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Security, Safety and Scams

Angkor Wat Temple, Siem Reap, Cambodia

By comparability to different main vacationer locations around the globe, Cambodia is a comparatively secure journey vacation spot, although continues to be topic to petty crime, harmful site visitors, and the identical cons and scams frequent to most Southeast Asian international locations. That mentioned, there was a gentle enhance in crime during the last couple of years, notably road crime like bag snatching and muggings, together with some violent incidents.

1. Visitors and Transportation

Visitors accidents will not be unusual within the chaotic site visitors of Cambodia, notably Phnom Penh and on the Nationwide Routes between main cities. The commonest and handy types of public transportation are the tuk-tuk and the motorcycle-taxi (motodup), although automobile taxi is the most secure method to transfer across the metropolis. For taxi contact particulars see: Phnom Penh; Siem Reap, Sihanoukville

For many who select to hire a bike and drive themselves, be forewarned that site visitors in Phnom Penh is chaotic within the excessive, making motorcycling very difficult. Roads outdoors town fluctuate in situation. A lot of the Nationwide Routes are in good situation and dangerously quick and unregulated. In the event you do determine to journey, drive slowly, keep proper, put on a helmet and keep in mind that medical providers are restricted, particularly within the countryside the place it’s virtually non-existent. Solely skilled riders ought to try driving in Cambodia.

Ferry to Siem Reap The security of the ferries that ply the Tonle Sap between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap could also be of some concern. The general public ferries on no account meet worldwide security requirements. Little or no security tools is out there. In case you are in search of worldwide requirements of security, don’t take the native ferry between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, although if you’re accustomed to touring on ferries in southern Asia, you’ll in all probability discover the Siem Reap ferry to be slightly tame.

2. Felony Exercise

Outdoors of Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville, violent prison exercise directed towards overseas vacationers happens however continues to be fairly uncommon. Bag snatching and mugging isn’t unusual in Phnom Penh as is petty theft in Sihanoukville. Siem Reap city appears to have fewer incidents although there have been reported bag snatchings and pickpocketing. Over the past a number of years there have additionally been just a few violent crimes towards foreigners touring alone in different provincial cities. However a minimum of at this time limit, these crimes are exceptions slightly than the rule.

Phnom Penh Road robberies of vacationers in Phnom Penh are being reported with rising frequency. Most happen at night time, close to well-liked vacationer locations and virtually all the time to vacationers in tuk-tuks or on foot. The robbers are typically armed with a handgun and often solely need cash. Although the robbers usually keep away from making use of violence, they may change into violent if challenged, and it’s also taking place extra usually. The surest method to keep away from theft is to take a automobile taxi when touring after darkish. In the event you select to take a tuk-tuk, it’s best to not go alone, keep away from carrying a bag if potential, keep on principal roads slightly than darkish facet streets and be notably cautious as you exit the tuk-tuk at your vacation spot. If confronted by robbers, don’t resist. Surrender your cash shortly and they’re going to in all probability depart as shortly as they confirmed up.

Snatch and seize robberies are additionally often reported, concentrating on each locals and vacationers – bag, digital camera, iPhone/iPad or necklace is grabbed by a passing motorcyclist. Be notably conscious if you first arrive by bus/airplane and are taking a tuk-tuk to your resort. When strolling down the road, maintain your digital camera/bag in your inside shoulder away from the site visitors facet. Most tuk-tuk drivers will advise you to maintain your digital camera and luggage in entrance of you in the course of the tuk-tuk, not close to outdoors the place it may be grabbed. Additionally word that when driving on the again of a bike taxi, maintain your bag or backpack instantly between you and the motive force, or let the motive force place it in entrance of him. There have been a number of reviews of individuals pulled off of the again of motorbike taxis when thieves grabbed the bag or backpack they have been carrying.

Different non-violent, non-confrontational crime does happen, however must be apparent sufficient to virtually go with out mentioning: Don’t depart cash or valuables in your resort room unattended. Don’t depart cash or valuables unattended on the seashores in Sihanoukville. Don’t depart your luggage in a taxi or tuk-tuk when you go right into a resort to test in. Be very cautious of your belongings in case you take a prostitute to your resort room. Watch out of pickpockets in vacationer areas, in crowded discos and golf equipment, notably golf equipment full of prostitutes, and on the conventional markets such because the Russian Market and Phsar Kandal in Phnom Penh the place the pickpockets are sometimes seemingly pleasant kids.

3. Scams

Vacationers and vacationers report just a few totally different minor scams in Siem Reap together with:

  1. the milk rip-off (i.e. bedraggled lady with toddler in arms tells you she would not need cash, simply milk for her child. You purchase milk for her on the mini-mart. After you allow she returns the milk and splits cash with the mini-mart)
  2. the rice rip-off (i.e. tout tells you orphanage/faculty wants rice for teenagers. Takes you to market the place you purchase wildly overpriced rice to donate. Tout/vendor cut up revenue. Not as frequent lately.)
  3. At present the costliest and horrifying rip-off in Cambodia is what has come to be referred to as the ‘Blackjack Rip-off,’ or the “Philippine Blackjack Rip-off” – passing on the road or available in the market a pleasant stranger, usually a pair, tells you he likes your glasses, shirt, bag, and many others. Informal dialog ensues. They invite you to their home to fulfill household/have dinner/have cultural expertise. Pleasant card sport begins. Earlier than you already know it you owe lots of and even hundreds of {dollars} and are being escorted to the ATM by a gaggle of thugs. See

4. Border Scams

The official value for Cambodian visas are: Vacationer (Kind ‘T’): US$30. Enterprise (Kind ‘E’): US$35, although there may be additional costs at some overland crossing factors. Vacationers proceed to report that immigration on the Cham Yeam (Koh Kong) crossing usually is not going to settle for cost in US {dollars} and overcharge for visas. There are not reviews of this identical follow from the Poipet crossing. Poipet vacationers report that visas can be found, in {dollars}, at official costs BUT service may be fairly gradual and there’s an categorical visa service obtainable for 100 baht additional.

On the Poipet crossing, vacationers coming from Thailand to Cambodia are sometimes confronted by by touts and drivers on the Thai facet of the border that direct you to ‘native consulate’ in your method to the border crossing in your Cambodian visa. DO NOT USE THEIR SERVICES. DO NOT GET YOUR VISA AT THE ‘LOCAL CONSULATE’ ON THE THAI SIDE. The visa is legitimate however considerably costlier than the visa obtainable at Cambodian immigration. Don’t get your Cambodian visa till you could have stamped out of Thailand, crossed the border into Cambodia and arrived at Cambodian immigration. (Comply with the signal within the photograph to the official Cambodian Immigration station.)

Additionally, the touts will inform you that you should alternate overseas forex for Cambodian riel. THERE IS NO REQUIREMENT TO CHANGE MONEY AT THE BORDER. It’s a rip-off to get you to alter cash at a rip-off alternate price. DO NOT change cash on the border.

5. Medication

As extra harmful kinds of medicine have change into extra extensively obtainable, Cambodia has begun to implement the drug legal guidelines extra vigorously. Foreigners are actually going to jail for illicit drug possession. Additionally, there was a gentle enhance in drug associated deaths of vacationers. It has been instructed that is due, a minimum of partially, to overdoses from heroin offered as cocaine or to the comparative power of the heroin in Cambodia. Regardless, medicine in Cambodia is shortly changing into a way more harmful enterprise. Beware.

6. Illness and Vaccinations

For illness considerations see the Visas and Vaccinations web page. Do not forget that AIDS/HIV and Hepatitis B are very prevalent amongst Cambodia’s intercourse employees.

The overwhelming majority of vacationers that go to Cambodia won’t ever face any of the issues talked about above. Nonetheless…

Don’t do in Cambodia, what you wouldn’t do in your house nation.

Pay attention to your environment.

Be city-smart in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.

All the time use frequent sense.

Cambodia: Visas & Vaccinations
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Festivals & Events in Cambodia
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