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Country Guides for Asia


Cambodia Following a five-year struggle, Communist Khmer Rouge forces captured Phnom Penh in 1975 and ordered the evacuation of all cities and towns; over 1 million displaced people died from execution or enforced hardships. A 1978 Vietnamese invasion drove the Khmer Rouge into the countryside and touched off almost 20 years of fighting. UN-sponsored elections in 1993 helped restore some semblance of normalcy as did the rapid diminishment of the Khmer Rouge in the mid-1990s. A coalition government, formed after national elections in 1998, brought renewed political stability and the surrender of remaining Khmer Rouge forces in 1998.

Source: CIA World Factbook

Food and waterborne diseases are the number one cause of illness in travelers. Travelers’ diarrhea can be caused by viruses, bacteria, or parasites, which are found throughout the region and can contaminate food or water. Infections may cause diarrhea and vomiting (E. coli, Salmonella, cholera, and parasites), fever (Typhoid fever and toxoplasmosis), or liver damage (hepatitis). Make sure your food and drinking water are safe.

Malaria is a serious, but preventable infection that can be fatal. Your risk of malaria may be high in these countries, including some cities. Prevent this deadly disease by seeing your health care provider for a prescription antimalarial drug and by protecting yourself against mosquito bites. Travelers to malaria-risk areas, including infants, children, and former residents of Southeast Asia, should take an antimalarial drug.

Dengue, filariasis, Japanese encephalitis, and plague are diseases carried by insects that also occur in this region. Protecting yourself against insect bites will help to prevent these diseases.

Do not swim in fresh water (except in well-chlorinated swimming pools) in certain areas of Cambodia, Indonesia, Laos, Philippines, and Thailand to avoid infection with schistosomiasis.

Because motor vehicle crashes are a leading cause of injury among travelers, walk and drive defensively. Avoid travel at night if possible and always use seat belts.

There is no risk for yellow fever in Southeast Asia. A certificate of yellow fever vaccination may be required for entry into certain of these countries if you are coming from countries in South America or sub-Saharan Africa. For detailed information, see Comprehensive Yellow Fever Vaccination Requirements. Also, find the nearest authorized U.S. yellow fever vaccine center.

CDC recommends the following vaccines (as appropriate for age):

See your doctor at least 4–6 weeks before your trip to allow time for shots to take effect.

  • Hepatitis A or immune globulin (IG).
  • Hepatitis B if you might be exposed to blood (for example, health-care workers), have sexual contact with the local population, stay longer than 6 months in the region, or be exposed through medical treatment.
  • Japanese encephalitis, only if you plan to visit rural areas for 4 weeks or more, except under special circumstances, such as a known outbreak of Japanese encephalitis.
  • Rabies, if you might be exposed to wild or domestic animals through your work or recreation.
  • Typhoid vaccination is particularly important because of the presence of S. typhi strains resistant to multiple antibiotics in this region.
  • As needed, booster doses for tetanus-diphtheria and measles, and a one-time dose of polio for adults. Hepatitis B vaccine is now recommended for all infants and for children ages 11–12 years who did not complete the series as infants.

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Download Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by CountryDownload Magellan's Chart of Insect Protection and Water Purification Needs by Country

SAFETY AND SECURITY: In the aftermath of the October 2002 terrorist bombings in Bali , Indonesia , the possibility exists that similar attacks may occur in other Southeast Asian nations. The Department is concerned that individuals and groups may be planning terrorist actions against United States citizens and interests, as well as sites frequented by Westerners. Extremist groups present in Southeast Asia have transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate. Increased security at official U.S. facilities has led terrorist groups and their sympathizers to seek softer targets such as clubs, restaurants, places of worship, schools, outdoor recreation events, hotels, resorts and beaches.

While the political situation in Cambodia is relatively calm, American citizens should be aware that Cambodian political activities have turned violent in the past and the possibility for politically motivated violence remains. Grenade attacks and bombings have been used as a form of retribution to settle business and personal disputes. Therefore, the U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid large gatherings or demonstrations.

The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel who travel to the provinces to exercise extreme caution outside the provincial towns during the day and everywhere at night. Many rural parts of the country remain without effective policing. Individuals should avoid walking alone after dusk anywhere in Sihanoukville, and especially along the waterfront. Some of the beaches are secluded, and post has received reports in the past of women being attacked along the Sihanoukville waterfront during the evening hours. These security precautions should also be taken when visiting the Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) area.

Land mines and unexploded ordnance can be found in rural areas throughout Cambodia, but especially in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom provinces. At no time should travelers walk in forested areas or even in dry rice paddies without a local guide. Areas around small bridges on secondary roads are particularly dangerous. Travelers who observe anything resembling a mine or unexploded ordnance should not touch it. They should notify the Cambodia Mine Action Center at 023-368-841/981-083 or 084.

The town of Siem Reap and the vicinity of the Angkor Wat temple complex remain officially open to tourists. The Embassy advises U.S. citizens to travel there by air and to limit their movements to the city of Siem Reap and the main Angkor Wat temple complexes. However, those who do choose to travel by vehicle are advised that the road between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is in very poor condition.

Local ferry boats seldom meet safety standards, are often over-crowded and may not be equipped with life jackets/life preservers.

For the latest information, Americans travelling abroad should regularly monitor the Department's Internet web site at where the current Travel Warnings and Public Announcements can be found.

The Overseas Citizen Services call center at 1-888-407-4747 can answer general inquiries on safety and security overseas. This number is available from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m. Eastern Time, Monday through Friday (except U.S. federal holidays). Callers who are unable to use the toll-free numbers, such as those calling from overseas, may obtain information and assistance during these hours by calling 1-317-472-2328

CRIME : Banditry and other crimes, including armed robbery and assault, are persistent and serious problems in many areas of the country. Many individuals are victimized while riding on motorcycle taxis or cyclos (passenger-carrying bicycles) and generally after dark, but also in broad daylight. These incidents can result in serious injury as the victim is often pulled from a moving vehicle. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling alone, especially after dark. To avoid the risk of theft or confiscation of original documents, the U.S. Embassy advises its personnel to carry photocopies of their U.S. passport, driver's license or other important documents. The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel to review their personal security practices regularly.

The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh. U.S. citizens may refer to Department of State's pamphlet A Safe Trip Abroad for ways to promote a trouble free journey. The pamphlet is available by mail from the Superintendent of Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402, via the internet at or via the Bureau of Consular Affairs home page at

Source: U.S. Department of State

tropical; rainy, monsoon season (May to November); dry season (December to April); little seasonal temperature variation

Source: CIA World Factbook

Cambodia's electrical current is 220/50 and 110/60 (volts/hz) and uses the plug adaptors listed to the right under Related Items. Many North American appliances are designed to operate only within the 100-125 volt range. These appliances will suffer damage if plugged into 220-250 volts without the proper transformer or converter.

To determine which plug adaptors you'll need and if you'll require a transformer or converter, use our Electrical Connection Wizard.

For a detailed discussion of international electrical standards, see our related article on Electrical and Phone Adaptation.

Download Magellan's Guide to World Electrical ConnectionsDownload Magellan's Guide to World Electrical Connections

ENTRY/EXIT REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required. Tourists and business travelers may purchase a Cambodian visa valid for one month at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Both require a passport-sized photograph. A departure tax is charged on all domestic and international flights. This tax must be paid in U.S. Dollars. Current information about entry/visa and other requirements may be obtained from the Royal Embassy of Cambodia, 4500 16th Street, NW , Washington, DC 20022 , telephone number 202-726-7742, fax 202-726-8381, or via the Internet at . Overseas inquiries may be made at the nearest embassy or consulate of Cambodia.

In an effort to prevent international child abduction, many governments have initiated procedures at entry/exit points. These often include requiring documentary evidence of relationship and permission for the child's travel from the parent(s) or legal guardian if not present. Having such documentation on hand, even if not required, may facilitate entry/departure.

Source: U.S. Department of State

The time zone for Cambodia is 0 hours offset from GMT, which means that if it is 12:00 noon in New York, the time in Cambodia would be 5:00 pm

The unit of currency in Cambodia is the riel (KHR).

Look up the current exchange rate using's Universal Currency Converter

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