Security and health
The Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade's Smartraveller site provides advice for business travellers and tourists going to Cambodia. This is regularly updated, and should be checked before planning travel.
It is strongly recommended that Australian travellers take out comprehensive travel insurance that will cover any overseas medical costs, before their departure. They should confirm that their insurance covers them for the whole time they will be away and check what circumstances and activities are / are not included in their policy.
It is also recommended that Australian travellers register your travel and contact details, before travelling, on the Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade website, to provide greater protection in case of an emergency.
Robbery is a problem and particular care needs to be taken at night.
While there is no legal requirement to have vaccinations before arriving in Cambodia, it is recommended that visitors ensure they have had the following vaccinations:
- Tetanus and diphtheria
- Hepatitis A
- Hepatitis B
Doctors also advise that visitors receive immunisation against Japanese encephalitis, cholera and rabies. Given the number of vaccinations needed, it is worth planning these well in advance of your trip to Cambodia.
Cambodian medical and health care services are still fairly poor. If requiring unusual medicines it would be advisable to bring a plentiful supply as obtaining drugs can take some time. There are several dentists who are well-equipped to handle most procedures, but it is advisable to have teeth examined prior to any long-term visits.
Malaria is still present in a number of areas in Cambodia, although in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap there is very little risk of contacting this disease. If travelling into the country and coastal areas, it is important to take malarial prophylactics such as a course of lariam (mefloquine) and doxcycline (Vibramycin, Doryx), as well as taking the appropriate preventative measures such as wearing light-coloured clothing, using mosquito repellents and avoiding highly scented perfumes or aftershave. Such measures would also help to prevent the onset of dengue fever, a mosquito-borne disease present in Cambodia particularly in the rainy season from July to October.
Tap water is unsafe in Cambodia and visitors should drink bottled water, which is widely available. Tea and coffee are generally safe, but avoid ice in drinks. Visitors should avoid undercooked meat, shellfish and more generally, food which has been left out for hours. Fruit which can be peeled or food which has been boiled or cooked properly is usually safe.