Safety Tips for Cambodian Travel

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Like any other city, Phnom Penh has its fair share of undesirables. Hoods, vagabonds, ne’er-do- wells, street punks and other anti social elements can be found here just the same as any other place. Visitors rarely encounter serious problems, but the recent and tragic death of a French female expat – pulled from the rear of a motorbike taxi and into the path of a truck during a bag snatch attempt – prompted a debate on the 440 forum which yielded some useful advice for visitors.

As far as avoiding a street robbery goes and already noted, purses are a big no-no, and the same goes for men’s wallets.

Wear jeans or cargo pants and stuff your cash in the front, not back, pockets. Cash should be divided between two pockets so if someone takes a grab at your roll when you produce it in a market, you won’t lose the lot.

Don’t wear jewellery!

Buy a $2-$10 watch for the trip.

Don’t carry big cameras. Instead, buy or borrow a small digital that can be stowed in a pocket.

After shopping, don’t ride in or on vehicles without doors.

If possible, wear shirts with button down pocket/s for credit cards when going to an ATM. (My shirts are all light cotton so cards can be seen through the material, I enclose them in a cut-down envelope.)

Don’t carry your passport around, carry a photocopy of it.

Generally, hotel security storage for anything like cash, passports, credit cards is OK so only carry what you need for a day out.

When walking on the street/footpath, if something bumps you on the left, look to your right – this isn’t easy getting used to but the tug to onside precipitates a robbery attempt on your other side.

Before going to sleep in your guest house or hotel, secure all cash etc under lock and key with nothing left on bedside tables. Remember there are other keys to your room,

Bring more books and less clothes than you think you’ll need – and leave the book/s with an expat.

Come light, go home heavy

Have a good time!

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