Many travelers flock to Thailand and Vietnam, they missed out what’s between this two countries, Cambodia. For backpackers, they usually use Cambodia as a transit point to get to Vietnam. Or they probably spend a few days here partying because the beers here are cheaper than neighboring countries, I got beers for around USD 0.5 a glass.
I came across people asking me if Cambodia is safe to travel, because of numerous stories about snatch thieves on motorbikes and scams going around. I would say things has improved dramatically in the past 5 years. ATMs and western joints have start appearing all over cities and areas where tourists go to. There are tourist polices everywhere, even though I do not know their capabilities to response to bad happenings. But this is a good sign, the government and people are appreciating the increase of foreigners in the country and that means there will be fewer crimes involving foreigners.
I have never walked the streets feeling dangerous, except for a tuk tuk driver who tried to squeeze money out of me by bringing me to the wrong place. I gave him what he wanted since it was just a couple of dollars more and it’s really late at night, who knows what lurks behind his back. Drugs and guns can be easily obtained on the streets but be smart, avoid these if you do not want to spend any time in the Cambodian jail.
Adopt good practices such as don’t walk into dark alleys at night, don’t hang your expensive camera by the neck wherever you go. In other words, don’t show others what you owned. Don’t be a walking money tree! Crimes happen when people see you as a target and so don’t make yourself a target. This is applies to wherever you go.
Generally, Cambodia is relatively safe to travel in. I would say that even for solo female travelers, it will be safe to walk around on your own, I have seen many solo female travelers walking around alone and they are doing great. Leave your worries at home if you are a female thinking of traveling alone to Cambodia.
What’s more important is that Cambodia is cheap and interesting to travel to! Generally you can live comfortably on USD 30 a day. A decent meal at a mid range restaurant will cost around USD 3-6, street food can be found for USD 1-2. Transport within city cost USD 1-2 on a motorbike and there are plentiful everywhere. Single room guesthouse range from USD 4-8 for fan rooms, USD 8-12 for air-conditioned ones.
Tell me it’s worth it!