It’s no wonder that Cambodia is one of the most popular countries in South East Asia. Not only is it super affordable, its people are friendly and welcoming, and its history is undeniably fascinating. As with any new country, it’s essential that you pay extra attention to your surroundings. To help you on your way, here are five top tips for staying safe when you arrive in Cambodia…
1.Don’t advertise the fact you’re a tourist
To reduce the risk of street vendor hassle and petty theft, keep all of your expensive belongings out of sight. It’s important not to flaunt your wealth, so avoid wearing jewellery or expensive watches. Ask yourself whether you really need to carry a bag – could you instead tuck that day’s cash out of sight in a money belt?
2. Be aware of pickpockets
As with any big city, it’s important to be vigilant of pickpockets, especially when out at night. You’ll find that many of Cambodia’s bars are open-sided; this is where the pickpockets will target you, especially if you’ve had one too many beers. Tuck cash and ID away in places other than your pockets, try and choose seats that are against a wall, and remain vigilant of your belongings at all times.
3. Tuk tuk safety
Tuk tuk drivers in Cambodia often work on commission with local businesses. This means that you may ask to go to one destination, and you’ll end up at another. You can either choose to walk or take metered taxis to avoid this, or travel with other tourists, be adamant about where you’re going, and agree a price before you get in. Once riding in the tuk tuk, make sure all of your belongings are secure to avoid the risk of your bag being snatched in busy traffic.
4. Keep an eye out for conmen
Another scam to be aware of is English-speaking Cambodians looking for English-speakers to scam. You’ll find that they operate close to tourist attractions and in areas popular with tourists. If anyone approaches you asking whether you speak English, don’t engage them, and never provide any personal details like your name or where you’re staying.
5. Learn a little of the language
A little goes a long way…make sure that you learn “please” and “thank you” so that you can show your respect for the Cambodians that you meet. When it comes to the street children, “at-tay own” is a respectful way to say no to the goods they’re trying to sell. This should stop them trying. Remember that you shouldn’t give money to street children – we know it’s tempting but this income is what keeps them from attending school.