Tourists taking photos at Angkor Wat
Tourists taking photos at Angkor Wat

Dangers and Annoyances in Cambodia

Generally speaking Cambodia is a safe country for travelers, even solo female ones. But like for any other countries that you may travel in, it is always wise to use common sense so that your trip in Cambodia is a wonderfully complete experience. Here you can find possible dangers and annoyances on your trips to Cambodia such as security, traffic, safety, legal matters, begging...

Security
Generally speaking the Khmers are very friendly and hospitable. But after the Khmer Rouge Regime, there are lots of guns left and there's still a certain degree of lawlessness throughout Cambodia. When traveling in Cambodia, it's better not to hang about late, especially in Phnom Penh. Even though theft, pick-pocketing and other petty crimes are not a problem as many other countries, it pays you exercise care when visiting crowded places such as markets and border-crossings, checkpoints... It's also better for you to leave your passport, airline tickets and other travel documents in your room safe or at the hotel reception.

There are still landmines or unexploded ordnance (UXO) in Cambodia. The Pol Pot littered about 4-6 millions around the country which still cause casualty to the Cambodian and their live stocks. When you visit the Temples of Angkor, remote areas such as Ratanakiri and Mondulkiri, Bokor National Park, Battambang, Pailin... it's recommended to have a good local tour guide and always stick to the well-trodden paths. Also you may encounter undetonated mines, mortars and bombs from the war, never touch them then. In the worst case that you are in need of a restroom and not sure of the area, don't stray from the well-trodden path.

Begging
Cambodia is still a poor country with no social security network and and there are many victims of the war, victims of landmines... who have been deprived of the capability to earn a living themselves; it's easy to understand that there are many beggars in the country. When giving to beggars, try to give them small notes so that other travellers won't be made of a target. Also there are many children in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap made to beg by their family or by their boss; the child beggar may not benefit from your money at all. If you give money to a child beggar, you may make many children forced out into streets begging.

Snakes
There are many tourist attractions in Cambodia that encroached by trees or bushes. Behind those trees and bushes could be venomous snakes waiting for their victims. Keep you eyes peered when exploring these sites then.

Traffic Accidents
Traffic in Cambodia is not as bad as that in Thailand and Vietnam, but the road system is not good and if you drive in Cambodia, do it very carefully. Normally Cambodian drivers are gentle and they drive at reasonable speed. Still be observant to your driver and insist on getting off the bus if his driving is strange. Make sure you wear helmet if riding; have the seat-belt on when in a car or bus and always give way to others who you hear a horn from.

Legal Matters
Narcotic substances are not legal in Cambodia and it's best you avoid to be in contact with them while in Cambodia.