Are you planning a trip to Cambodia? While this country offers mesmerizing landscapes and vibrant culture, it’s important to be aware of potential safety concerns. In this article, we’ll provide you with essential information to ensure your trip to Cambodia is memorable for all the right reasons.
Preah Vihear temple area and surrounding border region
One area of concern is the region surrounding Preah Vihear temple, which has been the center of a longstanding border dispute between Thailand and Cambodia. Although the situation has improved, tension remains. In 2013, the International Court of Justice ruled in favor of Cambodia’s sovereignty over the entire territory of the Preah Vihear temple. However, clashes and exchanges of gunfire have occurred in the past, resulting in fatalities and the evacuation of civilians. When visiting this area, it is important to exercise caution and follow the instructions of local authorities.
Another area to be cautious of is the seaside resort of Sihanoukville and the Special Economic Zone. Criminal activities such as drug and human trafficking, as well as employment scams, have been reported in this region. If you decide to travel to Sihanoukville despite the advisory, it’s crucial to exercise extreme caution and remain vigilant. Follow the instructions of local authorities to ensure your safety.
Street crime targeting foreigners
Street crime, including pick-pocketing, is unfortunately common in urban areas like Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Criminals, sometimes on motorcycles, target pedestrians, motorcycle drivers, and passengers, grabbing bags and other valuables, including passports. While armed assaults have become increasingly rare, they may still occur, especially in Phnom Penh and on isolated beaches in Sihanoukville. It’s important to exercise a high degree of caution at all times, avoid traveling alone at night, and keep your personal belongings secure.
Demonstrations and Women’s Safety
Demonstrations, both peaceful and violent, occur frequently in Cambodia. They can lead to disruptions in traffic and public transportation, so it’s advisable to avoid areas where demonstrations are taking place. Women travelers should be aware of their surroundings and take necessary precautions as sexual assaults against women have occurred.
Scams and Terrorism
Scams targeting tourists, such as card games and extortion at border crossings, have been reported. Be cautious when accepting assistance from individuals offering help with documentation or transportation. Additionally, there is a threat of terrorism in Cambodia, and potential targets include government buildings, places of worship, airports, and tourist attractions. Always be aware of your surroundings when in public places.
Road Safety, Public Transportation, and Landmines
Cambodia has poor road conditions, and traffic laws are often disregarded. As a result, accidents are frequent. It’s advisable to only travel by road during daylight hours and choose scheduled buses or cars traveling in convoy.
Boats, especially overcrowded ones, may lack adequate safety equipment and can be susceptible to robbery by armed gangs. Take caution when traveling by boat. Avoid trains, as accidents can occur due to poor track maintenance.
Cambodia is one of the most heavily mined countries in the world. Landmines are present in rural areas, particularly in certain provinces. Heed warning signs, do not walk in forested areas or dry rice paddies without a local guide, and avoid outlying temples in heavily mined areas.
Drugs and Piracy
Cambodia faces issues with illicit drug use, which have led to the deaths of several Canadians. It’s important to stay away from illegal drugs and exercise caution. Furthermore, pirate attacks and armed robbery against ships occur in coastal waters. Mariners should take appropriate precautions when traveling through these areas.
For a safe and enjoyable trip to Cambodia, remember to stay informed, be cautious, and prioritize your safety at all times. Enjoy the beautiful landscapes, immerse yourself in the rich culture, and create unforgettable memories. For more information and resources, visit Ekilove. Safe travels!