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Crime in Cambodia

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Cambodia_tourist_policeMost visitors do not become victims of crime in Cambodia; however you still need a bit of warning. Officially Cambodia has a crime rate slightly higher than the west.  Petty thefts such as pick pocketing and motorcycle “snatch and grab” are common. Armed robberies are very rare, and usually happen at night in the dark areas of tourist spots such as parks. Robbers have knives, if they could afford a gun they would not need to steal. Occasionally rooms are burglarized, sometimes even while occupants are asleep. On the bright side, at least the thieves will not wake you up.

To avoid the risk of losing your original documents consider carrying photocopies, normally you will not even need to carry photocopies. When you are riding in tuktuks and motorbikes, keep your bags nearby. This will decrease the likelihood of a motorbike snatch and grab where motorbike thieves pull up alongside another vehicle and swipe or jerk bags, phone, jewelry and other goods. While riding on the back of a motorbike, drunk and texting, some thieves relived me of my phone. They slowed down beside me, snatched the phone and speed away.

Pickpockets, some of whom are beggars, are present in the markets and at the tourist sites.  I consider myself a vigilant person, never the less my wallet has been stolen several times. Phnom Penh’s Night market is especially notorious for pickpockets.

Local police rarely investigate reports of crime against tourists, and travelers should not expect to recover stolen items.

According to the US embassy :If you are visiting Cambodia, you should practice sound personal security awareness by varying your routes and routines, maintaining a low profile, not carrying or displaying large amounts of cash, not wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, and not walking alone after dark. The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Cambodia is 117 for police, 118 for fire, and 119 for ambulance.

Traffic safety and Road conditions:

While roads in Cambodia are pretty bad at all times, during the rainy season, both urban and rural road deteriorate. As water washes away the sediment underneath the roads, roadways collapse. I once found a pothole big enough for me to sit in comfortably. I picked up sticked and blocked off the section of the road. When I returned later in the day, after a heavy rain, the whole was full, a small puddle, a meter deep.

Roadside assistance is non-existent.  All drivers, Cambodian and foreign drivers routinely ignore traffic laws.  Intoxicated drivers are commonplace, particularly during the evening hours.

Do be cautious, however also do not let fear rule you. This county is dangerous, but so are counties all over the world. If you pay attention to who is around you, then you will not be a victim of crime, if you don’t, odds are in your favor, but even so, the day someone robs you, will be a sad day. I always try to remember that someday I will be robbed and that nothing I own should ever be so sacred that it isn’t easily replaceable. Theft can be of anything you own. Really, anything. I have even had someone steal the power line that leads to my house (a crime you wouldn’t think would exist).

Hey, I’m Eric, www.YourWorldYourHome.com is my travel blog. I write this website to show you how easy it is to live, work and travel all around the world. I’ve been traveling almost 8 years now. I’m just about to publish my new book Where the Wind Blows: Traveling around the World on $5 a day

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2 Comments

    • Well it isnt so unsafe there. If you slept in the park no one would hurt you, but yes you might be robbed. Petty crime is the issue, not violent crime. The odds of you being hurt by violence in the USA is greater then in places like cambodia.

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