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Safety

Lisbon, Portugal
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24 posts
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Safety

Hi.

I'm possibly going to Cambodia in about a couple of months. The plan is still much in the open bout I will probably be staying for about 2 weeks and will cross the border by land.

Is it safe for a mid thirties European male to travel alone?

What should I watch out for (medical conditions included)?

Is traveling by bus a good cheap option or do you not recommend it?

Thank you in advance.

Thunder Bay, Canada
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326 posts
7 reviews
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1. Re: Safety

First off, yes, it is comp,etely safe to travel alone. Use the same precautions you would in any city anywhere in the world.

Use a tuk tuk late at night to avoid dark streets, etc. buses are a very good cheaper travel option.

There are many threads on which is the best bus line.

Bangkok, Thailand
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9,536 posts
93 reviews
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2. Re: Safety

The Top Questions of the forum cover your issues. With a smartphone or tablet you need to force the browser to use the full web site to see them. The advice for solo female travelers is useful also for males although they usually are less risk-averse.

You should be safe enough if you don't do things that are inadvisable also in Lisbon. Alcohol is very cheap, but binge drinking or inviting strangers into your room are bad ideas and the combination is even worse.

Drug laws are officially harsher than in Portugal, but enforcement is lax. However, that is a cold comfort if somebody decides to target you possibly hoping that you will pay a big bribe just to avoid landing in a stinking detention cell used for crime suspects. As far as I know the ones in Cambodia would not be any nicer than the ones in Thailand where tens of guys may sleep together on the floor without proper toilet facilities. In Sihanoukville I got several unsolicited offers of drugs although I'm way older than you, so you should be prepared to respond without hesitation.

Dengue fever is a problem so you need to keep applying repellent and dressing appropriately. Fortunately that helps also against the mosquitoes spreading malaria, so you may be able to avoid eating antimalarial drugs. However, that really depends on the locations that you plan to visit and the advice from your doctor who should specialize in travel medicine.

Traffic accidents are really the biggest hazard. Driving is erratic because many people do not know the traffic rules and respect them even less. Stunts like driving against the traffic or on footpaths are business as usual. Some people like to save money by not switching on the lights when they drive in the dark. Drunk driving is also common. In many ways it is quite similar to Thailand but the roads are poorer and seldom lit.

Some bus companies are much better than others, but the good ones vary depending on the route. Buses are the only cheap transport option, since the alternatives are flights between some very few towns or hiring taxis.

Edited: 28 November 2013, 01:39
Berlin, Germany
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35 posts
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3. Re: Safety

Yes, Cambodia is very safe. Biggest danger is traffic - especially tourists who rent small motorbikes often get injured. Use the big bus companies for long routes and you'll be fine. You can send me a private message, if you need more advice. I've lived in many years in Cambodia and can share.

Dunsborough...
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89 posts
34 reviews
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4. Re: Safety

TVDP, I (was when visited Nov last year) am late thirties and travelled alone, visited PP and SR and felt very safe. I did some drinking, but not enough to get yourself into trouble. You'll meet a lot of similar travelers to yourself over there. I'll be back there again in March, doing a similar journey to PP and SR.

You'll have a blast.

Lisbon, Portugal
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24 posts
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5. Re: Safety

> Stunts like driving against the traffic or on footpaths are business as usual.

I've read this in many places but coming from Southern Europe even I find this hard to believe. I guess I'll see.

> Some people like to save money by not switching on the lights when they drive in the dark.

This I've seen in buses in China (heavily urbanized areas mind you) so I won't be that surprised.

> I got several unsolicited offers of drugs although I'm way older than you, so you should be prepared to respond without hesitation.

I don't do drugs (apart from very small and sporadic consumption of usually legal ones such as caffeine and alcohol) so this won't be a problem.

> However, that is a cold comfort if somebody decides to target you possibly hoping that you will pay a big bribe just to avoid landing in a stinking detention cell used for crime suspects.

This worries me. I was in Bangkok when I was 18 and I was really paranoid about this. Now, my older self thinks this is not really a likely problem. Do things like this really happen? How many people a year (roughly) are caught in this kind of scenario?

Thank you for your answers.?

Stroud, United...
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145 posts
19 reviews
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6. Re: Safety

With more than 2 million visitors per year now one of the bigger threats around is other travellers, not Cambodians - but as above, that's about common sense that you would probably use in Lisbon too.

There are a few scams in Cambodia, but to a seasoned traveller they're obvious. Stay well clear of drugs, stick to alcohol and tobacco. Drugs are a great money earner for the police, and the trade is full of lowlifes, as it would be anywhere else.

Don't always bargain people down to the lowest possible price - corners will be cut. Be reasonable, don't get angry or raise your voice, and know when to walk away.

Chances are you will be safer than in many European countries, and you'll have an amazing time.

Lisbon, Portugal
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7. Re: Safety

Did Siem Reap for 4 days. Stayed somewhat out of town. Ended up walking to the hotel several times alone at night for half an hour and biked a few others. No problem whatsoever. Things seemed safe. The only problem was that sellers were really aggressive (usually only verbally) and roads off the beaten track have no illumination and are in poor condition.

Driving is chaotic but if one pays attention things evolve nicely.

Some girls tried the powder milk scam with me. I wasn't familiar with it but smelled scam a mile away. Refusing to fall for it had no consequences.

Long distance bus I took was bad as in uncomfortable/crammed. Did reach my destination though.

8. Re: Safety

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