The health risk information presented here is summarized from Shoreland Travax®, a decision-support tool used by health care providers to perform a detailed health risk analysis based on specific locations, individual travel styles, and traveler risk behaviors. Travax provides practitioners current, independently researched malaria risk and prevention recommendations in a map-based format that goes beyond the annual WHO and CDC statements included here. Not included here are current reports from Travax of disease outbreaks or environmental events that may pose elevated risks to travelers’ health and safety. The Providers section of this site offers a directory of health care providers who utilize Shoreland Travax for travel health counseling. Learn more about the detailed reports and maps available from these practitioners (includes links to samples).
Cambodia is a developing nation in the lower half of the world's economies. Located between Thailand and Vietnam in Southeast Asia, its climate is tropical with a monsoon season and a dry season, and little seasonal temperature variation.
See also: Library article for Yellow Fever
Although yellow fever does not occur in Cambodia, an official yellow fever vaccination certificate may be required depending on your itinerary.
- Requirement: A vaccination certificate is required for travelers aged ≥ 1 year coming from countries with risk of YF transmission. Note: This applies to airport layovers longer than 12 hours in these countries.
Depending on your itinerary, your personal risk factors, and the length of your visit, your health care provider may offer you vaccination against hepatitis A, hepatitis B, influenza, Japanese encephalitis, measles, mumps, rubella, rabies, or typhoid fever. Routine immunizations, such as those that prevent tetanus/diphtheria or "childhood" diseases, should be reviewed and updated as needed.
See also: Library article for Malaria
The following is current information as reported by the World Health Organization (WHO) and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control (CDC):
WHO—International Travel and Health (current online update, Country List)(2017) Malaria risk due to P. falciparum and P. vivax exists throughout the year in forested rural areas. Phnom Penh and areas close to Tonle Sap (Siem Reap) are not at risk. Risk within the tourist area surrounding Angkor Wat is negligible. P. falciparum resistance to artesunate, mefloquine, lumefantrine and piperaquine has been reported in western Cambodia and extending to the centre of the country. P. vivax resistance to chloroquine has been reported in eastern Cambodia.
- Recommended prevention in risk areas: D – Risk of P. falciparum malaria in combination with reported multidrug resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a,b
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
bIn certain areas with multidrug–resistant malaria, mefloquine chemoprophylaxis is no longer recommended. At present these areas include Cambodia, Thailand, and south-eastern Myanmar.
WHO Country List footnote: When available, the date of the most recent update or confirmation is indicated in parentheses in the country list. If no date is indicated, the most recent update or confirmation was provided before 2013.
CDC—Health Information for International Travel (current online edition)Areas with malaria: Present throughout the country, including Siem Reap city. None in the city of Phnom Penh and at the temple complex at Angkor Wat.
- Estimated relative risk of malaria for US travelers: Low.
- Drug resistance4: Chloroquine and mefloquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 86%, P. vivax 12%, P. malariae 2%, P. knowlesi rare.
- Recommended chemoprophylaxis: In the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Battambang, Kampot, Koh Kong, Odder Meanchey, Pailin, Preah Vihear, Pursat, and Siem Reap bordering Thailand: Atovaquone-proguanil or doxycycline. All other areas with malaria: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, or mefloquine.
4 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
See also: Library article for Travelers' Diarrhea
Moderate risk exists throughout the country, including in deluxe accommodations. Food and beverage precautions may reduce the likelihood of illness.
Travelers should carry loperamide for self-treatment of diarrhea and, if risk is moderate to high, an antibiotic to add if diarrhea is severe. Consult a knowledgeable health care provider regarding which antibiotic is appropriate for you and most effective for your destination.
Insect- and Arthropod-Borne Diseases
Other Disease and Health Risks
The material below includes information from the U.S. Department of State (DOS), U.K. Foreign & Commonwealth Office (FCO), Global Affairs Canada (GAC), and Australia's Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade (DFAT), as well as from additional open-source material. Standard safety precautions that apply to all international travel can be found in the Library article Safety and Security.
Low risk of attack by domestic transnational terrorist groups exists throughout the country.
Risk of violent crime (armed robbery, sexual assault, and murder) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in Siem Reap, Phnom Penh (riverfront area), Sihanoukville, and surrounding beaches and during festivals.
Scams involving ATMs, extortion, and private card games (where travelers are invited by "friendly" strangers and incur substantial financial loss) have been reported.
Protests and demonstrations occur and have the potential to turn violent without warning. Bystanders are at risk of harm from violence or from the response by authorities.
Armed conflict occurs and unmarked boundaries exist in areas bordering Thailand (including the areas surrounding the temples of Preah Vihear, Ta Moan Thom, and Ta Krabey).
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present in areas bordering Thailand (including the areas surrounding the temples of Preah Vihear, Ta Moan Thom, and Ta Krabey); rural areas, especially in the provinces of Banteay Meanchey, Siem Reap (except in the resort town of Siem Reap and Angkor Wat Temple complex), Battambang, Kampong Thom, and Pursat; forested areas and dry rice paddy fields; and areas around small bridges, secondary roads, and outlying temples, especially in the area of Phnom Kulen National Park, including the River of a Thousand Lingas.
Passenger boats may be unsafe in coastal waters surrounding Sihanoukville and on rivers, especially in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. Decline water transportation in vessels that appear overloaded or lack personal flotation devices or life jackets.
Rent water sports equipment from reputable operators. Scuba dive only with personnel certified by PADI or NAUI, and use equipment only from PADI- or NAUI-certified dive operators.
High risk of traffic-related injury or death exists. The road-traffic death rate is 12 to 24 per 100,000 population. The rate is < 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Driving at night is not advised. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark.
Avoid mototaxis due to safety and security concerns, including risk of robbery.
Many taxis are unsafe. Use taxis from official ranks or dispatched via smart phone app or radio from a reputable company. Ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
Traffic flows on the right-hand side of the road. Travelers (including drivers and pedestrians) accustomed to traffic moving on the opposite side should be vigilant when navigating traffic.
The monsoon season is from May through November. Floods, mudslides, and landslides may occur.
Selected Embassies or Consulates in Cambodia
- United States: [+855] 23-728-000; kh.usembassy.gov
- Canada: [+855] 23-430-811; travel.gc.ca/assistance/embassies-consulates/cambodia
- United Kingdom: [+855] 23-427-124; www.gov.uk/world/organisations/british-embassy-phnom-penh
- Australia: [+855] 23-213-470; www.cambodia.embassy.gov.au
Cambodia's Embassies or Consulates in Selected Countries
- In the U.S.: www.embassyofcambodia.org
- In Canada: [+1] 647-533-9335
- In the U.K.: www.cambodianembassy.org.uk
- In Australia: www.embassyofcambodia.org.nz/au.htm
HIV testing is not required to obtain a tourist, work, or residence visa.