Cambodia - Consular Information Sheet
February 15, 2001
COUNTRY DESCRIPTION: Cambodia is a poor developing country
with a parliamentary democracy and a constitutional monarch. A
coalition government was formed between the two major political
parties in November 1998, following national elections in July
of that year.
ENTRY REQUIREMENTS: A passport and visa are required.
Tourists and business travelers may purchase a Cambodian visa,
valid for one month, at the airports in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
Both require a passport-sized photograph.
All U.S. citizens departing Cambodia are required to pay a passenger
departure tax, payable in U.S. dollars. Current information about
entry/visa and other requirements may be obtained from the Royal
Embassy of Cambodia, 4500 16th Street, NW, Washington, DC 20022,
telephone number 202-726-7742, fax 202-726-8381. Overseas inquiries
may be made at the nearest embassy or consulate of Cambodia.
DUAL NATIONALITY: Dual nationality is not prohibited under
Cambodia's nationality law, enacted in 1996. In addition to being
subject to all Cambodian laws affecting U.S. citizens, dual nationals
may also be subject to other laws that impose special obligations
on Cambodian citizens. Specific questions on dual nationality
may be directed to a Cambodian embassy or consulate. For general
information, please see the
Consular Affairs homepage on the Internet at http://travel.state.gov
for our dual nationality flyer.
SAFETY AND SECURITY: The formation of a coalition government
in 1998 has eased political tensions considerably. However, sporadic
acts of violence have occurred, such as in late November 2000
when an anti-government group based in the U.S. led an early-morning
attack against some government building in Phnom Penh. Grenade
attacks and bombings have been used as a form of retribution to
settle business and personal disputes. Therefore, the U.S. Embassy
advises U.S. citizens to avoid political gatherings or demonstrations,
and to be extra cautious in the vicinity of political party offices
as well as military buildings or compounds in Phnom Penh and in
The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel who travel to the provinces
to exercise extreme caution outside the provincial towns during
the day and in any place at night. Many rural parts of the country
remain without effective policing and are subject to banditry.
Land mines and unexploded ordnance can be found in rural areas
throughout Cambodia, but especially in Battambang, Banteay Meanchey,
Pursat, Siem Reap, and Kampong Thom provinces. At no time should
travelers walk in forested areas or in dry rice paddies without
a local guide. Areas around small bridges on secondary roads are
particularly dangerous. Travelers who observe anything that resembles
a mine or unexploded ordnance should not touch it. They should
notify the Cambodia Mine Action Center at telephone 023-368-841/981-083
The town of Siem Reap and the vicinity of the Angkor Wat temple
complex remain officially open to tourists, but the U.S. Embassy
advises U.S. citizens to travel only by air and to limit their
movements to the city of Siem Reap and the main Angkor Wat temple
complexes. The risk of banditry and military activity continues
in various parts of Siem Reap Province. Illegal checkpoints, requiring
cash payment to pass, have been reported sporadically on the road
to the Banteay Srey temple, which is approximately 30 kilometers
(about 19 miles) northeast of the town of Siem Reap and Angkor
Wat. Americans are advised to consult with local police or tourist
authorities before traveling to
CRIME: Crime and banditry are persistent problems in many
areas of the country. The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel to
review their personal security practices regularly. The severe
poverty in Cambodia has contributed to an increase in armed robberies
and assaults, sometimes during daylight hours. A number of Americans
have been robbed at gunpoint in Phnom Penh. Most individuals were
robbed while riding on motorcycle taxis or cyclos (passenger-carrying
bicycles) and generally after dark, but such incidents have occurred
in broad daylight as well. U.S. citizens should avoid traveling
alone, especially after dark and limit outdoor activity after
dark in the capital city area and return home or to their hotel
early in the evening. The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel to
carry photocopies of their U.S. passport, driver's license or
other important documents.
The loss or theft abroad of a U.S. passport should be reported
immediately to local police and to the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh.
Useful information on guarding valuables and protecting personal
security while traveling abroad is provided in the Department
of State pamphlet, A Safe
Trip Abroad. It is available from the Superintendent of
Documents, U.S. Government Printing Office, Washington D.C. 20402,
via the Bureau
of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov and
autofax service at 202-647-3000, or at the U.S. Embassy in Phnom
MEDICAL FACILITIES: Medical facilities and services in
Cambodia are not up to international standards.
MEDICAL INSURANCE: U.S. medical insurance is not always
valid outside the United States. U.S. Medicare and Medicaid programs
do not provide payment for medical services outside the United
States. Doctors and hospitals often expect immediate cash payment
for health services. Uninsured travelers who require medical care
overseas may face extreme difficulties.
Please check with your own insurance company to confirm whether
your policy applies overseas, including provision for medical
evacuation, and for adequacy of coverage. Serious medical problems
requiring hospitalization and/or medical evacuation to the United
States can cost tens of thousands of dollars. Please ascertain
whether payment will be made to the overseas hospital or doctor
or if you will be reimbursed later for expenses that you incur.
Some insurance policies also include coverage for psychiatric
treatment and for disposition of remains in the event of death.
Useful information on medical emergencies abroad, including overseas
insurance programs, is provided in the Department of State's Bureau
of Consular Affairs brochure, Medical
Information for Americans Traveling Abroad, available
via the Bureau
of Consular Affairs home page or autofax: (202) 647-3000.
OTHER HEALTH INFORMATION: Information on vaccinations
and other health precautions may be obtained from the Centers
for Disease Control and Prevention's hotline for international
travelers at 1-877-FYI-TRIP (1-877-394-8747); fax 1-888-CDC-FAXX
(1-888-232-3299), or via the
CDC's Internet site at http://www.cdc.gov/.
TRAFFIC SAFETY AND ROAD CONDITIONS: While in a foreign
country, U.S. citizens 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.
Safety of Public Transportation: Poor
Urban Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Rural Road Conditions/Maintenance: Poor
Availability of Roadside Assistance: Poor
Driving at night in Cambodia is not advised. In both urban and
rural areas, road maintenance is sporadic. Roads between major
areas are adequate; however, those leading to more rural areas
are poor. During the rainy season both urban and rural road conditions
deteriorate considerably. Roadside assistance is nonexistent.
The safety of road travel outside urban areas varies greatly.
Even on heavily traveled roads there can be incidents of banditry,
so all travel should be done in daylight between the hours of
8:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m.
For additional general information
about road safety, including links to foreign government sites,
please see the Department of State, Bureau
of Consular Affairs home page at http://travel.state.gov/road_safety.html.
For specific information concerning Cambodia driving permits,
vehicle inspection, road tax and mandatory insurance, please contact
Royal Embassy of Cambodia in Washington, D.C. or via the Internet
OTHER MODES OF TRANSPORTATION: The U.S. Embassy advises
Embassy personnel not to travel by train because of the high risk
of banditry. Travel by boat should be avoided because boats are
often overcrowded and lack adequate safety equipment. Several
incidents have occurred en route to Siem Reap, including a boat
sinking in 1997 and an armed robbery of a number of tourists on
the "fast boat" between Siem Reap and Phnom Penh in
1999. Owners of the boats accept no liability for accidents.
Moto-taxis and cyclos (passenger-carrying bicycles) are widely
available; however, the U.S. Embassy does not recommend using
them due to safety concerns and because personal belonging can
be easily stolen.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial
air service by local carriers at present, nor economic authority
to operate such service between the U.S. and Cambodia, the U.S.
Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed Cambodia's
Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with international aviation
safety standards. However, in an audit of Cambodia's Civil Aviation
Authorities in 1999, the International Civil Aviation Organization
determined that Cambodia does not have the capability to conduct
effective safety oversight of Civil Aviation Activities.
For further information, travelers may contact the Department
of Transportation within the U.S. at telephone 1-800-322-7873,
or visit the
FAA's Internet website at http://www.faa.gov/avr/iasa. The
U.S. Department of Defense (DOD) separately assesses some foreign
air carriers for suitability as official providers of air services.
For information regarding the DOD policy on specific carriers,
travelers may contact the DOD at telephone (618) 229-4801.
CUSTOMS REGULATIONS: Cambodia customs authorities may
enforce strict regulations concerning temporary importation into
or export from Cambodia of items such as drugs, firearms, antiquities,
or ivory. It is advisable to contact the Embassy of Cambodia in
Washington for specific information regarding customs requirements.
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While in a foreign country, a U.S.
citizen is subject to that country's laws and regulations, which
sometimes differ significantly from those in the United States
and may not afford the protections available to the individual
under U.S. law. Penalties for breaking the law can be more severe
than in the United States for similar offenses. Persons violating
the law in Cambodia, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested
or imprisoned. Penalties for possession, use and trafficking in
illegal drugs are strict, and convicted offenders can expect lengthy
jail sentences and heavy fines.
FINANCIAL TRANSACTIONS: Personal checks and credit cards
are not widely accepted within Cambodia, although a number of
banks in Phnom Penh accept visa cards for cash advances. Bank
and major hotels accept travelers' cheques, but usually charge
a service fee. There are no ATM machines in Cambodia. The U.S.
dollar and Cambodian riel are both widely used, although U.S.
dollars are preferred, especially for larger transactions.
CHILDREN'S ISSUES: For
information on international adoption of children and international
parental child abduction, please refer to our Internet site
at http://travel.state.gov/children's_issues.html or telephone
REGISTRATION/EMBASSY LOCATION: All U.S. citizens in Cambodia
are encouraged to register with the U.S. Embassy in Phnom Penh
where they may obtain updated information on travel and security
within Cambodia. The U.S. Embassy is located at no. 16, Street
228 (between streets 51 and 63), Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The telephone
number is (855-23) 216-436 or 218-931;fax (855-23)-216-437. A
recording of security information is available twenty-four hours
a day at telephone (855-23) 216-805.
This replaces the Consular Information Sheet dated July 27, 2000
to update the Country Description, Entry Requirements, Safety
and Security (incorporating Areas of Instability), Medical Facilities,
Traffic Safety and Road Conditions, Aviation Safety Oversight,
and Financial Transactions (previously called Special Circumstances).