Cambodia

Cambodia

Use Normal Level of Caution

The Kingdom of Cambodia, formerly known as Kampuchea, is a country in Southeast Asia on the Gulf of Thailand. Neighbouring countries include Thailand, Laos, and Vietnam. The population is about 14,700,00 people.

The government is a constitutional monarchy and parliamentary representative democracy. The chief of state is a king, and the head of government is a prime minister.

Agriculture has been the most important sector of the Cambodian economy, and rice is the main crop. Tourism is also an important part of Cambodia's economy with over 2 million visitors each year. Some of the attractions are Angkor Wat, the cities of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, ecotourism, beaches, and other sites that bear witness to the destructive reign of the Khmer Rouge.

Currency KHR: Riel
Language Khmer
Capital Phnom Penh
Recent Alerts 2
Latest Alert November 14, 2017 - Potential for civil unrest in Cambodia

Diseases To Be Aware Of

The diseases listed below are those which occur most often in Cambodia. Other, less frequently encountered diseases might be displayed within the Travel Alerts section if they have occurred recently.

Typhoid Fever

Unvaccinated people can become infected through contaminated food and water in Cambodia. The risk is higher when visiting smaller cities, villages, or rural areas where food and water sources may be contaminated.

Dengue Fever

Dengue fever outbreaks occur regularly in Cambodia, and the risk to travellers is significant.

Malaria

Malaria risk exists throughout the year in all forested rural areas, including coastal areas. Phnom Penh and areas close to Tonle Sap (Siem Reap) are not at risk. Risk within the tourist area of Angkor Wat is negligible. The severe strain of malaria called P. falciparum, that may be resistant to artesunate, mefloquine, lumefantrine and piperaquine, has been reported in western Cambodia.

Japanese encephalitis

Japanese encephalitis occurs throughout all of Cambodia, with increases in July through August. The risk for travellers of contracting Japanese encephalitis is low, but extensive outdoor activity in rural areas will increase this risk.

Hepatitis A

There is a significant risk for hepatitis A virus exposure in Cambodia through contaminated food or water. Infection can still occur at tourist destinations and resorts.

Hepatitis B

There is a significant risk for acquiring hepatitis B in Cambodia.

Chikungunya Fever

Chikungunya fever has occurred in this country.

Tuberculosis

Travellers to Cambodia are at risk for tuberculosis if visiting ill friends or family or working in the health care field.

Scrub Typhus

Scrub typhus, also known as Tsutsugamushi fever, occurs occasionally in Cambodia.

Rabies

Rabies occurs in Cambodia. Travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk.

Hand, Foot and Mouth Disease

Outbreaks of Hand, Foot and Mouth disease can occur in Cambodia.

Cholera

Cholera occurs in this country.

Schistosomiasis

This disease is present in this country and is acquired through contact with fresh water, such as swimming, bathing, or rafting. Well-chlorinated swimming pools and contact with saltwater in oceans or seas will not put travellers at risk for schistosomiasis.

Yellow Fever

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. This country requires all persons 1 year of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, including transiting more than 12 hours through an airport in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Zika Fever

Zika virus can occur in this country.

Vaccinations to Consider

The following is a list of recommended vaccinations for travelling to Cambodia.

Hepatitis A Vaccine

There is a significant risk of exposure to hepatitis A for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Hepatitis B Vaccine

There is a significant risk of infection with hepatitis B for this country. Therefore, the vaccination is recommended.

Japanese Encephalitis Vaccine

Vaccination against Japanese encephalitis is recommended for short-term (<1 month) travellers to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season if their itinerary or activities will increase their risk (e.g. spending substantial time outdoors in rural or agricultural areas; staying in accommodations without air conditioning, screens, or bed nets.) Vaccination is recommended for travellers in an area with an ongoing outbreak of Japanese encephalitis. Long-term travellers (i.e. trips lasting a month or more) to endemic areas during Japanese encephalitis virus transmission season should also be vaccinated.

Typhoid Fever Vaccine

There is a risk of exposure to typhoid fever in this country through consumption of unsafe food and water. Since exposure to unsafe sources is variable within this country, the vaccination against typhoid fever is generally recommended, especially when visiting smaller cities and rural areas.

Yellow Fever Vaccine

There is no risk of yellow fever in this country. This country requires all persons 1 year of age and older to have proof of the yellow fever vaccination if travelling from a country with a risk of yellow fever transmission, including transiting more than 12 hours through an airport in a country with risk of yellow fever transmission.

Rabies Vaccine

Vaccination against rabies is recommended for travellers involved in outdoor activities (e.g., campers, hikers, bikers, adventure travellers, and cavers) who may have direct contact with rabid dogs, bats, and other mammals. Those with occupational risks (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, researchers) and long-term travellers and expatriates are at higher risk and should be vaccinated.

Cholera Vaccine

The U.K. NaTHNaC recommends the oral cholera vaccine for some travellers whose activities or medical history put them at increased risk, travelling to areas of active cholera transmission. These risk factors include: aid workers; those going to areas of cholera outbreaks who have limited access to potable water and medical care; travellers for whom the vaccination would be considered potentially beneficial, such as chronic medical conditions. The U.S. CDC recommends the cholera vaccine for travellers who are 18-64 years of age and who plan to travel to areas of active cholera transmission. CDC notes that most travellers do not travel to areas of active cholera transmission, and that safe food and water practices can prevent many cholera infections.

Medications to Consider

The following is a list of recommended medications for travelling to Cambodia.

Anti-malarial Drugs

Travellers to Cambodia should consider anti-malaria medication unless only visiting Phnom Penh, areas close to Lake Tonle Sap, and the temple complex at Angkor Wat. For the western provinces of Cambodia bordering Thailand, atovaquone/proguanil or doxycycline are recommended. Anti-malaria drug resistance is present for chloroquine in the rest of Cambodia. The recommended medication includes atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.

Safety and Security in Cambodia

Emergency Numbers

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Emergency services in Cambodia are extremely limited.

In Phnom Penh, to report a crime, go to Tourist Police at Number 13, Street 158 near Wat Koh. The Tourist Police office in Siem Reap is next to the ticketing booth at the Angkor temple ruins. In other towns, consult the local police.

Personal Safety

Most travellers have no trouble in Cambodia. Violent crime is rare. Petty crime, however, does occur and there have been some reports of armed robbery against foreigners. Street crime targeting tourists, such as pickpocketing, occurs more in urban areas like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Be particularly cautious around the waterfront and BBK areas in Phnom Penh and also the tourist areas of Sihanoukville.

Always take precautions for your personal safety and be alert in your surroundings. Keep valuables secure and out of sight, and avoid showing signs of wealth. Safeguard your important documents, such as your passport. Exercise caution at night and avoid walking alone at night. Do not accept drinks or food from strangers and never leave your drinks out of your sight.

Thieves on motorcycles will sometimes grab bags and other valuables while passing pedestrians on the street. Banditry can occur, mostly at night, in rural areas and on routes between Kratie, Snoul, and Stung Treng in the northeastern provinces. Some foreigners have encountered difficulties with police and military personnel.

Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Landmines are still found in rural areas of Cambodia, especially the border area with Thailand, Siem Reap (excluding the town of Siem Reap and the Angkor temples), Battambang, Kampong Thom, Banteay Meanchey, and Pursat provinces. Never leave roads or walk in forested areas or in dry rice paddies without a local guide. Areas around small bridges or secondary roads are especially dangerous. Do not visit outlying temples, particularly in Phnom Kulen and the River of a Thousand Lingas. Always follow warning signs and do not touch any unknown objects. If an object resembling a landmine is found, it should be reported to the Cambodia Mine Action Centre at (855) 23 981 083 or (855) 23 981 084.

There have been reports of sexual assault in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Women should be vigilant and avoid walking alone. Some reported incidents have involved men who claim to be motorbike taxi drivers in the Pub Street area of Siem Reap.

There are modesty laws at some religious sites. Visitors must cover knees and shoulders. There is an official code of conduct for visitors to Angkor Wat. If you are not dressed appropriately, you may not be admitted to the sites.

Political Unrest

Some political protests have turned violent in the past. To minimize safety risk, avoid all public gatherings or demonstrations.

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