Safety and security
In Cambodia, there's a risk of violent incidents and we advise you to avoid crowds and in particular political demonstrations, in particular in the run-up to elections scheduled for 29 July 2018. We also advise against publicly expressing strong political views.
The sovereignty of land adjacent to the Preah Vihear temple on the Cambodian/Thai border is the subject of a dispute and tensions continue to run high there. The temple is closed at present and you’re advised to avoid the area.
Always keep yourself informed of what’s going on around you by monitoring local media and staying in contact with your hotel or tour organiser.
Although the threat from terrorism in Cambodia is low, there is still a global risk of indiscriminate terrorist attacks, which could be against civilian targets, including places frequented by tourists and expatriates.
Unexploded mines and ordnances are a continuing hazard in former battlefields, particularly in northern Cambodia. Don’t stray off main routes in rural areas and check with your tour operator before travelling to affected regions.
Petty Crime is common in Cambodia, particularly in urban areas you should take sensible precautions at all times and especially during the summer peak travel period;
- The Embassy is aware of a number of cases of tourists being lured into private homes under the pretext of discovering a new bar, and assaulted or robbed. We recommend that you exercise caution if you are invited by locals to visit a bar outside tourist areas, or to visit someone’s home for a game of cards or other form of gambling;
- Don’t carry your passport unless absolutely necessary and leave a copy of your passport and original birth certificate (as well as travel insurance documents and other important documents) with family or friends at home;
- Don’t carry your credit card, travel tickets and money together, leave spare cash and valuables in a safe place;
- Be aware that bag snatching occurs frequently and there is a significant increase in theft in the lead up to local festivals;
- Avoid placing bags in the front basket of bicycles;
- Bag snatchers on motorbikes are also a problem;
- When travelling by air, bus or train, stay vigilant against petty theft, particularly in busy rail and bus stations and in crowded airports;
- Avoid isolated areas after dark, including beaches in the Sihanoukville area, where there have been an increasing number of violent
- Travelling by car will reduce the risk as will limiting night time travel around Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap to well-lit public areas;
- You should be aware of the risk of robbery and other crime (including sexual offences) especially in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap, particularly after dark.
Lost or stolen passport
If your passport is lost or stolen, report this to the Police immediately and obtain a Police Report. Irish Citizens should be aware that if this occurs, it will delay your travel plans considerably, and cost you money. Along with the time taken to arrange a new travel document, you will subsequently need to get a replacement visa and an exit visa from immigration and this can take at least three working days and may delay your onward travel plans considerably. Please be aware that the nearest Irish Embassy is in Hanoi, Vietnam and dealing with a lost or stolen passport can be extremely inconvenient for you and can take time to resolve.
If you’re a victim of a crime while in Cambodia, report it to the local police immediately. And you can contact us at the Irish Embassy in Hanoi if you need help.
If you’re planning to drive in Cambodia, you should be extremely careful as driving standards can be erratic and sometimes dangerous. If you want to drive, you’ll need a Cambodian driving licence and make sure you have adequate and appropriate insurance. Be aware that driving without a licence may invalidate your travel insurance if you have an accident.
Motorbikes and scooters
Accidents involving motorbikes or scooters, often causing serious injury, long-term brain damage or death, are a common occurrence in Cambodia. If you decide to rent or buy a motorbike or scooter please take the same precautions as you would at home. These include wearing a helmet, observing speed limits and obeying the rules of the road.
Never drive under the influence of drugs or alcohol. Failure to follow this advice is likely to invalidate your insurance coverage if you are involved in an accident. Please note that the use of crash helmets is compulsory for motorbike users and passengers in Cambodia.
Taxis are a common way to get around but be careful, as the standard of driving may be poor. Always use licensed taxis or pre-arranged hotel pick-ups when transferring from airports. You shouldn’t accept offers of free transfers to hotels as these are likely to be bogus.
Hiring a vehicle
If you’re hiring a vehicle, we advise you not to hand over your passport as a form of security. If you’re allowing your passport to be photocopied, keep it in your sight at all times.
Check that you have adequate insurance and read the small print of the vehicle hire contract (particularly any waiver that will come into effect if the vehicle is damaged).
Pedestrians should take particular care when crossing roads in major cities as driving in Cambodia can be erratic and sometimes dangerous.
A number of energy drinks, which are banned in European countries due to the high levels of stimulants they contain, are available in Cambodia. Many but not all carry health warnings.
Consumption of these drinks, on their own or with alcohol can pose a serious danger to health, particularly to people with pre-existing cardiac or other health conditions.
Outdoor adventure sports
Before you take part in any outdoor or water-based sports or activities, such as kayaking, rock climbing, hang-gliding, etc., check that your travel insurance will cover you in the event of death or injury to yourself or a third party.
You should also be aware that the health and safety requirements in Cambodia aren’t as stringent as in Ireland and are often neither observed nor enforced. This means the risk of a serious or fatal accident while taking part in these activities is much higher.
Fri, 22 Jun 2018 12:32:23 BST