Safety Tips in Cambodia

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Most Viewed Warnings and Dangers in Cambodia

  • DAO's Profile Photo


    by DAO Updated May 14, 2010

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    Unfortunately the scourge of child prostitution is all too real here in Cambodia. After Thailand cracked down on this in recent years the predators moved on to Cambodia and Vietnam. Some poor families actively allow children to take part in this sick trade because it does generate money. Many organisations are working now within the country to change this in many ways. The first photo is that of a sign in a men’s toilet with telephone numbers you can ring. Paedophilia is a crime in Cambodia and the authorities do imprison offenders. Child sex tourists are both Western and Asian. Also the USA, UK, Germany, Australia and France will prosecute anyone having under-age sex when they return home. If you feel someone is acting suspiciously there are several telephone numbers you can ring below. You can also ask your hotel or hostel to summon the police. You can also report a foreign national to their embassy in Phnom Penh and/or report it via email.

    Cambodia Hotline: 023-720555 or 023 997 919
    ChildSafe Hotline (confidential): 012-296609;

    And an international organisation fighting this crime across the globe:

    End Child Prostitution and Trafficking (Ecpat):

    *** SAVE THIS TIP ***
    Save this and print it off if you are planning a trip to Cambodia. You may save a child from a life of misery.

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  • Estimation

    by radzuanm Written Aug 14, 2009

    Erm....well I just want to warn you not to trust Cambodian when it come to estimating land travelling time. We waste so many hours travelling from Phnom Penh to Sihanoukville. Should have stayed there but since the idea we get is "very near" hence we waste almost 7 hours of good travelling time just on the road. Other than this, Phnom Penh is quite safe.

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  • sunset trip to the lake at Siem Reap

    by rockandrollnomad Updated Feb 2, 2009

    One evening myself and my friend decided to take an organised trip along the river to the lake at Siem Reap to photograph the sunset. We were the only persons on the boat and were asked if we would like to contribute exercise books and pencils to the local floating school. Thinking this was a great idea we stopped at a floating shop to purchase these goods and then onto the school to offer the teacher our presents. At the time I thought the price of 20 dollars was a bit steep but the feeling of 'doing a bit of good' overcame my normal thrifty disposition. On return to the mainland our tuk tuk driver went ballistic with the boat guys for turning his phone off and the situation nearly turned very nasty. 'Gem' our very good tuk tuk driver advised us it was a big scam and the goods are returned to the shop and the spoils shared.

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  • cachaseiro's Profile Photo

    Phnom Penh at night.

    by cachaseiro Updated Jan 28, 2009

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    Phnom Penh after dark is still a bit dodgy and can be unsafe in some of the darker streets.
    The town has in recent years attracted some of the more dodgy foreigners and that has created some criminal enviroment.
    You don't need to be very worried about Phnom Penh at night, but take your precausions and grab a cab if you feel that the street you are in is dodgy.

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  • Be careful in Phnom Penh

    by seagypsy Written May 20, 2008

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    Phnom Penh does have a reputation for bag/purse snatchers on cyclos/motor-bikes so it's best to carry any bag/purse securely. Also the occasional mugging/robbery. Best to have money/valuables in a money belt or neck-pouch.

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  • jubistuta79's Profile Photo

    Cheater taxi driver

    by jubistuta79 Written Jan 3, 2008

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    1.OK...the best way and cheap tp travel around Phnom Penh is by motorbike. You can hired one motorbike with cost USD10. must CLEAR with them that you want the whole day, and DONT mentioned the places you want to go when you deal with them. IF not, the next day, they will tell you to hurry up and they want to finish early. Later, they will go to airport and find another tourist. And..they will mentioned the places that you tell them when you negotiate with them. Its really bad for us... we argue with these drivers because they ask us to finish everything early and try to finish up in 4 hours...but we deal for one day. So, make it clear with them. Dont be afraid, because they cant do anything to you ... they know we can go and take another bike ...
    2. Dont ever try to go eat at street restaurant.Its only applicable for local ppls. Its dirty. You go to nice restaurant, and bfast only cost you less than USD5.
    3. Be careful with traffic ... some junction doesnt have a traffic dont know which roads will go first

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  • Souvenir t-shirts & eating out

    by teevee Written Sep 29, 2007

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    Cheap t-shirts at usd1.50 with pictures of the different temples are sold everywhere. I noticed that the sewing is poor and after 2 wears, the stiching gave way. This is not exclusive to t-shirts but bags/purses etc. things machine sewn. Buy more and be prepared that this will happen. Pity because you cannot buy it anywhere else (other countries). The t-shirts are quite comfortable.

    Lots of cafes and restaurants catered for tourists. Do be cautious about hawker food. Some are not well cooked. The bbq corn is tasteless. No oil/salt is used so it may look juicy and nice but it really is very bland.

    Cafes have italian pizzas with marijuana think better off having normal pizza. The western cafes etc are pretty nice but when sitting in the open air or inside the restaurant facing out, you are so comfortable, while the locals are on bicycles weathering the rain, peddlars taking shelter. Reminds you not to over indulge. It was a thought that has stayed with me how life really is there and as a tourist you just get a tiny sample sometimes.

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  • beggars in siem riep

    by hmmmmh Written Aug 3, 2007

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    theres loads of beggars in siem riep - dont give them money as this only makes the problem worse. give them some food or water - the genuine ones will accept it gratefully.
    there is an organised gang of kids who hang around the main restraunt street who prey on naive tourists. we watched them operate from a rooftop bar one night and it was amazing how many mugs they ripped off - the trick is a baby who gets passed around the beggars who will ask for money to feed the baby. one girl came up to me rubbing her stomach and saying "hungry" - i had some bananas and offered her one, only to get the reply "do i look like a *^%£"$& monkey? give me a dollar!"

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  • low water from siem reap to battambang

    by minimeben Written Apr 8, 2007

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    If travelling from siem reap to battambang,make sure the water on the river is at it's highest! what should have been a 2 hour boat ride turned out to be 4 hours,the river was so low we could not go any further,they said we will be taking an air conditioned minibus the rest of the way,this was actually a pick up truck in the middle of a village,all masked men looked like bandits with there face covered in clothes to keep the dust out, they chucked about 10 of us on the pick up truck for another 3 hour bumpy ride, good fun but not for the faint hearted!!!

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  • Garfield56's Profile Photo

    Stay close to your Guide

    by Garfield56 Written Feb 23, 2007

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    Be very aware , that anywhere that you travel off the beaten paths..... there is a good chance you will run across some of the several hundred's of Thousands of old unstable unexploded land mines.
    Viet Nam era G.I. issue souveners are FAKES, and mass produced.
    Should you be temped to remove any relics, the law states that you will be a guest of the Government for 20 years, and any Cambodian that helps you, gets 10 more yrs in jail than you do.

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  • bsfreeloader's Profile Photo

    Be Careful on the Roads

    by bsfreeloader Written Feb 23, 2007

    Theoretically, you are supposed to drive on the right side of the road in Cambodia. From what I could gather, however, there are no traffic laws whatsoever. This is a place where size definitely matters, with the largest vehicles often simply driving down the middle of the road sending anyone in their way scattering. The roads also are full, mostly with motorcycles and bicycles, but also with buffalo and cow-pulled carriages, push-or-pull carts, elephants, cars, trucks, tuk-tuks, pedestrians, and livestock of all varieties. It is a veritable circus and extremely high comedy, unless you happen to be trying to navigate through it, in which case it is sheer terror. Despite the chaos, I never saw an accident, although they must be extremely common.

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  • Nega's Profile Photo


    by Nega Updated Jan 3, 2007

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    Decades of war left a bitter legacy. Estimates are that there are still between 10 and 12 million mines in Cambodia,which is about one per inhabitant and makes Cambodia the most heavily mined country in the world. The Khmer Rouge heavily mined the country and so did the government in an effort to stop the guerilla. Every month hundreds of accidents happen so stick to the paths and cleared areas and watch your feet if you want to keep them.

    cannon pic V.Peters
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  • be ware of small pickpockets.

    by Dorphineprincess Updated Oct 13, 2006

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    Siemreap: it's relatively safe, since it's touristy, many people are able to get jobs to feed themselves. But be careful of some tourist traps, and be bold to wage a bargain. Get some information about the average prices for some certain products and services, exp: how much is a tuktuk for one day one person, etc.

    Pnom Penh: pickpockets are around, they are usually kids, following you around, be vigilant. in Central market, esp, at night.

    Sihanouville: The lonely planet got it right. motor drivers would drive you to some certain guest house (whether you want it or not) and they get commission. They like taking people to ochheuteal beach, where is not secured. Pickporkets are around esp. towards evening. And I am sure that some people are taking drugs around.
    Better not arrive in Sihanouville at night, except if you have your reserved hotel send a driver to pick you up. or you pay a taxi well enough (4-6D )so that he would take you to the hotel you want.

    notes in GH on Ochheuteal Beach, Sihanouville Notes  in GH ,  Sihanouville
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  • muddybok's Profile Photo

    Naughty, naughty!!! (never imitate muddybok)

    by muddybok Updated Sep 16, 2006

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    Never imitate me which "intentionally" tried to further ruining a historical ruin. Luckily my name is not Samson, else Cambodia ruins will be totally ruined by me.

    Please making sure that nothing will fall on you if you must take such a naughty shot.

    Naughty, naughty!!!
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  • turnip2000's Profile Photo


    by turnip2000 Updated Aug 22, 2006

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    You really need to be careful in Cambodia when drinking water. Typically you should never drink from the tap and make sure your bottle has been sealed properly. Peel your fruits and be careful when buying food off the streets because sanitation issues arise. Most people do not clip their fingernails as often as in many countries and the germs are passed along rather nicely to your tummy.

    NO ice cream no matter what! Electricity can go out and the dairy melts and refreezes and you will never know it. The sheer possibility should stop any dairy cravings...

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Comments (1)

  • Sep 14, 2013 at 8:16 AM

    These posts are too offensive and over reacting! Plus, Some post is not even true. I don't know if it's your intentional or non. But, i would suggest that you should use more of understanding of differences of places in the world.

    • leics's Profile Photo
      Sep 14, 2013 at 12:15 PM

      You may not have realised that all all VT tips are written by individual members, either locals or visitors. So it is inevitable that there will be a range of opinions which reflect individual experiences....and there are certainly no grounds for stating that those experiences are 'not true'.

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