Exercise normal safety precautions in Cambodia. Use common sense. Look out for suspicious behaviour. Monitor the media and other information sources for changes to local conditions.
- There are increased risks related to security, crime and road safety during Khmer New Year celebrations (13-16 April). The Cambodian Prime Minister has announced that local authorities have disrupted a plan to bomb Wat Phnom in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Be alert during religious or national festivals, and monitor the news and other sources for developments which may affect your security.
- Avoid political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. If you appear to be involved, you could be arrested and deported. See
Safety and security.
- If you plan to volunteer in Cambodia, read our volunteering overseas page to ensure your volunteering experience is safe, ethical and worthwhile. See
- 'Snatch and grab' crimes against foreigners by thieves on motorcycles are frequent and have resulted in injuries to victims. Assaults and armed robberies against foreigners have also occurred. Foreigners have been the target of sexual assault. Victims are often targeted at night, when intoxicated and travelling alone. See
Safety and security.
- Be wary of accepting invitations from strangers. Criminals presenting themselves as friendly locals invite tourists into private homes where they are coerced into playing card games. Travellers have lost large amounts of money, sometimes at gun point. See
Safety and security.
- Don't visit Cambodia to arrange commercial surrogacy. See
- Penalties for drug offences, including those involving 'soft drugs', are severe. See
- The wet season is from July to November. During this time, severe storms and widespread flooding, including localised flash flooding, can occur without warning. See
Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
Entry and exit
You'll need a visa to visit Cambodia.
If you're travelling to Cambodia for tourism, you can apply for an electronic tourist visa (e-visa) online through the
Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. E-visas are valid for entry through the Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville International Airports, and Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poipet (Banteay Meanchey), Bavet (Svay Rieng) and Tropaeng Krael (Stung Treang). E-visas aren't accepted at other entry points.
Tourist visas are also available on arrival at air and land entry points that are open to foreigners, including those where e-visas are accepted.
Tourist visas are valid for thirty days. For longer stays, or if you're travelling to Cambodia for a purpose other than tourism, you'll need to arrange a visa in advance through the nearest
Embassy or Consulate of Cambodia.
Day trips (arriving and departing on the same day) aren't permitted, except when arriving and departing via Phnom Penh International Airport.
Visa and other entry and exit conditions (such as currency, customs and quarantine regulations) can change at short notice. Contact the nearest
Embassy or Consulate of Cambodia for up-to-date information.
Land border crossings
If you plan to enter or exit Cambodia via a land border crossing, confirm before you travel that it's open to foreigners and, if required, that visas on arrival are available. Entry and exit conditions change regularly. Be especially alert to the local security situation in border regions and land crossings between countries. Monitor local media and follow the instructions of local authorities. See
Safety and security.
On the Thai border, there are six crossing points you can use to enter and exit Cambodia. The crossing points are:
- Cham Yeam (Koh Kong)
- O Smach (Oddar Meanchey)
- Poipet (Banteay Meanchey)
- Prom (Pailin)
- Daung (Battambang)
- Chorma (Oddar Meanchey).
You can get tourist visas on arrival at these border crossings during opening hours. If you're travelling to Thailand for tourism, you may be eligible for a 15-day 'visa exemption'. See the
travel advice for Thailand.
There is an ongoing dispute between Thailand and Cambodia over their shared border. The most recent fighting in 2012 caused fatalities. If you visit the Thai-Cambodia border area, be alert to the risk of landmines and unexploded military ordnance. This is particularly relevant for the following areas popular with tourists:
- the Preah Vihear temple (known as Khao Pra Viharn temple in Thailand), located between Sisaket Province in Thailand and Preah Vihear Province in Cambodia
- the Ta Krabei (known as Ta Kwai temple in Thailand) and Ta Moan Thom (known as Ta Muen temple in Thailand) temples, located in Oddar Meanchey province in Cambodia.
Tourist attractions and border crossing points in this area may be closed with little or no notice.
On the Vietnamese border, the official border crossings are at:
- Bavet (Svay Rieng)
- Kaam Samnor (Kandal Mekong)
- Trapaing Sre (Kratie)
- Phnom Den (Takeo).
You can get tourist visas on arrival at these border crossings during opening hours. Visas for Vietnam aren't available at the border. See the
travel advice for Vietnam.
The Lao side of the border crossing at Dong Krolo (Stung Treng) is often closed to foreign travellers with little notice. The border crossing is in an isolated location 50km to the north of the Cambodian provincial centre of Stung Treng. It's not serviced by public transport, although rudimentary and unreliable private motorbike and truck services run to Stung Treng.
You can't get Cambodian or Lao visas at the border. See
the travel advice for Laos.
Visas – overstays
Ensure you have a valid visa for the entire duration of your stay in Cambodia. Overstaying your visa is a serious offence. You may not be allowed to leave Cambodia until you pay a fine or serve a prison sentence. Fines increase daily and can quickly become large.
If you overstay your visa by less than one month, you may need to pay the fine at the airport on departure. If you overstay your visa by more than one month, you risk severe penalties, including imprisonment, deportation and/or being placed on an immigration blacklist (preventing you from returning to Cambodia).
Check your visa dates carefully. If your visa is issued outside of Cambodia, the expiry date on your visa is not how long you can stay, but the final date you can use the visa to enter Cambodia. You can only stay for 30 days from the date of your arrival.
If you want to stay in Cambodia for more than 30 days, you'll need to renew your visa. Tourist visas can only be renewed once. Visas can be renewed at travel agents, hostels, guesthouses and vehicle rental companies. You can also attend the Department of Immigration office located opposite the Phnom Penh International Airport.
If you intend to work in Cambodia you'll need a work permit from the Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training, regardless of your visa type or employment status.
Ensure your passport is valid for at least six months after the date you intend to return to Australia.
Your passport is a valuable document and attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. Always keep it in a safe place.
Some operators may ask to hold your passport as a deposit or guarantee before hiring vehicles to you. Don't provide your passport as a deposit or guarantee under any circumstances. Offer a photocopy or another form of ID instead.
Be aware of attempts to get access to your passport by deception. If you're forced to hand over your passport, contact
the Embassy for advice.
If your passport is lost or stolen, you must notify the Australian Government as soon as possible.
If your passport is lost or stolen in Cambodia, you'll also need to:
- get a police report – you must apply in person at the tourist police station closest to where the incident occurred
- get a replacement passport – contact the
Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh, and
- get an exit visa from the Cambodian Department of Immigration – approval for an exit visa will take around three working days from when you submit your police report, passport and exit visa request.
Ensure you allow enough time to get a new passport and exit visa before your planned departure. If you don't have a valid visa in your passport, your departure will be delayed, and you may be fined or detained.
The official currency of Cambodia is the Cambodian Riel (KHR) but US Dollars (USD) are also legal tender. You can use KHR for small transactions but you'll need USD for most purchases.
ATM facilities are widely available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang, Sihanoukville and Kampot. In other areas, ATM facilities are limited and may be unreliable. Cashing services for credit card cash advances and travellers cheques are available for a fee at banks in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang.
Take enough USD to cover basic travelling expenses. Ensure your US currency is in good condition. Sellers may refuse to accept dirty or torn notes, or high denominations. Counterfeit bills are in circulation in Cambodia.
Safety and security
'Snatch-and-grab' crimes against tourists by thieves on motorcycles are frequent. Foreigners have been injured in these attacks, particularly when walking along footpaths or travelling on motorbike taxis or tuk-tuks. Some thieves use knives to cut bags as they snatch them.
Australians have had valuables, such as money and passports, stolen from locked hotel and guesthouse rooms, particularly in cheaper accommodation. Items have been removed from luggage stored in the luggage compartments of buses, including on bus journeys between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap or Sihanoukville.
Bag-snatching, pick-pocketing and other theft can occur at any time, particularly in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
Australians have been robbed after withdrawing cash from ATMs. ATM skimming also occurs.
- Carry only what you need. Leave other valuables, including your passport, in a secure location.
- Avoid carrying bags that are easy to snatch.
- Walk on footpaths (where available), away from the curb, with your bag on the opposite side to the traffic.
- If travelling by tuk-tuk, use those with barriers (such as curtains or netting) covering the passenger sides to reduce the opportunity for thieves to grab your bag.
- When walking along roads or on footpaths, walk against the traffic where possible. Be careful when crossing roads.
- Don't leave your passport or other valuables in luggage stored under busses or away from you on trains or other transport – keep valuables on you and out of sight.
- Don't tempt thieves – avoid wearing expensive watches, jewellery and cameras.
- Pay close attention to your personal possessions at all times, particularly items that can be easily grabbed.
- Avoid using ATMs on the street – use ATMs inside hotels, banks and shopping centres wherever possible.
- Take care not to expose your PIN to others, particularly when using ATMs.
- Monitor your transaction statements.
Foreigners have been the target of sexual assault in Cambodia, particularly in Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and other tourist locations. Victims are often targeted at night, when intoxicated and/or travelling alone.
Parties, including organised dance parties on islands off the coast of Sihanoukville and other locations, may place you at increased risk of sexual assault (as well as robbery, injury, death and loss of belongings, including travel documents). These islands are often isolated and access to medical or emergency assistance may be limited or non-existent. Excessive consumption of alcohol may make you more vulnerable to violent crime, including robbery or assault.
- Pre-arrange transport with your accommodation when heading out at night.
- Stick with people you trust at parties, in bars, nightclubs and taxis.
- Take particular care when consuming alcoholic beverages in popular tourist spots.
Reducing the risk of sexual assault overseas before you travel. It includes information on precautions to take and assistance available to victims.
If you become a victim of violent crime, especially rape, seek immediate medical attention. HIV/AIDS is prevalent in Cambodia. Contact the
Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh as soon as possible. See
Where to get help.
Support is also available from
Lifeline and a range of
other providers. If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a telephone counsellor.
Firearm ownership in Cambodia is common. Guns are sometimes used to resolve disputes. Gun shots have been fired into businesses and shootouts have occurred. Traffic disputes have also resulted in violence involving weapons. Bystanders can get caught up in these disputes.
Armed robberies and home invasions targeting businesses or business owners occur across Cambodia. Assaults and armed robberies against foreigners have also occurred, and foreigners have been seriously injured and killed.
Late night assault and robbery against foreigners by motorcycle taxi drivers also occur. Areas frequented by tourists and expatriate residents are particularly targeted, including the Riverfront area, Tonle Bassac and Boeung Keng Kang 1 (BKK1) in Phnom Penh, as well as the town of Sihanoukville and surrounding beaches.
- Be alert to danger at all times, especially after dark.
- Avoid travelling alone at night and limit night-time travel to well-lit public areas, especially around Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. Travel in groups wherever possible.
- Don't travel by motorcycle taxi at night.
- At night, travel by car is generally safer than by motorcycle, tuk-tuk or cyclo (cycle-rickshaw). Taxis are available and are comparable in price to other forms of transport.
Tourists may encounter scams and associated serious criminal activity in Cambodia. Criminal rings operating in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh, often use a friendly person to approach tourists and invite them to a private home on various pretexts. Tourists have been coerced into playing card games and have lost large amounts of money, or have been forced to withdraw money from an ATM or shop, often at gunpoint.
Online relationship and friendship scams also occur. Australians involved in such scams have been asked to carry items concealing narcotics out of Cambodia.
Credit card and ATM fraud, including the use of skimming machines which can store card data, happens in Cambodia.
- Be wary of accepting invitations from strangers, including to visit private homes.
- Never carry parcels or luggage for others.
- Check for skimming machines before using ATMs.
- Take care not to expose your PIN to others, particularly when using ATMs.
- Monitor your transaction statements.
Piracy has occurred in the coastal areas of Cambodia. The
International Chamber of Commerce issues piracy reports on its
Civil unrest and political tension
Avoid political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they can turn violent, resulting in injuries and deaths. Local police and security forces have responded with force on occasion, and may not distinguish between demonstrators and bystanders. Large crowds present an added safety risk. Foreigners involved in protests and demonstrations may face arrest and deportation.
In Phnom Penh, possible sites for rallies include political party offices, including the Cambodia National Rescue Party (CNRP) headquarters, the Supreme Court (by the riverside) and other court buildings, the National Assembly building, the Prime Minister's residence (by the Independence Monument), Wat Phnom, the Phnom Penh Municipal Government Office (also known as Phnom Penh City Hall, located on Monivong Boulevard), Democracy Park (also known as Freedom Park), and other government and military buildings or compounds.
Roadblocks restricting access through the city can occur with little warning. The presence of armed security personnel on the streets can increase around the time of key domestic political events.
Outside of Phnom Penh, land and border disputes along the Cambodia-Vietnam and Cambodia-Thailand borders have resulted in demonstrations, violence and cross-border fighting. Ongoing border demarcation disputes and alleged encroachment by Vietnamese onto Cambodian land have fuelled protests in Tboung Khmum and Svay Rieng provinces and disputes in Kandal and Ratanakkiri provinces.
Demonstrations have also occurred along the Cambodia-Thai border.
Tourist attractions and border crossing points in these areas can be closed with little or no notice.
- Avoid demonstrations, political events, protests, large-scale public gatherings and roadblocks.
- Monitor the news and other sources of information for advice of possible unrest, protest locations and road blocks. Avoid those areas.
- Take official warnings seriously and follow the advice of local authorities.
- Do not film or photograph protests, demonstrations, political rallies or armed security personnel.
- Be particularly alert in the lead-up to and during religious or national festivals, days of national significance, such as elections, and commemorations.
- Show an appropriate level of respect, particularly in areas where commemorative activities for the royal family or religious activities are taking place.
In recent years, Cambodian authorities have prevented a number of attempted bomb and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. More information:
Terrorist threat worldwide
Tours and adventure activities
The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities such as scuba diving, aren't always met. Suitable safety equipment may not be provided. Maintenance standards and safety precautions may be ignored.
If you plan to participate in adventure activities:
- check if the activity is covered by your insurance policy
- don't be afraid to ask about or insist on minimal safety requirements
- always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if others don't.
If appropriate safety equipment is not available, use another provider.
Landmines are a danger in many parts of Cambodia, especially along the border with Thailand. Large areas of rural Cambodia are still contaminated with unexploded ordnance. If you visit the north and northwest of Cambodia, don't stray from clearly marked pathways. Be careful if travelling beyond the Angkor Wat temple complex to outlying temples in the Siem Reap area.
Travel by roads, especially at night, is dangerous because of poor road conditions, wandering livestock and the risk of crime. Driving standards, and vehicle and road maintenance are generally poor. Streets are crowded in major cities and road rules are routinely ignored. Serious injuries from road accidents occur daily in Cambodia. Motorcycle and coach/bus travel have particularly high accident rates. Large crowds can form quickly after road accidents and the occupants of the vehicle are at risk of becoming victims of extortion.
Speed limits in Cambodia restrict motorcycle drivers to 30km per hour in towns and 60km per hour on the outskirts. Other vehicle drivers are restricted to 40km per hour in towns and 80km per hour outside. You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
In January 2016, police announced a ticket system to replace payment of on-the-spot fines for traffic infringements. If you're issued a ticket, you'll need to pay the fine at a payment centre within 30 days. Always ask for a receipt.
- Learn about Cambodian traffic laws before driving.
- Don't drink and drive.
- Drive defensively and according to road conditions.
- Avoid driving at night.
- If stopped by police, follow their instructions.
- If you're walking, look carefully in both directions before crossing streets as traffic can appear from any direction.
Road safety and driving
If you want to drive or ride a motorcycle with an engine capacity over 125cc, you'll need a Cambodian driver's (or motorcycle) licence. Apply for a licence in person at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport using a valid car or motorcycle licence from Australia; otherwise you will be required to undergo testing.
Under Cambodian law, you can ride a motorcycle with an engine capacity of up to 125cc without a licence. However, check with your insurer. Some travel insurers may not cover you for riding a motorcycle at all, even if you're fully licensed. Others won't cover riders unless they hold an Australian motorcycle licence, even if riding a motorcycle with capacity less than 125cc.
Motorcycles are a common form of urban public transport. Check your insurance policy provides coverage for riding motorcycles, either as a driver or passenger. It's illegal to have more than two adults and one child travelling on a motorcycle.
Take precautions, including the use of a helmet and protective clothing, when travelling on a motorcycle or moto-scooter, even as a passenger. Most locally purchased helmets don't meet Australian standards. If you're travelling to Cambodia to participate in a motorcycle tour or you're expecting to travel extensively by motorcycle, bring a helmet and protective clothing from Australia.
Official, metered taxis are generally safe and convenient but be alert to possible scams and safety risks. Riding in tuk-tuks (motorised three-wheel vehicles) or on motorcycle 'taxis' poses additional safety and security risks. Registered drivers with ride-sharing services such as Uber are available in Phnom Penh. Limited versions of similar services operate in Siem Reap and Sihanoukville.
- Agree on both the fare and route before engaging an unmetered taxi, a tuk-tuk or a motorcycle taxi.
- Secure your possessions while travelling in tuk-tuks or on motorcycle taxis.
There is no formal public transport system in Cambodia, except for a few bus routes in Phnom Penh.
Motorcycle taxis (moto) and motorised three-wheel vehicles (tuk-tuk or remork) are commonly used for short distance transport. Three-wheel bicycle taxis (cyclo) can also be found in some cities. Fares aren't metered and may be set according to distance travelled, number of passengers or time of day. Occasionally, drivers accept passengers without understanding their destination. Destinations are often identified by common landmarks, such as the nearest pagoda.
- Agree on the fare before engaging a motorcycle taxi, tuk-tuk or cyclo.
- Carry a map and have some idea of the direction you're required to take to reach your final destination.
Train services operate between Phnom Penh, Takeo, Kampot and Sihanoukville.
Travel by boat in Cambodia can be dangerous. Boats ferrying passengers to islands off the coast of Sihanoukville have sunk, most recently in 2016. Even modern boats may be overcrowded and lack basic safety equipment (such as life jackets, life rafts and fire extinguishers).
- Ensure any boat you plan to board has appropriate safety equipment, including life jackets for all passengers.
- Wear your life jacket at all times, even if others don't.
- Check with your tour operator or boat management appropriate safety standards are in place, including passenger and weight limits. If not, find another boat.
Travelling by boat
The safety and maintenance standards of aircraft owned by local airlines operating internal flights may be deficient. Local airlines often cancel or reschedule internal flights at short notice.
The Australian Government doesn't provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See the
Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Cambodia.
You're subject to local laws and penalties, including those that appear harsh by Australian standards. Research local laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
If you're arrested or jailed, the Australian Government will do what it can to help you under our
Consular services charter. But we can't get you out of trouble or out of jail.
Penalties for drug offences, including those involving 'soft drugs', are severe and include long jail sentences for possession of even small quantities of recreational drugs.
Carrying or using drugs
Surrogacy and adoption laws
In 2016, the Cambodian Government banned surrogacy. Don't come to Cambodia to arrange commercial surrogacy.
Australia doesn't have an intercountry adoption program with Cambodia. As a result, the Australian Government can't process adoption requests at this time. The Attorney-General's Department is monitoring Cambodia's progress on implementation of an intercountry adoption framework and practical compliance with the Hague Convention standards and principles.
If you intend to marry a Cambodian citizen, you'll need approval from the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. This doesn't apply if you have Cambodian citizenship.
If you are male, you can only marry a Cambodian woman if you are under 50 years of age, and have a monthly income of at least USD$2,500 at the time the marriage is approved. This doesn't apply if you have Cambodian citizenship or the bride is also over 50 years of age.
More information: Consular Department,
Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation
The following activities are illegal in Cambodia:
- working without a valid work permit. See
Entry and exit
- making a false statement to police, including in relation to an insurance claim – this includes reporting any crime that didn't take place or lying about the circumstances of an incident
- possession or production of pornographic material, including personal images taken on mobile phones, cameras or computers for personal use
- nudity in public places or at sacred sites, including Angkor Wat
- purchase or possession of cultural or archaeological artefacts without a permit
- wildlife trafficking
- unauthorised hunting of wildlife
- the flying of drones in Phnom Penh, unless prior approval is received from the Phnom Penh Municipality.
Australian and Cambodian authorities are committed to combating child sex offences. There are severe penalties under both Australian and Cambodian law for those participating in such activity. You can be prosecuted either in Cambodia or at home under Australian law. Penalties for engaging in sexual activity with anyone younger than 18 years include lengthy prison terms.
Some Australian criminal laws apply overseas. If you commit these offences, you may be prosecuted in Australia. These laws include, but aren't limited to:
- bribery of foreign public officials
- child pornography and child sex offences, including child sex tourism
- female genital mutilation
- forced marriage
- money laundering
- people smuggling and human trafficking
Staying within the law
Since 2016, Cambodian authorities have been enforcing modesty laws at prominent sites of religious significance, such as the Angkor Wat temple complex. Dress modestly, including covering your knees and shoulders. You won't be able to enter if you don't.
Don't take photos of people without their permission, especially monks and other religious figures. It is culturally inappropriate.
Avoid taking photographs near sensitive sites such as military zones, assets or personnel, transportation facilities and government buildings.
Under Cambodian law, Cambodian citizenship can't be relinquished, even if a Cambodian citizen acquires the nationality of another country. Always travel on your Australian passport.
Cambodian dual nationals aged 18 to 30, who reside permanently in Cambodia may be liable for compulsory military service. Military obligations for female citizens are applied on a voluntary basis.
If you're a dual national, contact the nearest
Embassy or Consulate of Cambodia before you travel.
Take out comprehensive
travel insurance before you depart to cover overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation.
Remember, regardless of how healthy and fit you are, if you can't afford travel insurance, you can't afford to travel. The Australian Government won't pay for your medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs. This can be very expensive and cost you many thousands of dollars upfront.
- what circumstances and activities are and aren't covered under your policy
- that you're covered for the whole time you'll be away.
Physical and mental health
Consider your physical and mental health before travelling, especially if you have an existing medical condition.
- At least eight weeks before you depart, see your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and implications for your health.
- Get vaccinated before you travel.
If you need counselling services while overseas, contact the Consular Emergency Centre in Canberra on +61 2 6261 3305 and ask to speak to a Lifeline telephone counsellor.
Not all medications available over the counter or by prescription in Australia are available in other countries. Some may even be illegal or a controlled substance, even if prescribed by an Australian doctor. Before you leave Australia, check if your medication is legal in each country you're travelling to.
Take prescription medicine with you so you remain in good health. Always carry a copy of your prescription or a letter from your doctor stating what the medicine is, how much you take and that it's for personal use only.
Take care if purchasing medication in Cambodia. Local pharmacies may sell counterfeit medication which is often indistinguishable from authentic medication.
Don't consume home-made or unlabelled alcohol in Cambodia. These alcoholic drinks may contain harmful substances, particularly methanol, which can cause serious illness, blindness, brain injury or death. Symptoms of methanol poisoning can include fatigue, headaches and nausea, similar to the effects of excessive drinking, but with pronounced vision problems that may include blurred or snowfield vision, flashes of light, tunnel vision, changes in colour perception, dilated pupils, difficulty looking at bright lights, or blindness.
Seek immediate medical attention if you suspect you, or anyone you're travelling with, have been affected by methanol or other poisoning. This could be vital to avoiding permanent disability or death. Report methanol poisoning to local police.
Insect borne illnesses
Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are widespread in Cambodia. Malaria is also prevalent in some regions, particularly along the borders in mountainous regions.
Protect yourself against mosquito-borne illnesses:
- ensure your accommodation is mosquito proof
- take measures to avoid insect bites, including always using insect repellent and wearing long, loose-fitting, light-coloured clothing
- consider taking prophylaxis against malaria where necessary
- get vaccinated against Japanese encephalitis before you travel
- discuss your travel plans and other vaccination needs with your doctor before you travel.
If you engage in high risk activities, such as unprotected sex or injecting drugs, you face a significant risk of contracting HIV/AIDS. In late 2014, a cluster of HIV cases was reported in Battambang Province.
Rabies can be found in animals across Cambodia. Rabies is a deadly virus that can be transmitted to humans by mammals such as dogs, monkeys, cats, rats or bats. Take care when dealing with animals and seek immediate medical attention if you sustain a bite or scratch from an animal. In the absence of vaccination and/or post-exposure treatment, rabies is 100 per cent fatal.
Rabies vaccinations and post-exposure treatments can usually be obtained at:
Institute Pasteur Rabies Clinic
No.5, Monivong Boulevard
12201 Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Rabies vaccinations are generally not available elsewhere in Cambodia.
In recent years, the World Health Organization (WHO) has confirmed a number of human cases of avian influenza ('bird flu') in Cambodia.
Hand, foot and mouth disease
Hand, foot and mouth disease (HFMD) is common in Cambodia with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. It mostly affects children under the age of 10 but adult cases (particularly young adults) aren't unusual. To minimise the risk of contracting or transmitting HFMD, pay close attention to hygiene, including by carefully and frequently washing your hands.
HFMD Information Sheet (World Health Organization).
Other infectious diseases
Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases (including hepatitis, tuberculosis, typhoid and rabies) are common, with more serious outbreaks occurring from time to time. Isolated outbreaks of cholera also occur in some rural areas. Fresh water sources, such as rivers and lakes, carry parasitic diseases, such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia).
- Boil drinking water or drink bottled water.
- Avoid ice cubes.
- Avoid uncooked and undercooked food.
- Don't swim or bathe in fresh water sources.
- Seek urgent medical attention if you suspect poisoning, if you have a fever or suffer from diarrhoea.
Medical facilities in Cambodia are generally of a very poor quality and very limited in the services they can provide.
Outside Phnom Penh there are almost no medical facilities equipped to deal with medical emergencies.
Hospitals and doctors generally require up-front payment in cash or evidence of valid medical insurance before commencing treatment, even in an emergency. Hospital stays can be expensive, with costs often increasing quickly into thousands of dollars. Passports are often withheld until payment is received.
If you become seriously ill or injured, you'll need to be evacuated to a destination with appropriate facilities. Medical evacuations, usually to Bangkok or Singapore, are very expensive. All medical costs, including evacuations, are at the traveller's expense.
Medical Service Providers (Australian Embassy Cambodia)
Medical tourism is growing in many countries in Asia, including Cambodia. However, medical care in Cambodia doesn't meet international standards. Serious and possibly life-threatening complications can result.
Avoid elective and cosmetic surgery in Cambodia.
Severe storms and widespread seasonal flooding, including localised flash flooding, can occur without warning in Cambodia, particularly during the local wet season from July to November. Floods may disrupt travel to some provinces. The Mekong River Commission provides information on flood levels for the Mekong River.
- Keep an eye on media, weather and flood level reports, especially during the wet season.
- Check with your tour operator for the latest information on disruptions.
- Take official warnings seriously.
- Don't enter areas affected by flooding without seeking advice from local authorities.
- Follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.
If there is a natural disaster:
- secure your passport and phone in a safe, waterproof location or carry it on you at all times (in a waterproof bag)
- contact friends and family in Australia with regular updates about your welfare and whereabouts
- closely monitor the media, other local sources of information and the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System
- follow the instructions and advice of local authorities.
Where to get help
Depending on what you need, your best option may be to contact your family, friends, travel agent, travel insurance provider, employer or airline. Your travel insurer should have a 24-hour emergency number.
Emergency phone numbers
- Fire: 118
- Medical emergencies: 119
- Criminal issues: contact police 117 or contact the tourist police (see below)
Local law enforcement may lack the resources to assist you in an emergency situation or to investigate crimes. Police stations and emergency numbers might not be available 24 hours a day. English may not be spoken by operators.
The tourist police have booths in tourist locations and most cities. In Phnom Penh, contact the tourist police at Number 13, Street 158, near Wat Koh. In Siem Reap, the tourist police are located on Charles de Gaulle road, south of the Angkor Wat main entrance and ticket booths.
In other towns, contact the nearest police station for advice on reporting a crime. As local police may not speak, read or write English, consider seeking assistance from an interpreter prior to visiting a local police station. Be wary of providing your fingerprint or signature to a police document if you're unable to read it.
Always get a police report when reporting a crime.
Tourism services and products
For complaints relating to tourism services or products, contact your service provider directly. If you're not satisfied with their response, report the issue to the tourist police.
Read the Consular services charter for what the Australian Government can and can't do to help you overseas.
For consular assistance, contact:
Australian Embassy, Phnom Penh
No. 16B, National Assembly Street
Sangkat Tonle Bassac
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Telephone: +855 (0) 23 213 470
Facsimile: +855 (0) 23 213 413
Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you are unable to contact the Embassy in a consular emergency, contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Follow the advice on
Volunteering overseas to help ensure your overseas volunteering experience is safe, ethical and worthwhile. Thoroughly research any organisation offering opportunities to volunteer with children, especially in orphanages and find out whether the organisation you are working with is registered.