Young girl biking, Phnom Penh, Cambodia

Is Cambodia Safe for a Solo Female Traveler to Travel Alone?

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When traveling to a new place and you do not know anyone, it may seem overwhelming to think about traveling alone, especially if you are a woman. This can be especially true for a country like Cambodia, which has had a violent and checkered past.

Cambodia is a safe country for a female traveler to travel solo. But with any developing country, there are precautions that you must take to ensure your safety. I have traveled alone to Cambodia many times and have always felt safe.

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My Best Tips For Safely Traveling Alone In Cambodia

Cambodia is an incredible country with fascinating sights, rich culture, and remarkable experiences. However, it can be daunting to travel alone in a foreign country – especially one unfamiliar. To help make your adventure as enjoyable as possible while ensuring your safety, I have compiled my best tips for traveling alone in Cambodia safely!

From all my years of experience in traveling alone in many countries and especially in Cambodia, here are some precautions that need to be taken

Be aware of your surroundings in Cambodia.

Cambodia is a developing country. There is a lot of poverty there, so you must expect pickpockets, especially in foreign areas, as many thieves see stealing from foreigners as a way to make some easy money.

Keep your eyes open and be aware of your surroundings while traveling in Cambodia. There is no reason to be hyper about this, so you always walk around looking like a scared cat, but do keep a watch out.

I would also recommend that every solo female traveler get a perfect backpack with some anti-theft protection. I have purchased some PacSafe bags and found them to be excellent. One of the reasons I like them is their bags do not look like anti-theft bags. You can check out their bags by clicking here.

Here are some of the places you should be extra careful:

Be Aware At The ATMs in Cambodia

Like many places in Asia, Cambodia has a lot of ATMs that are completely exposed to the streets. So when you withdraw money, you usually do it on the street. Look around. Do you see anyone sitting and watching the ATM that looks suspicious?

If so, consider walking away and going to another ATM. Also, when you withdraw your cash, do it quickly and get away quickly. Don’t stop slowly counting your money so everyone knows how much you have.

In the many Cambodian markets, keep aware.

Cambodia has some beautiful markets, but these markets are usually very crowded. They are fun to go shopping in, but they also are a perfect place for pickpockets to operate.

Many times the pickpockets will operate in a team. One finds the target, or they may find a way to distract you while the other team member moves in to rob you. So make sure your money is not easy to get to or easy for them to cut off your bag strap or grab a handbag.

When Riding In a Tuk-Tuk, hold on to your belongings.

Riding a Tuk-tuk is a lot of fun in Cambodia, but there are also places where thieves will come by and grab your bag; many tuk-tuks try to protect against this, but if you make it easy for them, they can still get your bag from you. So, hold your bag tight against your chest when riding in a tuk-tuk, and do not just set your bag on the seat or the floor of the tuk-tuk.

Around Major Tourist locations, Be Careful.

Thieves are usually looking to rob foreigners. They are not so interested in the local Cambodians as they realize the jackpot or the real money can be made in the tourist areas.

They also know that many tourists are just careless with their belongings. So the best way to stay safe is to keep your eye out for thieves, especially near any tourist destination.

Be Cautious Outside Airports In Cambodia

You come into the airports, and people often crowd around you, asking you where you want to go. Someone will try to grab your luggage to get you into their car or tuk-tuk. The danger is that they grab your luggage and other things and then walk off with them.

I have known that to happen to people, so I tell the drivers, “No, I will handle my bags.” I handle them until I am in the car or taxi or know I will take their taxi and they are real drivers.

Also, make sure your bags go into the taxi’s trunk to ensure nothing gets lost along the way. If you are worried about this, the safest method is to ask your hotel to send a car and driver to pick you up from the airport.

I had a friend who was getting in a taxi at Phnom Penh Airport, and someone came and grabbed his computer bag before he could get it into the car. He did not keep an eye on his bag at all times at the airport.

Laborers on their way to work
Laborers on their way to work in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Do not flash your cash when traveling in Cambodia.

Never flash cash around. This is why I always travel with two wallets or have money in several areas, and I always keep my cash safe and hidden. I may have a smaller wallet where I have changed to buy some smaller items as drinks or pay for transportation. . The other money will be hidden deep down in another wallet in the backpack.

Usually, thieves are out looking for a target. If they rob someone, they want to know it is worth the risk and their effort. So if you are flashing a lot of large dollar bills around or you keep bringing out a wallet to show people you have a lot of money, you are asking for someone to come and take it from you. This is why the best rule is never to flash cash around.

Stay on the beaten path when traveling in Cambodia

Cambodia is still filled with landmines, and people, even today, still die or lose their limbs from landmine explosions. Though many groups are working to clean up the land mine ordinances from the countryside, it is not yet 100% completed.

It is estimated that 4 to 6 million landmines are still in Cambodia. Because of this, it is always best to stay on the beaten path and not try to wander off to some field or countryside location you have no idea about, especially by yourself and without a local guide.

Monks in Cambodia
Monks walking near the Grand Palace in Phnom Penh, Cambodia.

Find yourself a friend you feel you can trust for your Cambodian travels

Cambodians are very kind and friendly people. I have met many very nice friends throughout my travels in Cambodia; many of these friends were tuk-tuk drivers or local guides.

Finding local friends will make your experience in Cambodia more rewarding. I have also found that these friends I have found along the way have helped ensure I was safe.

My tuk-tuk driver friend would ensure nothing happened to me or the things I purchased. The local guide would ensure I was safe and taken care of.

Cambodia is a fascinating and beautiful country to travel to. It is also a developing country, so you will need to take precautions for your personal safety. But if you take those precautions, you should find that you will have a safe and rewarding time during your travels there.

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Why Every Cyclist Should Ride Around Angkor Wat Cambodia?

Cycling around the Angkor Was Temple complexes is a great way to see some amazing ancient Cambodian temples. When you cycle around Angkor Wat, you will have the freedom to see Angkor Wat at your own pace and see things that you could never see in a car, bus, or even a tuk-tuk. Every cyclist should have cycled around Angkor Way on their bucket list.

You can discover more by reading our blog Why Every Cyclist Should Ride Around Angkor Wat Cambodia? by clicking here.

What Was The Main Religion in Cambodia Before Buddhism?

Before Buddhism was so prevalent in Cambodia, the main religion was Hinduism. Hinduism has been the state religion of Cambodia for over 1000 years. The Angkor Wat temple complex in Siem Reap, Cambodia, was originally built as a Hindu temple.

You can learn more by reading What Was The Main Religion in Cambodia Before Buddhism? by clicking here.

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