Kampuchean (Cambodian) Riel - KHR


The Kampuchean Riel, or Cambodian Riel, is the official currency of Cambodia. Cambodia has a total landmass of 181,035 square kilometres and is bordered by Thailand to the northwest, Laos to the northeast, Vietnam to the east, and the Gulf of Thailand to the southwest. The minority groups include Vietnamese, Chinese, Chams, and 30 hill tribes. The capital and largest city is Phnom Penh, the political, economical, and cultural center of Cambodia.


  • In 2010 the per capita income in Cambodia was $2,470 and $1,040 in nominal per capita. Cambodia’s per capita income is rapidly increasing, but low compared to other countries in the region.
  • Most rural households depend on agriculture and related subsectors.
  • Rice, fish, timber, garments, and rubber are Cambodia's main exports. The International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) reintroduced more than 750 traditional rice varieties to Cambodia from its rice seed bank in the Philippines. These varieties had been collected in the 1960’s.
  • China is Cambodia’s largest source of foreign direct investment. China plans to spend $8 billion in 360 projects in the first seven months of 2011. It is also the largest source of foreign aid, providing about $600 million in 2007 and $260 million in 2008.


  • In 1953, the Cambodian branch of the Institut d'Emission des Etats du Cambodge, du Laos et du Vietnam issued two Piastres banknotes. The Riel was at par with the Piastre.
  • At the same time, the other two branches had a similar agreement with the Djonga in South Vietnam and in Laos kip. This means that the first Kampuchean Riel was a direct descendant of the Spanish pieces of eight.
  • The Riel was first divided into 100 cents; in 1959 this was changed to 100 sen. Initially the Riel and Piastre were both in circulation. In fact, the first Riel bills were also called Piastres.
  • The 10, 20, and 50 centimes issued in 1953 and the sen coins were minted in aluminium and were the same size as the corresponding att and xu (su) coins of Laos and South Vietnam.
  • Available Kampuchean Riel coins are 50 riels, 100 riels, and 200 riels.
  • A 1 riel coin about the size of a U.S. nickel was to be issued in 1970 but was not released, perhaps due to the overthrow of the government of Norodom Sihanouk by Lon Nol.

General Information

Symbols and Names

  • Symbols: CR
  • Nicknames: none

ISO 4217 Code


Currency Subunits

  • Kak = 1/10 of a Riel
  • Sem = 1/100 of a Riel


  • Bills: 50, 100, 500, 1,000, 2,000, 5,000, 10,000, 20,000, 50,000 riel
  • Coins: 50, 100, 200, 500 riel

Countries Using This Currency

  • Cambodia

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