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Is it Safe to Visit Cambodia?


Cambodia is a land of plains and rivers located on the Indochinese mainland of Southeast Asia. The country is known for its historically rich culture and breathtaking landscapes. Undoubtedly, Cambodia is considered to be an ideal destination for your family holiday. But safety is a primary concern while traveling with family. Although Cambodia has significantly improved its safety and security standards, there are still some areas where crimes occasionally happen. So, it is best to learn all about unsafe areas and be cautious before traveling to this country.

Every year thousands of visitors come here with their families to spend their holiday. Whether you are visiting for the first time or returning for another trip, this guide will provide you with recommendations for traveling. It will help you know everything about Cambodia’s current safety situation. So, sit back and start reading!

Is Cambodia Safe for Solo Female Travelers?

Generally, Cambodia is a safe place for females. They can travel alone comfortably. Women can walk freely in the streets, as verbal street harassment is relatively uncommon. But staying in groups while going out at night is better.

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Situations of Environment in Cambodia

The country’s environment includes plants, forests, waterways, and wildlife. People from all over the world come to see these beautiful landscapes. The weather is relatively warm here but it also has a monsoon climate. This gives a unique combination of rainy and dry seasons but is mostly humid throughout the year. The best time to visit Cambodia is when the country experiences low rainfall and warm temperatures during November and May.

Safety Measures

Even though Cambodia’s environment is safe to travel, some things must be kept in mind before traveling there. If you are a fan of visiting the rural areas or countryside, you must follow the marked paths only as there are many unexplored and unmarked paths in the countryside of Cambodia. These landmines have caused many casualties among the locals as well as the visitors. From July to November, Cambodia experiences the wet season with severe storms and flooding. These natural disasters come without any warning. It is better to check the weather before traveling to these areas.

How Safe is Taking Public Transportation in Cambodia?

Many transport options are available in Cambodia, such as motos, tuk-tuks, taxis, and buses. All these are easily accessible to tourists. Motos, tuk-tuks, and buses are the most common means of traveling inside the country. They are generally best for short journeys as the fares are cheap, ranging from $1 or $2. Motos are commonly used in areas where sites are not accessible by sealed roads, while Tuk-tuks are common around the temples of Angkor.

Does Cambodia have Good Roads?

However, traveling in Cambodia can be challenging as the roads are poorly maintained. It has the highest rate of road accidents due to poor vehicles and low safety standards. For driving in Cambodia, you will need a license. Local travel agencies can arrange a Cambodian driving license for a fee. A fine is imposed if you are traveling without a helmet. The police must issue a receipt for a fine or traffic violation in Sihanoukville. It is recommended to avoid traveling through rural areas at night.

If you plan to take a boat ride to Cambodia, you must be cautious of the weather between Sihanoukville and the surrounding islands. There have been specific reports of attacks on travelers traveling through the sea, so you must be vigilant at all times for such attacks and report any such attack to coastal and Flag State authorities.


How Good is Cambodia Concerning Health Safety?

Generally, Cambodia is health-wise safe for travelers from all over the world. But there are some common diseases in the country, such as dengue, malaria, and rabies. If you are planning to visit, you must consider getting health insurance before traveling and also carry a comprehensive medical kit with you at all times.

Common Diseases in the Country

Anyone traveling to Cambodia for a vacation or on an office trip should definitely stay notified of what diseases are common there. It’s essential to get yourself vaccinated against the diseases spread in the respective country or else take preventive measures. Below are the prominent infections and diseases mentioned:

Insect Borne Diseases

Insect-borne diseases such as Japanese Encephalitis, dengue, and chikungunya are widespread in Cambodia. Malaria is also quite common in mountain regions. Take the following precautions to protect yourself from these diseases:

  • Get the vaccination for Japanese encephalitis before traveling
  • Use insect repellant
  • Make your living place mosquito-proof
  • Wear long-sleeved clothes
  • Avoid being outdoors at night
  • Take the necessary medications to prevent malaria.


Rabies is common across animals in Cambodia. It is found in infected cats, bats, dogs, monkeys, and other mammals. Avoid contact with any of the mentioned animals to reduce the risk of getting rabies. Seek medical assistance immediately if the infected animal bites you. Vaccination for rabies is available at larger medical facilities.

Waterborne, Foodborne and other Infections

Some of the other infections that are common in Cambodia are hepatitis, typhoid, cholera, and tuberculosis. Freshwater sources are known to carry these diseases. Follow the following instructions to protect yourself from getting these infections during your stay in Cambodia:

  • Avoid swimming in freshwater.
  • Drink boiled water only.
  • Avoid uncooked or undercooked food.

The medical facilities in Cambodia are deplorable in quality. There are no medical facilities outside Phnom Penh. The services provided by them are often limited. In case of a severe injury, you will be asked to evacuate and move to a better facility, and this evacuation can be extremely expensive.

Is the Country Politically Stable?

Although Cambodia has remained politically stable recently, visitors should be vigilant while traveling to certain places. Public protests can sometimes turn violent, and local police cannot differentiate between the protestors and the visitors. Authorities arrest the visitors involved in political protests. Visitors should keep themselves updated by following the local media.

Some possible sites for rallies in Phnom Penh are:

  • Freedom Park
  • Political party offices and court buildings
  • The Prime Minister’s home
  • Wat Phnom
  • Government and military buildings or compounds

Ways to protect yourself during such periods of unrest:

  • Try to follow the advice of local authorities.
  • Monitor the media to stay updated.
  • Show respect while passing through religious places.
  • Avoid filming during protests.
  • Avoid political events, protests, demonstrations, large-scale public gatherings, and roadblocks.


Demonstrations are frequent in Cambodia. These demonstrations can sometimes become violent. In such situations, follow these instructions:

  • Avoid passing through areas where demonstrations are taking place
  • Obey the directions given by local officials.
  • Keep track of news through the local media.


Cambodia has a threat of terrorism. These terrorist attacks can occur at any time. Some places that are usually the target of these attacks include:

  • Temples and other places of worship
  • Public places such as restaurants, tourist attractions, shopping centers, coffee shops, hotels, bars, markets, and other sites are frequently visited by foreigners.
  • Government buildings, including schools, colleges
  • Airports and other transportation networks such as railway stations, bus stations

Cambodia and Thailand Border Dispute

Cambodia and Thailand have had a border dispute over the region near the Preah Vihear temple. These clashes led to an exchange of gun fires and resulted in several fatalities. In 2013, the International Court of Justice decided to give Cambodia authority over the entire territory of the Preah Vihear temple. Even though the situation between the two countries has greatly improved, some tension and unrest remain, so it is advised to be cautious while traveling to this area.

What is the Crime Situation in Cambodia?

No country is entirely free of crime. There are always crimes occurring in some regions of the country. Cambodia is a relatively safe tourist spot, but some areas have a high risk for petty crimes and scams. The visitors are advised to take safety precautions while traveling to these areas.

Petty Crime

The most common crime is the ‘snatch-and-grab’ crime against travelers. These thieves on motorcycles steal from people walking on the footpath or traveling through local transport, such as a rickshaw. Bag snatching, theft from luggage buses, and pocket-picking are among some common crimes on Cambodia’s streets. People even got injured due to such crimes. The areas where these crimes occur are:

  • Siem Reap
  • Phnom Penh
  • Sihanoukville

Ways to protect yourself from such crimes:

  • Avoid carrying bags.
  • Keep an eye on your belongings.
  • Avoid using ATMs on the street.
  • Walk on footpaths, with your bag on the opposite side of the traffic.

Gun Violence

Owning guns is quite common in Cambodia. Due to this, there have been disputes and many shootouts involving weapons. Criminals have hurt the locals and the tourists in these disputes.

Sexual Assault

Criminals often victimize visitors for sexual assault when they are traveling alone or late at night. Organized dance parties on the coast of Sihanoukville are a common place where sexual assault takes place. To protect yourself from such situations, try to arrange your transport beforehand, and rather than traveling alone, try to travel with a trusted person.


Criminal rings in Phnom Penh contact travelers and invite them to private homes by creating stories. They are forced to play card games in which they lose a lot of money; in addition to that, the visitors are forced at gunpoint to withdraw money from their ATMs. Online friendship and relationship scams have also become quite familiar with time. Credit card fraud occurs using different skimming machines that store card data. Here are some of the tips for protecting yourself from such crimes:

  • Check for skimming machines before using ATMs.
  • Be vigilant of invitations from strangers, including visiting private homes.
  • Never carry luggage for others.

Drug Crime

Although drugs are prohibited in Cambodia, drug-related incidents are still common here. Visitors often do not know what they are buying and end up getting into jail. Then you might have to pay a heavy fine or might get deported. So, it is better to avoid drugs in Cambodia to save yourself from huge trouble.


Things to Consider While Travelling to Cambodia

If you want to spend a peaceful and safe holiday in Cambodia, then consider following these general rules:

  • Take care of your belongings. Do not leave them unattended.
  • Avoid carrying large amounts of cash.
  • Keep your cards and cash at different places while going out.
  • Keep your cards and cash in zipped pockets.
  • Hire a reliable guide to exploring Cambodia.
  • Keep a photo of your passport with you and keep the original one in a safe place.
  • Avoid visiting desolate areas at night.
  • Try to keep your valuable assets out of sight.


Cambodia is a beautiful country that has become a famous tourist spot. Although it is relatively safe to travel, some places in the country require special precautions while visiting. These areas are Siem Reap, Phnom Penh, and Sihanoukville. The crimes here include street crimes such as bag-snatching, pocket-picking, etc. Some other safety issues include transportation accidents and diseases such as dengue, malaria, and rabies. Despite all these safety issues, Cambodia is considered a safe place if you take the necessary precautions while traveling. Visitors can have a wonderful experience by being cautious and vigilant.

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