How Safe is it to Travel to Cambodia?

cambodia travel safety

Concerned about Cambodia's travel safety? Read our travel safety guide before your trip to Cambodia to increase your awareness.

Cambodia is an extremely famous country in the world because of its culture and history. Its popularity is increasing even more as they welcome every traveller to experience the country’s beauty and the people who will share their traditions. You can expect that most Cambodians are warm, friendly, open, and generally grateful for tourists. But for every place that you visit, you have to know what dangers that you should avoid. 

Unfortunately, the country still has some few petty crimes that you can avoid. You must first know how safe is it to travel to Cambodia before you embark on your journey. 

Should Travel Safety in Cambodia be a Concern?

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Every tourist would want to be sure of their safety before travelling to their destination. Cambodia is one of the places you would want to go because it is safe for tourists. But like most countries in the world, Cambodia also has some share of petty crimes. It would be best if you prepare yourself for some small crimes to avoid. You should at least be cautious of bag snatchers, pickpockets, and scammers.

One of the travel safety concerns in Cambodia would be the presence of landmines. There are still various areas in the country where there is still a high concentration of still active mines that are yet to be removed. So, if you are planning to explore the dense forests in rural Cambodia, be mindful of areas where there may be landmines. 

What Natural Disasters Should I Be Aware of When I Visit Cambodia?

cambodia travel safety

The location of Cambodia experiences several natural disasters and most of its neighbouring countries. Like most places in the world, Cambodia is also affected by climate change. This unfortunate situation already took many lives because of floods, typhoons, and droughts. 

Cambodia’s weather includes hydrometeorological events from tropical cyclones and storms, where landslides and lightning strikes contribute to disaster risks. Storms in the Pacific cause massive flooding and overflowing the Mekong River.

Cambodia’s weather is mostly warm, with two distinct seasons, the monsoon and dry. The cool and hot periods within the arid and monsoon season makes up three regular seasons: cold, warm, and rainy.

Cool season (December – January)

Cambodia’s coldest season happens during December and January. The country is at its best when the cold season occurs, especially in Sihanoukville, where the weather is perfect this time of the year. Cambodians usually wear sweaters during the cold season when the temperature drops at  21 °C.

The coldest month of the year is January until February until it fades at the end of the month in the transition to the hot season. Since this weather is pleasant for most people, this is the time when travellers flock the country’s tourist spots like the Angkor Wat. For adventurers, this season is suitable for trekking and hiking.

Hot season (March – June)

Temperatures during this season climbs up to 40 °C (104 °F), and it happens in April where humidity is at its highest which makes it feel hotter than the actual temperature tally. The months of April and May are oppressive due to a consequential lack of shade, the streets become dusty, and the air is still. 

Expats in Cambodia usually arrange a vacation back to their homes during this season to escape the scorching heat of the sun while the ones who are left in the country would spend time at nearby pools to cool down.

Rainy season (June – September, October – November)

During the rainy season, showers can occur for about twenty days and upwards each month but only lasts about half an hour and usually in the afternoons.

Monsoon rains usually have powerful winds which umbrellas cannot withstand. You may want to wear colourful plastic ponchos instead, which you can find almost everywhere in Cambodia. It would also be wise to wear flip-flops because of floods on the streets.

You may want to consider travelling during this season because of the lack of tourists in the country.

Should I Be Concerned About Water Contaminations When Travelling to Cambodia?

Despite the increased tourism in Cambodia, various parts of the country still suffer from poor community conditions. Some fo the villagers in Cambodia’s primary source of drinking water is from rainfall. They have large concrete structures to collect rainwater and store it for a long time. Unfortunately, many people get sick because of the perfect habitat for parasites that these concrete structures create. Although people can treat diseases quickly, it is an inconvenience to the affected because of the expenses they have to prepare. 

Is Cambodia Safe for Female Travellers?

cambodia travel safety

For women travelling alone, Cambodia is a relatively safe country to explore. In general, Cambodians give foreign women the respect they would give the locals. Perhaps one thing that you may keep in mind is that most of them would be curious about foreigners. Unlike Thailand, Cambodia has fewer tourists, so expect to receive curious stares from adults and innocent pokes from children. 

While the country now allows people to dress based on their preference, it is still best to dress appropriately. Avoid miniskirts, short shorts, tight pants, low cut dresses, or any cloth that may be too revealing, particularly when you are entering temples, Cambodian homes, government offices, or bars. 

If you expect to go home late at night, it would be best to book a service ahead so you don’t have to walk late at night, which could only attract bad people to mistreat you. Again, common sense is essential when travelling alone and even in groups. 

Is It Safe to Walk Around Phnom Penh?

Yes. As previously mentioned, Cambodia is a safe country to visit. Phnom Penh is one of the busiest cities in the country and does not pose any danger for tourists. However, you still need to be careful not to give any opportunistic individuals the chance to upend you. Common sense is important. That said, it would still be best to avoid dark alleys or to count money in open areas wherein you would give people the idea to take advantage of you. 

Is Siem Reap Safe at Night?

One of the most unforgettable experiences that you can have in Cambodia is exploring Siem Reap by foot. However, you should know that there are instances of snatching so make sure that you still practice safety precautions. It would also be best if you have a friend to walk with you at night.  Again, avoid dark alleys and do not explore the country when you are drunk as you would only attract trouble. 

Cambodia Travel Safety Tips

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When you are planning to visit Cambodia, here are some travel safety tips to keep in mind: 

Be Mindful of Your Belongings

As a foreigner in a country, it is common sense that you would always be mindful of your belongings. You should not leave your bags unattended whenever you are in a restaurant, temple, or tuk-tuk. 

It would also be best to only carry cash that you would need for your day trip. Don’t bring all your cards at once, and make sure that you have a duplicate copy of your passport and emergency contact numbers. 

When visiting a beach in Cambodia, make sure that you always have your eyes on your items. If there is an available locker, avail it. 

Avoid Car Rentals

While it would be a much cheaper option for you to rent a car while in Cambodia, it is not advisable because of the intensity of police corruption in the country. They can fine you for even small violations. To avoid, police run-ins, it would be best to stick to the tuk-tuk service, as you can have a better chance of negotiation rates better with the drivers than the police officers.

Often, raising your concern to a higher-up would useless as you would only use up your vacation time dealing with the intense bureaucracy in the country. So, it is best to avoid dealing with the country’s law enforcement officers at all. 

Stay Sober

Whenever possible, it is best to know your drinking limit. Do not over enjoy yourself and end up getting victimised by the nefarious individuals. There are certain areas in Phnom Penh with a checkered reputation so better avoid them at all costs unless you want to wake up with no memory of what the transpired the night before and no idea of where your valuables are. 

Avail of Travel Insurance

Whenever you need to travel outside of your home country, availing of travel insurance is always a must. You will never know what emergencies you may face whenever you are in a foreign land, and it pays to have travel insurance that can cover any expenses that you may incur in case you get sick or figure in an accident. 

Now that you have an idea of the travel safety in Cambodia, you may now start planning your trip so you can maximise your stay in the beautiful country of Cambodia. Let us know in the comment about your experience!


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