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 classified as lower middle income. Located in Southeast Asia (west of Vietnam and east of Thailand), the climate is classified as predominantly humid equatorial (long dry season).
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. This also applies to airport transit stops (no exit through immigration checkpoint) longer than 12 hours in risk 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)(2019) 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 extends to the centre of the country. P. vivax resistance to chloroquine has been reported in eastern Cambodia.
- Recommended prevention: C – Risk of P. falciparum malaria, in combination with reported chloroquine and sulfadoxine–pyrimethamine resistance. Mosquito bite prevention plus atovaquone–proguanil or doxycycline or mefloquine chemoprophylaxis (select according to reported side effects and contraindications) a
aAlternatively, for travel to rural areas with low risk of malaria infection, mosquito bite prevention can be combined with stand–by emergency treatment (SBET).
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 or at the temple complex at Angkor Wat.
- Drug resistance3 : Chloroquine and mefloquine.
- Malaria species: P. falciparum 60%, P. vivax 40%.
- 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, doxycycline, or tafenoquine.4 All other Areas with malaria: Atovaquone-proguanil, doxycycline, mefloquine, or tafenoquine.4
3 Refers to P. falciparum malaria unless otherwise noted.
4 Primaquine and tafenoquine can cause hemolytic anemia in people with G6PD deficiency. Patients must be screened for G6PD deficiency before starting primaquine or tafenoquine. See Tafenoquine Approved for Malaria Prophylaxis and Treatment for more information.
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. Targets may include domestic and international organizations and businesses; public places and events, including those frequented by tourists; and transportation systems.
Moderate risk of violent crime (armed robbery, home invasion, sexual assault, and murder) and high risk of petty crime exist throughout the country, especially in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh (riverfront area), on beaches and in tourist areas of Sihanoukville and nearby islands (particularly during organized parties), on isolated beaches, and in markets.
Scams involving ATMs, extortion, and private card games (where travelers are invited by "friendly" strangers and incur substantial financial loss) have been reported.
Risk exists of robberies and/or assaults occurring after consuming intentionally drugged food or drink; tourists are frequently targeted.
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.
Landmines and other unexploded ordnance are present in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, Pailin, and Kampong Thom provinces. Territorial disputes may occur in areas bordering Thailand and Vietnam. Piracy occurs in the South China Sea.
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 less than 10 in most high-income countries. Speed laws are poorly enforced. Seek local advice before traveling on roads outside urban areas after dark. Driving at night is not advised.
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.
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 and ascertain the license or identification number of the dispatched vehicle.
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.