal Renh (National Highway 4)
  • National Highway 4 Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville
  • National Highway 5 Phnom Penh – Battambang – Thai Border (Bangkok)
  • National Highway 6 Phnom Penh – Siem Reap – Sisophon (National Highway 5)
  • National Highway 7 Skun (National Highway 6) – Kampong Cham – Snuol – Laotian Border
National Highways in Cambodia
National Highway 1 • National Highway 2 • National Highway 3 • National Highway 4 • National Highway 5 • National Highway 6 • National Highway 7Airport Expressway • Phnom Penh – Bavet Expressway (E1) • Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Expressway (E4)

Asian Highways

Asian Highways in Cambodia
AH1 • AH11 • AH21 • AH123

Road numbering

Cambodia’s major roads are numbered radially from Phnom Penh, with numbers 1 to 6 starting in the capital, and the 7 branching off from the 6 north of the capital. The numbering continues up to 30. Two-digit numbers are derived from the main roads, and three-digit numbers are derived from the two-digit numbers. The numbers 1 to 30 are Route Nationales (RN) and the higher numbers are Route Provinciales (RP).

At the start ceremony for the construction of the Phnom Penh – Sihanoukville Expressway in 2019, signposts with an E number were shown, with this highway being the E4, parallel to the national highway 4.


Cambodia has green signposts for through traffic and blue for local traffic. Both have white letters. Most signage is in Khmer and English. Road numbers are indicated with the same shield as in Hungary with a blue chevron with white numbers.

Road marking

Cambodia uses yellow marking to separate driving directions, in this case always the center line because there are no highways in Cambodia. The other markings, such as lane dividers and edge markings, are white.

Road safety

In 2018, 1,761 road deaths were recorded in Cambodia. This equates to a ratio of 109 deaths per 1 million inhabitants, about double the EU average, but not exceptional by Asian standards.

Cambodia Location Map