Traffic Safety and Road Conditions
While in Cambodia, you may encounter road conditions that differ significantly from those in the United States. The information below concerning Cambodia is provided for general reference only and may not be totally accurate in a particular location or circumstance.
You should not drive at night in Cambodia outside of city limits. Road maintenance is sporadic in both urban and rural areas. Roads between major areas are adequate; however, roads leading to areas that are more rural are poor. During the rainy season, both urban and rural road conditions deteriorate considerably. Roadside assistance is non-existent. The safety of road travel outside urban areas varies greatly. Cambodian drivers routinely ignore traffic laws, and vehicles are poorly maintained. Intoxicated drivers are commonplace, particularly during the evening hours, and penalties for DUI offenses vary greatly. Banditry occurs even on heavily traveled roads, so all travel should be done in daylight between the hours of 7:00 a.m. and 5.00 p.m. There are also frequent bus accidents, including one in 2012 that resulted in the death of two foreign tourists.
Serious flooding occurs in both Phnom Penh and the rest of Cambodia starting at the end of July or early August and continuing into November. The unimproved highways to Prey Veng, Pailin, Stung Treng, and Poipet become more difficult and dangerous during this time of the year, and travel on unpaved or dirt roads is virtually impossible. The National Route highways are the only roads that can be traveled with caution during this time of the year.
The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel not to travel by train because of low safety standards and the high risk of banditry. Although speed boats operate between Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, travel by boat should be avoided because boats are often overcrowded and lack adequate safety equipment, including life jackets. Boat owners accept no liability for accidents. Travelers also should exercise caution when using inter-city buses, including those to popular tourist destinations such as Siem Reap and Sihanoukville. Despite the wide availability of moto-taxis and cyclos, you should not use them due to safety concerns and because personal belongings can be easily stolen. Organized emergency services for victims of traffic accidents are non-existent outside of major urban areas, and those available in major urban areas are inadequate.
You are responsible for ensuring that you meet and comply with foreign entry requirements, and health requirements and that you possess the appropriate travel documents. Information provided is subject to change without notice. One should confirm content prior to traveling from other reliable sources. Information published on this website may contain errors. You travel at your own risk and no warranties or guarantees are provided by us.