Oddar Meanchey Province

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Oddar Meanchey Province

A street in Samraong
A street in Samraong
Map of Cambodia highlighting Oddar Meanchey
Map of Cambodia highlighting Oddar Meanchey
Coordinates: 14°10′N 103°30′E / 14.167°N 103.500°E / 14.167; 103.500Coordinates: 14°10′N 103°30′E / 14.167°N 103.500°E / 14.167; 103.500
Country Cambodia
Provincial status1966
CapitalSamraong Municipality
 • GovernorPen Kosal (CPP)
 • Total6,158 km2 (2,378 sq mi)
Area rankRanked 13th
 • Total185,443
 • RankRanked 18th
 • Density30/km2 (78/sq mi)
 • Density rankRanked 19th
Time zoneUTC+7 (ICT)
Dialing code+855
ISO 3166 codeKH-22

Oddar Meanchey (Khmer: ឧត្ដរមានជ័យ IPA: [ʔutdɑː miən cɨj]; "Victorious North") is a province (khaet) of Cambodia located in the remote northwest. It borders the provinces of Banteay Meanchey to the west, Siem Reap to the south and Preah Vihear to the east. Its long northern boundary demarcates part of Cambodia's international border with Thailand. The capital is Samraong town.

The province was created on 27 April 1999, after being carved from the northern half of Siem Reap Province and part of Banteay Meanchey. It existed as a province already from 1962 to 1970 under Norodom Sihanouk's Sangkum Reastr Niyum regime, but later became an administrative no-man's-land, with its status alternating between a province and a district under successive regimes.[2]


Oddar Meanchey means "Victorious North".[citation needed] The province's name is of Sanskrit origin through Pali and is derived from the words "uttarā" (उत्तर), meaning "north", and "jaya" (जय) which means "victory".[citation needed] Khmer "Mean" (មាន) means "to have".

Administrative divisions[edit]

The province is subdivided into 4 districts and 1 municipality.

ISO Code District Khmer
12-01 Anlong Veng ស្រុកអន្លង់វែង
12-02 Banteay Ampil ស្រុកបន្ទាយអំពិល
12-03 Chong Kal ស្រុកចុងកាល់
12-04 Samraong Municipality ក្រុងសំរោង
12-05 Trapeang Prasat ស្រុកត្រពាំងប្រាសាទ


The territory of this province is located in the Dângrêk Mountains. There is a serious problem of deforestation in the area.[3] However, the first community-based mosaic REDD+ project in Asia was awarded Verified Carbon Standard and Climate, Community and Biodiversity Standard validation for its forest conservation work in the province.[4] Forest fires are common in the dry forest and there is much illegal logging as a result of economic land concessions and migrant forest encroachment.[5]


Electricity is common in the provincial capital of Samraong and in other parts of Oddar Meanchey.


Grave of Khmer Rouge dictator Pol Pot who died in Anlong Veng in 1998.

The mountainous and forested area that now makes up Oddar Meanchey Province was part of Siamese province of Inner Cambodia from 1795 to 1907. After Inner Cambodia was returned to Cambodia in 1907, King Sisowath split the province into Battambang and Siem Reap (Oddar Meanchey was included with Siem Reap). Following the Franco-Thai War from 1941 to 1946 the province was under Siamese administration as Phibunsongkhram Province.[6] The province was returned to Cambodian rule in 1946 following French diplomatic efforts at the end of World War II. The province was officially organized in 1966.[citation needed] During the Cambodian Civil War, the remote area was used as a base by the Khmer Rouge when they fought against the Khmer Republic led by general Lon Nol.[citation needed]

The Khmer Rouge rebuilt their former bases in the Dangrek mountain range area, along the border with Thailand and made Anlong Veng their main "capital" from 1989 till 1997. Oddar Meanchey Province is one of the most landmine-ridden areas in Cambodia.[7]


  1. ^ "General Population Census of Cambodia 2008 - Provisional population totals" (PDF). National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning. 3 September 2008.
  2. ^ From coup to casinos: the forgotten frontier of Oddar Meanchey . In: The Phnom Penh Post. 6 July 2001.
  3. ^ "Cambodia Signs Avoided Deforestation Carbon Agreements for Voluntary Carbon Standard Project".
  5. ^ "Community Forestry International - Oddar Meancheay". Archived from the original on 2012-05-24.
  6. ^ Thailand's War With Vichy France
  7. ^ "The European Union's Projects in Cambodia" (PDF). foodsecurity.gov.kh. Archived from the original (PDF) on 2011-07-22.