Is Cambodia SAFE To Visit Alone?

Is Cambodia SAFE To Visit Alone

Is Cambodia SAFE To Visit Alone – If you are thinking about traveling alone to Cambodia , but have some fears or doubts, you’ve come to the right place. I’m going to tell you what it’s like to travel around the country alone, whether it’s dangerous or not, destinations that might please you if it’s your first time in these lands and, in addition, some tips to make sure everything goes well.

Is Cambodia SAFE To Visit Alone?

Why travel alone to Cambodia – is it possible?


Of course it is possible! Traveling alone to Cambodia is not only possible, it is a great idea for many reasons.

Firstly, the most obvious: there is so much to see in Cambodia. The temples of Angkor are the main attraction, but you also have the option of exploring Cambodia’s interesting but harsh past in the capital, Nom Penh; explore rural Cambodia in Battambang; or enjoy idyllic beaches on Koh Rong, to name a few.

It is, on the other hand, a varied destination and, if you’re up for it, full of surprises. Obviously, everyone visits Siem Reap and its temples, some go to Nom Pen and Koh Rong, but few venture further afield. So, if you want to get off the beaten track, if you want unspoilt or less touristy places, I think you’ll fall in love with Cambodia.

Another strong reason to travel alone to Cambodia is its people. It is said that Thailand is the land of smiles, but, without belittling the former, I think that Filipinos and Cambodians are the friendliest and most helpful. Without the slightest hesitation, they help us in every way possible, even when we are not asking.

Of course, as in any country, there are opportunists and tuk tuk drivers or taxi drivers who will try to charge you a little more, but one of the most general impressions you will take away from your solo trip in Cambodia is the kindness of the people.

Even if you don’t speak Shakespearean English, people will try to understand and help you. If you are somewhat fluent in French, due to its colonial past, you will be able to find people who speak it fluently. In any case, the language of gestures is universal and Google Translate is a tool that is here to stay.

On the other hand, traveling alone to Cambodia is possible and economical. It’s safe and easy to get around on public transport, and you can expect to pay between 6 and 8 euros for a several-hour bus journey or around 20 euros for the ferry to Koh Rong. Furthermore, you will find very cheap accommodation. From just 3 euros, you will have a bed in a shared room, but if you want privacy, you won’t have to spend a lot of money, as you can easily find them for just 6 euros.

Khmer food – which, by the way, is delicious – is also quite cheap. The price will, of course, depend on where you eat it (a street stall is not the same as a tourist restaurant), but for 3 to 4 euros you can eat comfortably. Being a dollarized country, prices are a little higher than those of its neighbors, but it will not be a major obstacle to the budget.

On the other hand, it’s very common to ask yourself if you won’t feel alone at some point and if you can do something to alleviate it. Cambodia is a common destination for solo travelers and, believe me, there are many more of us than you might think. You always have the option of joining a tour, going to a hostel to meet people or, why not, using apps like Coachsurfing, traveler groups on Whatsapp or Facebook groups.

Finally, if, like me, you like to flow, you can travel alone in Cambodia, choosing where you go the day before or even on the day itself. One of the advantages of following your own path is that you can do whatever you want, whenever you want, and this country gives you that opportunity. The wide range of accommodation and transport options allows you (except on very specific dates and in specific locations, such as Siem Reap at Christmas, for example) to make your itinerary more flexible.

But is it safe to travel to Cambodia alone as a woman?

Of course! This is another reason why I recommend traveling to Cambodia alone because it is a safe destination.

As the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MNE) says in its travel recommendations , Cambodia is a safe country. Even so, you should be careful, especially in Nom Pen, the capital, where there has been an increase in the number of robberies using the “snatch-and-grab” method. This means that when you are walking on the side of the road, someone pulls over your motorbike and takes your valuables. Therefore, it is important to securely hold your belongings and, if possible, move as far away from the side of the road as possible.

This also sometimes happens when cycling in Siem Reap or the Angkor complex. Therefore, it is important to carry the bag or backpack on your back or attach it to the basket to avoid mishaps.

On the other hand, in Sihanoukville and the islands, there were some cases of sexual assaults during parties. Unfortunately, this is something that happens all over the world, especially under the influence of alcohol. So, as I’m sure you already do at home, be very careful, avoid walking on lonely beaches and be careful with your drinking.

Apart from these exceptional accidents, in my experience, Cambodia is a comfortable and safe country to travel alone. You will rarely receive uncomfortable looks or compliments. People are used to tourism and summer clothes, so, except for temples, you can walk around freely. Still, if you don’t wear too much cleavage or too short skirts/pants, you’ll feel more comfortable.

Regarding health , unfortunately, dengue fever is a very common disease, just like Zika, chikungunya and malaria, all of which are transmitted by mosquito bites. Therefore, it is essential to use mosquito repellent. Furthermore, as the MNE reminds us several times, it is very important to have good travel insurance, since “Cambodia’s health infrastructure is not at a level comparable to that of Europe and private centers charge high prices. It is strongly recommended that you take out insurance with sufficient coverage before traveling to the country. In case of an accident or illness, it is advisable to go to Thailand, where the hospital network is much better.

Recommended destinations for traveling alone in Cambodia – What to do alone in Cambodia?

Now that you have a more or less complete picture of what it is like to travel alone to Cambodia and how safe it is, here are the destinations that I consider most interesting if it is your first trip to the country.

temples of Angkor

Siem Reap and the temples of Angkor

A trip to Cambodia (alone) would not be complete without a visit to the temples of Angkor, possibly one of the must-see places on any trip to Southeast Asia. This monumental complex located next to the city of Siem Reap combines more than 100 temples, palaces and lakes, some of them still surrounded by the jungle or in the process of being assimilated by it.

Angkor Wat is the pinnacle of Khmer Empire architecture and is visited every day by hundreds of people, but I also recommend that you don’t miss Angkor Thom (which you’ve certainly seen dozens of times, as it became famous for appearing in the film “Tomb Raider ”) and Bayon. You can take a bike ride (more tiring, but cheaper) or hire a tuk-tuk for the whole day.

My advice is to spend at least two days visiting Siem Reap and Angkor. From here, you can also go on some excursions, such as visiting the Phnom Kulen waterfalls or the Beng Mealea temple.

Phnom Penh

Phnom Penh

Although it is not the most pleasant city in Asia, I think a visit to Nom Pen is a must on a solo trip to Cambodia. Leaving the country without delving into the history of the Cambodian genocide would be like going halfway. Although it is difficult, I recommend that you visit the S-21 Institute or the Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum and the Choeung Ek extermination camps or “Killing Fields”, where you will learn about the Khmer Rouge massacre.

Furthermore, in the capital, you will also find impressive temples and several buildings of French colonial architecture that, I am sure, will please you.

Koh Rong or Koh Rong Saloem

Koh Rong

To end your solo trip to Cambodia, what could be better than a few days on a tropical island? Here you will find what you want: white sand beaches, clear waters and coconut trees. Koh Rong is a little more developed and has a little more of a backpacker vibe, while Koh Rong Saloem is quieter and more untouched, so it’s common to see more families and couples. The good news is that whatever you choose, you’ll be right on target.

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Tips for traveling alone in Cambodia

While I hope I’ve given you some encouragement to travel solo in Cambodia, here are some tips that I think will help you get started with a little less hesitation:

  • Traveling alone in Cambodia is safe, but be very careful in Nom Pen, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Here, there are frequent cases of people being snatched from motorbikes and occasional and careless robberies. You can never be too careful and walk as far away from the road as possible.
  • Avoid walking along Nom Pen late at night.
  • Some land borders try to charge more than the $30 visa fee. Therefore, I recommend that you obtain an electronic visa in advance or take just 30 dollars and fight with the employees until they get tired.
  • For accommodation, Agoda is the platform that usually offers the best prices in Cambodia. In any case, always compare with Booking.
  • Go to a vaccination center well in advance so that a professional can advise you on the recommended vaccines. Yellow fever is only mandatory if you have been to a country where it is endemic (not Portugal), but vaccinations against typhoid fever, hepatitis A and tetanus are normally recommended.
  • It is very important to use mosquito repellent, especially at dawn and dusk when mosquitoes are most active. Dengue is a very common disease throughout Southeast Asia and is transmitted by mosquito bites.
  • I always recommend it, but for me it is very important. Look for a SIM card to have Internet on your cell phone, which will help you stay connected to your family and friends, but also have all the information you need at your fingertips. Smart and Metfone cards have the best coverage and are very cheap. They sell them at the airport, but it will be cheaper to go to a cell phone store, buy the SIM and top up. To give you an idea, for 8 or 9 euros you can get a 40 gigabyte plan.
  • If you have a choice, the best time to travel alone to Cambodia, because it rains less, is from October to March. It’s true that it’s high season, there will be more people, it will be hotter and prices will be higher, so the choice is yours. September, October and April offer a happy medium.
  • Want to take a souvenir home? Don’t be afraid to haggle , but always be respectful.
  • Take a scarf with you, as you will have to cover your knees and shoulders at the temples.
  • Stay hydrated, but avoid drinking tap water. It is also not advisable to eat raw fish or meat.

More advice for women traveling alone in Cambodia

  • To save on ATM fees , in addition to having cards that give you a good exchange rate (like Revolut or N26), I recommend that you try to buy currency at banks. In other words, instead of going to the ATM (which will charge you a fee of around 4 euros per withdrawal), you can load your card at the bank branch and they will give you money. Not all banks do this, but you can try. this practice is also quite common and is called “cash advanced”.
  • Only drive a motorbike if you have practice. The roads are not always in the best condition. Remember that you need an international driving license.
  • An application that will make your life a lot easier is Grab, which is the Uber of Southeast Asia. You can book trips by car, tuk tuk and motorbike in a convenient and economical way. However, you can also use public transport, which is very safe.
  • If you ever feel like you’re missing company, you can always join a group tour or go to a hostel to meet people.
  • Please be a responsible traveler and do not give children money or buy things from them. If you do this, you encourage parents to prefer them to work instead of, for example, going to school. Unless you are an expert on the subject, we believe that the all-too-common volunteering in orphanages does more harm than good and that there is a huge industry behind it.
  • Remember that one of the keys to traveling alone in Cambodia and feeling more at ease is traveling with an insurance company that you know will respond well and quickly when you need it most.
  • Finally, traveling alone in Cambodia is safe and highly recommended, but don’t leave your common sense at home and follow your intuition.

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