The English term Province is certified since approximately 1330 and derives from the ancient Roman in Latin called Provincia, which referred to the major territorial and administrative unit of the Roman Empire's foreign territory (Roman's territorial possessions outside Italy). A popular etymology is from Latin pro- ("on behalf of") and Vincere ("to triumph" or "to take control of"). Therefore, a "province" would be a territory or function that a Roman magistrate held control of on behalf of his government. In fact, the word province is an ancient term from public law, which means: "office belonging to a magistrate". This agrees with the Latin term's earlier usage as a generic term for a jurisdiction under Roman law.
The provinces were established artificially by colonialism and others were formed by local groups based on their own ethnic identities. A province is almost always an administrative division within a country or state. The power of a province is implemented differently based on a variety of systems of governments and laws. Many have their own powers independent of central or federal authority, especially in Canada and Pakistan. In other countries, like China or France, provinces are the creation of a central government, with very little autonomy.
In Cambodia, provinces are part of the government of Cambodia that is distributed into 25 provinces. There is an autonomous municipality, the capital Phnom Penh, which is equivalent to a province governmentally and administered at the same level as the other 24 provinces. They are the primary local government units and act as juristic persons.
They are divided into districts (in Khmer called Srok) which are further subdivided into communes (Khum) and villages (Phum), the next lower level of local government. The number of districts in each province varies, from two in the smallest provinces to 14 in Battambang, Prey Veng, and Siem Reap. In Phnom Penh, Districts are called Khans (normally written as addresses in English followed by the districts' name, for example, Khan Daun Penh, literally Daun Penh District), and Communes are called Sangkats (normally written as addresses in English followed by the communes' name, for example, Sangkat Tonle Bassac, literally Tonle Bassac Commune), respectively.
Here is the list of Provinces/Capital and their municipalities:
1. Banteay Meanchey (Serei Saophoan Municipality and Poi Pet Municipality)
2. Battambang (Battambang Municipality)
3. Kampong Cham (Kampong Cham Municipality)
4. Kampong Chhnang (Kampong Chhnang Municipality)
5. Kampong Speu (Chbar Morn Municipality)
6. Kampong Thom (Stueng Saen Municipality)
7. Kampot (Kampot Municipality)
8. Kandal (Ta Khmau Municipality)
9. Kep (Kep Municipality)
10. Koh Kong (Khemara Phoumin Municipality)
11. Kratié (Kratié Municipality)
12. Mondulkiri (Saen Monourom Municipality)
13. Oddar Meanchey (Samraong Municipality)
14. Pailin (Pailin Municipality)
15. Phnom Penh Capital (Autonomous Municipality)
16. Preah Vihear (Preah Vihear Municipality)
17. Pursat (Pursat Municipality)
18. Prey Veng (Prey Veng Municipality)
19. Ratanakiri (Banlung Municipality)
20. Siem Reap (Siem Reap Municipality)
21. Preah Sihanouk (Preah Sihanouk Municipality and Koh Rong Municipality)
22. Stueng Treng (Stueng Treng Municipality)
23. Svay Rieng (Svay Rieng Municipality and Bavet Municipality)
24. Takéo (Doun Kaev Municipality)
25. Tboung Khmum (Tboung Khmum Municipality)
Each province is led by a governor, who is appointed by the central government meaning that one is nominated by the Ministry of Interior, subject to approval by the head of government-Prime Minister. To date, there are 203 of first-level administrative divisions of Cambodia organized by 24 provinces and an autonomous municipality including 162 districts (Srok), 27 district-level municipalities (Krong), and 14 Khans.
According to the General Population Census of the Kingdom of Cambodia 2019 issued by the National Institute of Statistics, Ministry of Planning, The capital Phnom Penh has both the highest population (2,281,951) and the highest population density (3,136) of all provinces but is the second smallest in land area (679 square kilometers). The largest province by area is Mondulkiri (14,288 square kilometers) and the smallest (336 square kilometers) is Kep which is also the least populated province (42,665). Mondulkiri has the lowest population density (6).
Kampong Thom is a central province of Cambodia that is 168 kilometers from Phnom Penh and 150 kilometers from Siem Reap along National Road 6. Kampong Thom, covering 13,814 square kilometers, borders (from north clockwise) Preah Vihear, Stung Treng, Kratie, Kampong Cham, Kampong Chhnang, Tonle Sap lake, and Siem Reap.
Phnom Penh is Cambodia's one and only capital and most populous city. It has been the national capital in two separate periods: the first period is a capital city from 1434 to 1497 and the second one is from the French Protectorate of Cambodia (in 18650) till the present, and has gradually grown to become the nation’s economic, industrial, and cultural center. Phnom Penh, covering 679 square kilometers, borders only Kandal Province.
Siem Reap is one of the northwestern provinces of Cambodia which is 314 kilometers from Phnom Penh along National Road 6. Siem Reap, covering 10,299 square kilometers, is on the flat plain of Tonle Sap lake. Its neighboring provinces are (from north clockwise) Oddar Meanchey, Preah Vihear, Kampong Thom, Tonle Sap Lake (The Great lake), Battambang, and Banteay Meanchey.