Safety and Security
The State Department is concerned that individuals and groups may be planning terrorist actions against U.S. citizens and interests, as well as at sites frequented by Westerners in Southeast Asia, including in Cambodia. Extremist groups in Southeast Asia have transnational capabilities to carry out attacks against locations where Westerners congregate. U.S. citizens residing in, or traveling to, Cambodia should therefore exercise caution in clubs, discos, bars, restaurants, hotels, places of worship, schools, outdoor recreation venues, tourist areas, beach resorts, and other places frequented by foreigners. U.S. citizens should remain vigilant with regard to their personal security and avoid crowds and demonstrations. From time to time, the U.S. Embassy places local establishments off limits to Embassy personnel due to safety and security incidents. You can contact the Embassy for notification on the current restrictions in place for Embassy personnel, or register with the Embassy through STEP for security updates and alerts.
The U.S. Embassy frequently receives reports of random gunfire in the vicinity of bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues. While U.S. citizens have not been injured and do not appear to have been targeted, the potential exists for serious injury. U.S. citizens should be vigilant in these areas.
The U.S. Embassy recommends that U.S. citizens avoid travel along the Cambodian-Thai border in the provinces of Preah Vihear, Oddar Meanchey, and the Banteay Ampil district of Banteay Meanchey province because of a continuing border dispute between the two countries. Thai and Cambodian soldiers have been stationed along the border in this area since July 2008 and have exchanged gunfire on several occasions. Land mines and unexploded ordnance are found in rural areas throughout Cambodia, and especially in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey, Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom provinces. Travelers in these regions should never walk in forested areas or even in dry rice paddies without a local guide. Areas around small bridges on secondary roads are particularly dangerous. Travelers should not touch anything that resembles a mine or unexploded ordnance; they should notify the Cambodia Mine Action Center at 023-368-841/981-083 or 084.
You should exercise extreme caution when traveling on boat tours and excursions in the coastal areas of the country. In April 2011, a boat containing 90 tourists capsized off the coast of Sihanoukville. While no one was seriously injured, such incidents could occur any time, as boat tour operators do not take into account basic safety concerns and rarely provide life jackets for all passengers.