- We advise you to exercise normal safety precautions in Cambodia. You should exercise common sense and look out for suspicious behaviour, as you would in Australia. Monitor the media and other sources for changes to local travelling conditions.
- If you are considering volunteering in Cambodia, see our volunteering overseas page to help ensure that your volunteering experience is safe, ethical and worthwhile. You should research especially thoroughly any overseas organisation offering opportunities to volunteer with children, particularly in orphanages. See additional information).
- Snatch and grab crimes against foreigners by thieves on motorcycles are frequent and have sometimes resulted in injuries to victims. There have also been reports of assaults and armed robberies against foreigners. See Safety and security.
- 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 travelling alone. See Safety and security.
- Be wary of accepting invitations from strangers. Criminals representing themselves as friendly locals sometimes invite tourists into private homes where they are coerced into playing card games. Travellers have lost large amounts of money, sometimes at gun point.
- Penalties for drug offences, including those involving "soft drugs", are severe and include lengthy jail sentences. See Laws.
- Australians should avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. Local police and security forces have responded with force on occasion, and may not distinguish between demonstrators and bystanders. Foreigners involved in protests and demonstrations may face arrest and deportation. You should monitor local media for information about protest locations.. See Safety and security.
- Water-borne, food-borne, parasitic and other infectious diseases including dengue fever, hepatitis, tuberculosis, typhoid and rabies are common. See Health.
- See Travel Smart for general advice for all travellers.
- Be a smart traveller. Before heading overseas:
- organise comprehensive travel insurance and check what circumstances and activities are not covered by your policy
- register your travel and contact details, so we can contact you in an emergency
- subscribe to this travel advice to receive free email updates each time it's reissued
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Entry and exit
Australians visiting Cambodia require a visa. The Cambodian Government has an electronic tourist visa ("e-visa") facility. Travellers are able to apply for a tourist visa online through the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. E-visas are only valid for entry through Phnom Penh International Airport, Siem Reap International Airport, Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), Poipet (Banteay Meanchey) and Bavet (Svay Rieng). E-visas are not supported at other entry points. Your passport must have at least six months validity remaining when you arrive in Cambodia on an e-visa.
Cambodian visas are normally available on arrival as well. Your passport must have at least four months validity remaining when you apply for a visa on arrival in Cambodia. You should be aware however that all neighbouring countries (Thailand, Vietnam and Laos) require passports to have at least six months validity. Local immigration authorities may deny entry and deport people who do not meet this requirement, even if they intend staying only for a short period. Day trips (arriving and departing on the same day) are not permitted except when arriving and departing via Phnom Penh International Airport.
Tourist visas are valid for thirty days only. If issued outside Cambodia, tourist visas will often provide for a validity period that is in excess of thirty days. This validity period refers to the period in which you are able to commence your thirty day visit to Cambodia. It does not extend the time you are permitted to stay in Cambodia beyond thirty days. Tourist visas must be renewed if you intend to stay in Cambodia more than thirty days. Tourist visas can be renewed once.
Foreigners who wish to work in Cambodia should have a valid work permit from the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. Entering Cambodia on an ordinary/business visa implies that you intend to work; therefore you must also obtain a work permit when entering Cambodia on this visa, regardless of your employment status.
Ensure you have a valid visa for the duration of your stay in Cambodia. Overstaying your visa is considered a serious offence, and you may not be allowed to leave Cambodia until a fine is paid. For overstays of less than one month from the visa expiry date, travellers can usually pay the fine at the airport on departure. Travellers who have overstayed their visa by more than one month may face severe penalties including imprisonment, deportation and/or being placed on an immigration blacklist to prevent them from returning to Cambodia.
If your passport is lost or stolen during your stay in Cambodia, you will require a police report to obtain an exit visa. The police report must be applied for in person at the tourist police station closest to where the incident occurred. You will also need to apply for a new exit visa with the Cambodian Department of Immigration. Approval for an exit visa will take around 3 working days. You should carry copies of a recent passport photo with you in case you need a replacement passport while overseas.
Many of Cambodia’s land border crossings also issue visas on arrival, but these crossings have limited opening hours. 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 the most up to date information.
Cambodian-Thai Border: Six legal international border crossing points are open for foreign travellers on the Cambodian-Thai border at Cham Yeam (Koh Kong), O Smach (Oddar Meanchey), Poipet (Banteay Meanchey), Prom (Pailin), Daung (Battambang) and Chorma (Oddar Meanchey). Cambodian visas can be obtained on arrival at these border crossings during opening hours.
Cambodian-Vietnamese Border: Cambodian visas can be obtained at the international border crossing points at Bavet (Svay Rieng), Kaam Samnor (Kandal Mekong), Trapaing Sre (Kratie) and Phnom Den (Takeo). The Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation also reports that Cambodian visas can be obtained on arrival at five other border crossings between Cambodia and Vietnam, but you should confirm this prior to travelling, as entry and exit conditions change regularly. Vietnamese visas must be obtained prior to travelling to the border.
Cambodian-Lao Border: 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 is not serviced by public transport, although rudimentary and unreliable private motorbike and truck services run to Stung Treng. Cambodian visas can be obtained at the border, however services are unreliable and you should consider other options. Visas for Laos cannot be obtained at the border
If travelling by air between Cambodia and Laos, Cambodian visas can be obtained on arrival at Siem Reap or Phnom Penh international airports.
Safety and security
Opportunistic crime is common in Cambodia. Keep your passport and other valuables in a safe place.
Snatch-and-grab crimes against tourists by thieves on motorcycles are frequent and have sometimes resulted in injury to victims. Several foreigners have been injured in the course of these incidents, in particular when bags have been pulled from pedestrians or passengers on moving motorbike taxis or tuk-tuks. Thieves have been known to use knives to cut bags as they snatch them. If travelling by tuk-tuk, consider using those with barriers (such as curtains or netting) covering the passenger sides to reduce the opportunity for thieves to snatch-and-grab your possessions. When walking along roads or on footpaths, consider walking against the traffic and be careful when crossing roads. Pay close attention to your personal possessions at all times, particularly items that can be easily grabbed. Bag-snatching, pick-pocketing and other robberies can occur at any time, particularly in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap.
Travellers have had valuables, such as money and passports, stolen from locked hotel/guesthouse rooms, particularly in cheaper accommodation. Items have been removed from luggage stored in the luggage compartments of buses, especially on bus journeys between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap or Sihanoukville.
Foreigners have been the target of sexual assault in Cambodia, particularly in the coastal town of Sihanoukville, Siem Reap and other tourist locations. Victims are often targeted at night, when intoxicated and travelling alone. Consider pre-arranging transportation with your accommodation when heading out at night time. Female travellers can seek further advice on our page for Female travellers. Due to the prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance. Victims of sexual assault should see our information page and contact the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh as soon as possible. See Where to get help)
The level of firearm ownership in Cambodia is high, and guns are sometimes used to resolve disputes. Gun shots have been fired into businesses, and shootouts have occurred. There have also been reports of traffic disputes resulting in violence involving weapons. Bystanders can get caught up in these disputes. In 2015, a tourist was injured in a shooting near Olympic Market in Phnom Penh
Armed robberies and home invasions targeting businesses or business owners have increased significantly across Cambodia. Assaults and armed robberies against foreigners have also occurred, and foreigners have been seriously injured and killed. You should exercise vigilance when travelling at all times and especially after dark. Reports of late night assault and robberies on 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.
You should limit night time travel around Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap to well-lit public areas and travel in groups. At night, travel by car is safer than motorcycle, tuk-tuk or cyclo (cycle-rickshaw).
Tourists may be exposed to scams and more serious criminal activity in Cambodia. A criminal ring operating in Cambodia, particularly in Phnom Penh, often use a friendly person to approach tourists and invite them to a private homeon various pretexts. Some 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. Tourists should be wary of accepting invitations from strangers, including to visit private homes.
Parties, including organised dance parties on islands off the coast of Sihanoukville and other locations, may place you at risk of sexual assault, death, arrest, robbery, injury and lost belongings, including travel documents. These islands are often isolated and access to medical or emergency assistance may be limited or non-existent. Boats ferrying tourists to islands have sunk. Remember that excessive consumption of alcohol may make you more vulnerable to violent crime, including robbery or assault. You should take appropriate precautions for your personal safety. See our Partying overseas page. Travellers should be aware that penalties for drug offences in Cambodia are severe and can include long jail sentences for possession of even small quantities of recreational drugs.
Local law enforcement may lack the resources to assist you in an emergency situation or investigate crimes. Police stations and emergency numbers might not be available 24 hours a day. Police may not speak, read or write English. You should be wary of providing your fingerprint or signature to a police document if you are unable to read it. You should consider seeking assistance from a translator prior to visiting a police station.
Civil unrest/political tension
Australians should avoid all political gatherings, protests and demonstrations as they may turn violent. Local police and security forces have responded with force on occasion, and may not distinguish between demonstrators and bystanders. Foreigners involved in protests and demonstrations may face arrest and deportation. You should monitor local media for information about protest locations.
In Phnom Penh, possible sites for rallies include political party offices, 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, near Freedom Park), Phnom Penh Municipal Court and other government and military buildings or compounds.
Freedom Park in Phnom Penh (also known as Democracy Park – on street 106, between street 61 and Norodom Boulevard) is a common site for public gatherings and demonstrations. Violent clashes between security forces and protestors have occurred there and in surrounding streets. You should avoid this area.
Some people were killed and a large number injured in separate protests in Phnom Penh in late 2013 and early 2014.
Roadblocks restricting access through the city have occurred with little warning. Monitor local media for information about protest locations and road blocks. Avoid these areas and follow the advice of local authorities.
Australians should be particularly vigilant in the lead-up to and during religious or national festivals, days of national significance and commemorations. Large crowds may present an added safety risk. You should show an appropriate level of respect, particularly in areas where commemoration activities for the royal family or religious activities are taking place.
Cambodia-Vietnam border: There have been some protests along the Cambodia-Vietnam border in Tbong Khmum and Svay Rieng provinces over ongoing border demarcation disputes and alleged encroachment by Vietnamese onto Cambodian land. Disputes have also occurred in Kandal and Ratanakkiri provinces. You should avoid any demonstrations.
Cambodia-Thai border: Australians intending to visit temples along the Cambodia-Thai border should be aware of the ongoing border dispute that resulted in fighting in previous years. Conflict has occurred in the area surrounding the Preah Vihear temple (known as Khao Pra Viharn temple in Thailand) located in the border region between Preah Vihear province in Cambodia and Sisaket province in Thailand. Conflict has also occurred in the area surrounding the Ta Krabei (known as Ta Kwai temple in Thailand) and Ta Moan (known as Ta Muen Thom temple in Thailand) temples along the Cambodia-Thai border in Oddar Meanchey province. Fatalities have been reported. Demonstrations have also occurred along the Cambodia-Thai border, most recently in Poipet City. Tourist attractions and border crossing points may be closed with little or no notice. There is a risk in border areas from landmines and unexploded military ordnance.
In recent years Cambodian authorities have averted a number of attempted bomb and improvised explosive device (IED) attacks.
Terrorism is a threat throughout the world. See our Terrorist Threat Worldwide bulletin.
Money and valuables
Australian currency is not accepted in Cambodia. You can use Cambodian riel for small transactions, but you will need US dollars for most purchases. Visitors should take a reasonable quantity of US dollars to cover basic travelling expenses.Sellers may refuse to accept notes that are excessively dirty or torn, or of high denominations. Counterfeit bills are in circulation in Cambodia.
Credit card cash advances and travellers' cheque cashing services are available at banks in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville and Battambang for a fee. ATM facilities are widely available in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Battambang and Sihanoukville. Travellers should exercise caution when using ATM facilities as there have been reports of people being robbed after withdrawing cash. ATM skimming machine scams have also been reported.
Operators may ask to hold your passport as a deposit or guarantee before hiring vehicles. Passports are valuable documents that should be protected, and you should not provide passports as deposits or guarantees under any circumstances. We recommend that you offer a photocopy or another form of ID instead.
Your passport is a valuable document that is attractive to criminals who may try to use your identity to commit crimes. It should always be kept in a safe place. You are required by Australian law to report a lost or stolen passport online or contact the Australian Embassy in Phnom Penh as soon as possible.
If your passport is lost or stolen in Cambodia, in addition to obtaining a new passport you will also need a new visa. You must obtain a police report from the local police office. You will then need to submit the police report to Cambodian immigration authorities together with a request for an exit visa. An exit visa will take around 3 working days to approve with the Cambodian Department of Immigration. Ensure you give yourself adequate time to obtain a new passport and exit visa before your planned departure.
Failure to hold a valid visa in your passport may delay departure from Cambodia and can result in fines and detention.
Landmines remain a danger in many parts of Cambodia, especially along the border with Thailand. Large areas of rural Cambodia are still contaminated with unexploded ordnance. Visitors to the north and northwest of Cambodia should not stray from clearly marked pathways. Exercise caution if travelling beyond the Angkor Wat temple complex to outlying temples in the Siem Reap area.
Foreigners wishing to drive in Cambodia, must hold a Cambodian driver’s licence. The licence can be applied for in person at the Ministry of Public Works and Transport using a valid driver’s licence from your home country or a recognised international driving permit.
You should familiarise yourself with Cambodian Traffic Law before considering driving. If stopped by police, you should obey their orders. In January 2016, police announced a ticket system to replace on the spot payment of fines. Tickets will be issued and payment should be made within 30 days at a payment centre. It may take several months for the ticket system to be implemented across the country. If paying a fine, you can ask for a receipt. Speed limits in Cambodia restrict motorcycle drivers to 30kmh in towns and 60kmh on the outskirts, whilst other vehicle drivers are restricted to 40kmh in towns and 80kmh outside. You must wear a helmet when riding a motorcycle.
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. Road rules are often not followed. 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. For further advice, see our road travel page.
Streets are crowded in major cities and road rules are routinely ignored. Be very careful when crossing busy streets as traffic can appear from any direction.
There is no formal public transport system in Cambodia, except for one bus route travelling through the centre of 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 are not metered and may be set according to distance travelled, number of passengers and time of day. Negotiating the fare prior to travel can help to avoid confrontation on price. Occasionally drivers accept passengers without full comprehension of the requested destination. Destinations are often identified by common landmarks, such as the nearest pagoda. It is good practice to carry a map and have some idea of the direction you are required to take to reach your final destination.
Given the common use of motorcycles for urban public transport, you should ensure that your insurance policy provides coverage for riding motorcycles, either as a driver or passenger. It is illegal to have more than two adults and one child travelling on a motorcycle. You should 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 do not meet Australian standards. If you are travelling to Cambodia to participate in a motorcycle tour or you are expecting to travel by motorcycle extensively, you should consider bringing a helmet and protective clothing from Australia.
Travel by boat in Cambodia can involve safety risks. Boats ferrying passengers to islands off the coast of Sihanoukville have sunk, most recently in February 2016. Even modern vessels may be overcrowded and lack basic safety equipment (such as life jackets, life rafts and fire extinguishers). You should take appropriate precautions for your personal safety.
After a 14 year hiatus, passenger train services recommenced in Cambodia in 2016. Services operate between Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville.
Safety standards of tour operators
The safety standards you might expect of transport and tour operators, including adventure activities such as diving, may not be of the same level as in Australia. Sufficient safety equipment may not be provided and recommended maintenance standards and safety precautions may not be observed. Always use available safety equipment, such as lifejackets or seatbelts, even if the locals don't. If appropriate safety equipment is not available, you should use another provider.
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 does not provide information on the safety of individual commercial airlines or flight paths. See instead the Aviation Safety Network website for information on aviation safety in Cambodia.
Please also refer to our general air travel page for information on aviation safety and security.
You are subject to the local laws of Cambodia, including ones that appear harsh by Australian standards. 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. Research laws before travelling, especially for an extended stay.
Overstaying your visa in Cambodia can be considered a serious offence. See Entry and exit for more information.
Foreigners who wish to work in Cambodia should have a valid work permit from the Cambodian Ministry of Labour and Vocational Training. Retrospective fines will be applied if you are caught working without a valid work permit.
Penalties for drug offences, including those involving "soft drugs", are severe and include lengthy jail sentences. See our Drugs page.
Making false statements to police is a crime. Falsely reporting a crime, or the circumstances of an incident, may result in charges being laid against you.
Local laws prohibit 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 can result in arrest and deportation.
Cambodian authorities are committed to protecting their cultural heritage. A permit is required to purchase or possess cultural and archaeological artefacts. The penalty under Cambodian law for an unintentional act concerning cultural heritage property is a minimum of six months and a maximum five years imprisonment and a fine equal to the value of the cultural object. An intentional act attracts a minimum of two to eight years imprisonment and a fine equal to double the value of the cultural object.
Getting married in Cambodia
Under Cambodian law, foreign men wishing to marry a Cambodian woman must be under 50 years of age, and have a monthly income of at least US$2,500 at the time their marriage is approved by the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation. The requirements do not apply to people who are dual Australian/Cambodian citizens, or Cambodian citizens who hold a permanent resident visa in Australia. They do not apply if both people are over 50 years of age. For further information contact the Legal and Consular Department of the Cambodian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and International Cooperation on +855 23 212 641, or visit www.mfaic.gov.kh.
In November 2014, Cambodian authorities advised that the act of commercial surrogacy, or commissioning commercial surrogacy, was illegal in Cambodia with penalties including imprisonment and fines. Australians are advised not to visit Cambodia for the purpose of engaging in commercial surrogacy arrangements. Those considering commercial surrogacy overseas should seek independent legal advice. For more information see our International Surrogacy bulletin and our Overseas births, adoptions and surrogacies page.
Adoptions in Cambodia
Australia does not currently have an intercountry adoption program with Cambodia. As a result, the Australian Government cannot process adoption requests at this time. The Attorney-General’s Department continues to monitor Cambodia’s progress on implementation of an intercountry adoption framework and practical compliance with the Hague Convention standards and principles.
Some Australian criminal laws, such as those relating to money laundering, bribery of foreign public officials, terrorism, forced marriage, female genital mutilation, child pornography, and child sex offences, apply to Australians overseas. Australians who commit these offences while overseas may be prosecuted in Australia.
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. Australians may be prosecuted either in Cambodia or at home under Australian law. In Cambodia, a person under the age of 18 years is considered a minor, and penalties can include lengthy prison terms. Australian law prohibits Australian citizens and residents from engaging in sexual activity with children aged under 16 years while overseas. It is also an offence under Australian law to facilitate or benefit from sexual activity with children under 16 years of age, including while overseas. These offences carry penalties of up to 25 years imprisonment for individuals and up to $500,000 in fines for companies.
Photographing members of the public without prior permission, especially monks and other religious figures, is considered culturally inappropriate. You should avoid taking photographs near sensitive sites such as military zones, assets or personnel, transportation facilities and government buildings.
Under Cambodian law, Cambodian citizenship cannot be relinquished, even if a Cambodian citizen acquires the nationality of another country. We strongly advise you to travel on your Australian passport at all times.
Any Cambodian dual national aged 18 to 30 who resides permanently in Cambodia may be liable for military service. According to Cambodian law, military obligations for female citizens are applied on a voluntary basis.
We strongly recommend that you take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, including medical evacuation, before you depart. Confirm that your insurance covers you for the whole time you'll be away and check what circumstances and activities are not included in your policy. 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 will not pay for a traveller's medical expenses overseas or medical evacuation costs.
It is important to consider your physical and mental health before travelling overseas. We encourage you to consider having vaccinations before you travel. At least eight weeks before you depart, make an appointment with your doctor or travel clinic for a basic health check-up, and to discuss your travel plans and any implications for your health, particularly if you have an existing medical condition. The World Health Organization (WHO) provides information for travellers and our health page also provides useful information for travellers on staying healthy.
Health and medical services 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. A list of medical services can be found on the Australian Embassy website. Hospitals and doctors generally require up-front payment in cash. Hospital stays can be expensive, with costs often increasing quickly into thousands of dollars. Passports are often withheld until payment is received. In the event of a serious illness or accident, medical evacuation to a destination with the appropriate facilities would be necessary. Air evacuations, often to Bangkok or Singapore, are very expensive. All medical costs, including evacuations, are at the traveller’s expense.
Take care if purchasing medication in Cambodia. Local pharmacies may sell counterfeit medication which is often indistinguishable from authentic medication.
Home-made, or unlabelled alcohol is available in Cambodia and should be avoided. 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 as 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. If you suspect that you, or anyone you are travelling with, have been affected by methanol or other poisoning, it is imperative that you seek immediate medical attention, which could be vital in avoiding permanent disability or death. All suspected cases of methanol poisoning should be reported to local police.
Insect borne illnesses
Mosquito-borne diseases such as dengue fever and Japanese encephalitis are widespread across Cambodia. Malaria is also prevalent in some regions, particularly along the borders in the mountainous regions. We encourage you to seek medical advice about taking prophylaxis against malaria and other mosquito-borne diseases where necessary; and to take measures to avoid insect bites, including using an insect repellent at all times, wearing long, loose fitting, light coloured clothing and ensuring your accommodation is mosquito proof.
Despite the efforts of Cambodian authorities and other agencies in reducing the overall rate of HIV/AIDS, there remains a significant risk of contracting HIV/AIDS in certain high risk activities such as unprotected sex and injecting drugs. In late 2014, a cluster of HIV cases were reported in Battambang Province.
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. We advise you to boil all drinking water or drink bottled water, avoid ice cubes and raw and undercooked food. Do not swim in fresh water to avoid exposure to parasitic diseases such as schistosomiasis (bilharzia). Seek medical advice if you have a fever or are suffering from diarrhoea or an animal bite.
Rabies can be found in animals across Cambodia. Rabies is a deadly virus which can be transmitted to humans by mammals such as dogs, monkeys, cats, rats or bats. You should take care when dealing with all animals and seek immediate medical attention if you sustain a bite or scratch from an animal. Rabies vaccinations and post exposure treatments are generally not available throughout the country, but can be obtained at Institute Pasteur Rabies Clinic, No.5, Monivong Boulevard, 12201 Phnom Penh. In the absence of vaccination and/or post-exposure treatment, rabies is 100 per cent fatal.
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 years but adult cases (particularly young adults) are not unusual. Normal hygiene precautions should be taken including careful and frequent hand washing. For more advice and information please see the WHO website.
Medical tourism is a burgeoning industry in many countries in Asia including Cambodia. You are strongly advised not to travel to Cambodia for elective or cosmetic surgery. Seeking such treatment abroad may not be covered by travel insurance and the follow-up care, including for any possible complications, will not meet international standards.
Where to get help
Depending on your enquiry, your best option may be to first contact your family, friends, airline, travel agent, tour operator, employer or travel insurer. Your travel insurer should have a 24 hour emergency number.
If the matter relates to criminal issues, 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 where to report a crime. The national emergency numbers are: Police – 117, Fire – 118 and Ambulance – 119.
To complain about tourism services or products, contact the service provider directly. If you are not satisfied with their response, you should report the issue to the tourist police.
The Consular Services Charter explains what the Australian Government can and cannot do to assist Australians overseas. For consular assistance, see contact details below:
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
See the Embassy website for information about opening hours and temporary closures that may affect service provision.
If you are travelling to Cambodia, whatever the reason and however long you'll be there, we encourage you to register with the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade. You can register online or in person at any Australian Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. The information you provide will help us to contact you in an emergency - whether it is a natural disaster, civil disturbance or a family issue.
In a consular emergency if you are unable to contact the Embassy you can contact the 24-hour Consular Emergency Centre on +61 2 6261 3305, or 1300 555 135 within Australia.
Reading and following the advice on Volunteering overseas will help to ensure that your overseas volunteering experience is safe, ethical and worthwhile. You should research particularly thoroughly any overseas organisation offering opportunities to volunteer with children, especially in orphanages.
Natural disasters, severe weather and climate
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. These floods may disrupt travel to some provinces. The Mekong River Commission website contains information on flood levels for the Mekong River.
Further information on natural disasters, including flooding in Cambodia, is available from the Global Disaster Alert and Coordination System. If a natural disaster occurs, follow the advice of local authorities.
Australian travellers should be aware that there are severe penalties under Cambodian law for wildlife trafficking and illegal hunting.