CambodiaOfficial Name: Kingdom of Cambodia
BLANK PASSPORT PAGES:
One page is required for entry stamp
TOURIST VISA REQUIRED:
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR ENTRY:
The import of local currency (Riel) is prohibited. When entering Cambodia, foreign currency amounts over US $10,000 must be declared.
CURRENCY RESTRICTIONS FOR EXIT:
The export of local currency (Riel) is prohibited. Foreign currency can be taken out of the country up to the limit declared at customs on arrival.
Embassies and Consulates
No. 1, Street 96 (entrance on St. 51 between St. 96 and 102)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia
Telephone: +(855) (23) 728-801 Monday thru Friday 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m.
Emergency After-Hours Telephone: +(855) (23) 728-000
Fax: +(855) (23) 728-700
Cambodia is a developing country with a constitutional monarchy and an elected government. King Norodom Sihamoni is the constitutional monarch and the head of state. Elections for Members of the National Assembly were held in July 2013. The July 2013 elections sent representatives from eight different parties to the National Assembly, with the Cambodian People’s Party holding a majority of seats. The country has a market economy, with approximately 80 percent of the population of 15.4 million engaged in subsistence farming. The quality of tourist facilities varies widely in Cambodia, with the highest standards found in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville. Read the Department of State Fact Sheet on Cambodia for additional information.
Entry, Exit & Visa Requirements
You will need a valid passport and a Cambodian visa to enter Cambodia. Tourist and business visas are valid for one month beginning with the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia offers on-line visa processing. You may also apply in person at the Cambodian Embassy located at 4530 16th Street NW, Washington, DC 20011, tel. 202-726-7742, fax 202-726-8381. Tourists and business travelers may also obtain a Cambodian visa at the airports in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and at all major border crossings. Cambodian immigration officials at airports now collect fingerprints upon entry using an inkless, electronic process. You will need two passport-sized (4cm by 6cm) photographs and a passport valid for a minimum of six months beyond the date of entry into Cambodia. Cambodia regularly imposes fines for overstay of an expired visa. If the overstay is 30 or fewer days, the charge is USD $5.00 per day; for overstays of more than 30 days, the charge is USD $6.00 per day. You should contact the nearest embassy or consulate of Cambodia or visit the Embassy of the Kingdom of Cambodia website for the most current visa information.
The U.S. Department of State is unaware of any HIV/AIDS entry restrictions for visitors to or foreign residents of Cambodia.
Information about dual nationality or the prevention of international child abduction can be found on our website. For further information about customs regulations, please read our Customs Information page.
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. In the wake of the contested July 2013 National Elections, opposition groups held large-scale demonstrations. The U.S. Embassy advises U.S. citizens to avoid crowds and immediately leave any area where crowds are gathering. Even demonstrations intended to be peaceful can quickly escalate into violence without warning as seen most recently in January 2014 when several people were killed. In September 2013, police found three improvised explosive devices (IEDs) within Phnom Penh. The IEDS were planted by an unknown group and no one was injured in the incident.
The U.S. Embassy occasionally receives reports of random gunfire and armed attacks in the vicinity of bars, nightclubs, and other entertainment venues, particularly in the Ochheuteal beach area of Sihanoukville. Several foreigners have been injured in violent attacks in these areas, and U.S. citizens should remain vigilant.
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 Cambodia and Thailand. 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 012-800-473/023-995-437.
To stay connected:
- Enroll in the Smart Traveler Enrollment Program so we can keep you up to date with important safety and security announcements.
- Follow the Bureau of Consular Affairs on Twitter and Facebook.
- Bookmark the Bureau of Consular Affairs website, which contains the current Travel Warnings and Travel Alerts as well as the Worldwide Caution.
- Follow the U.S. Embassy in Cambodia on Twitter and visiting the Embassy’s website
- In the event of an emergency, contact us at 1-888-407-4747 toll-free within the United States and Canada, or via a regular toll line, 1-202-501-4444, from other countries.
- Take some time before traveling to consider your personal security and checking for useful tips for traveling safely abroad.
CRIME: Cambodia has a high crime rate, including street crime. Military weapons and explosives are readily available to criminals despite authorities’ efforts to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed robberies occur frequently, and foreign residents and visitors, including U.S. citizens, are among the victims. The Embassy has also received reports that hotel rooms of U.S. citizen visitors in Phnom Penh were burglarized while the occupants were asleep.
The most common type of theft is “snatch and grab” robbery, and anything that can be quickly grabbed is at risk: cameras, jewelry, purses, backpacks, mobile phones, etc. Exercise caution and keep belongings out of sight if you travel via “tuk-tuk,” as passengers in these open-air vehicles have been targeted by thieves. If walking along the street, make yourself less of a target by carrying bags or items in your hand or on the shoulder that is furthest from the street. If someone attempts to rob you, you should surrender your valuables immediately, since any perceived resistance may be met with physical violence, including lethal force. The U.S. Embassy frequently receives reports of violent robberies that escalate into fatalities. In September 2013, a U.S. resident was shot in the leg during an armed robbery. In October 2013, a U.S. tourist was killed on the tourist island of Koh Rong off the coast of Sihanoukville. In April 2014, a Dutch resident and her young child were stabbed to death after an intruder entered her home attempting to steal a bicycle.
Pickpockets, some of whom are beggars, are present in the markets and at the tourist sites. Sometimes they may act overly friendly, placing their hand on your shoulder or back to distract you in order to pick your pocket.
To avoid the risk of theft or confiscation of original documents, the U.S. Embassy advises its personnel and all U.S. citizens traveling to, or residing in, Cambodia to carry photocopies of their U.S. passport, driver's license, and other important documents and to leave the originals in a hotel safe or other secure place. Local police rarely investigate reports of crime against tourists, and travelers should not expect to recover stolen items. It has also been reported that some police stations charge foreigners between $20 and $100 to file a police report.
The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel who travel to the provinces outside of Phnom Penh to exercise extreme caution outside the provincial towns at all times. Many rural parts of the country remain without effective policing. Avoid walking alone after dusk anywhere in Sihanoukville, especially along the waterfront. You should be particularly vigilant during annual festivals and at tourist sites in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, where there have been marked increases in motorcycle “snatch and grab” thefts of bags and purses.
If you are visiting Cambodia, you should practice sound personal security awareness by varying your routes and routines, maintaining a low profile, not carrying or displaying large amounts of cash, not wearing flashy or expensive jewelry, and not walking alone after dark. In addition, you should travel by automobile and not use local moto-taxis or cyclos (passenger-carrying bicycles). These vehicles are more vulnerable to armed robberies and offer no protection against injury when involved in traffic accidents.
VICTIMS OF CRIME: If you or someone you know becomes the victim of a crime abroad, you should contact the local police and the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate. We can:
- Replace a stolen passport.
- Help you find appropriate medical care if you are the victim of violent crimes such as assault or rape.
- Put you in contact with the appropriate police authorities, and if you want us to, contact family members or friends.
- Help you understand the local criminal justice process and direct you to local attorneys, although it is important to remember that local authorities are responsible for investigating and prosecuting the crime.
The local equivalent to the “911” emergency line in Cambodia is 117 for police, 118 for fire, and 119 for ambulance. However, emergency services in Cambodia are extremely limited.
Please see our information for victims of crime, including possible victim compensation programs in the United States.
Local Laws & Special Circumstances
CRIMINAL PENALTIES: While you are traveling in Cambodia, you are subject to its laws. Foreign laws and legal systems can be vastly different from our own. Persons violating Cambodia’s laws, even unknowingly, may be expelled, arrested, or imprisoned. Penalties for possessing, using, or trafficking in illegal drugs in Cambodia are severe, and convicted offenders can expect long jail sentences and heavy fines. If you break local laws in Cambodia, your U.S. passport won’t help you avoid arrest or prosecution.
There are also some things that might be legal in the country you visit, but still illegal in the United States. You can be prosecuted in the United States for engaging in sexual conduct with children or for using or disseminating child pornography in a foreign country regardless of the legality of these activities under that country’s laws. Counterfeit and pirated goods are illegal in the United States and if you purchase them in a foreign country, you may be breaking local law as well.
Arrest notifications in host country: While some countries will automatically notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate if a U.S. citizen is detained or arrested in that country, others may not. To ensure that the United States is aware of your circumstances, request that the police and prison officials notify the nearest U.S. embassy or consulate as soon as you are arrested or detained overseas.
SPECIAL CIRCUMSTANCES: Water Festival: During this annual festival, which takes place in Phnom Penh in November, the population of the city nearly quadruples as millions of Cambodians from every town and province flock to the capital for three days. You should avoid crowded areas near the riverfront during the Water Festival holiday.
Customs: Cambodian 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.
Dual Nationality: Dual nationality is allowed under Cambodia's 1996 nationality law. However, if you have Cambodian nationality and possess another nationality, you may be viewed as a Cambodian citizen in any court proceedings and face stricter sentences.
Business Transactions: Some U.S. citizens have reported threats of personal injury, extortion, detention, or kidnapping related to personal business disputes, in particular those involving real estate. If you are planning to engage in real estate deals or other significant financial transactions, please proceed with caution and retain the appropriate legal counsel.
Financial Transactions: The U.S. dollar is widely used, especially for larger transactions, and most prices are quoted in dollars. Ripped or torn U.S. bills are not accepted. The Cambodian riel can also be used, but it is less favored and is mostly given to tourists as change for dollar purchases. The riel is commonly used in smaller towns and rural areas. Credit cards are increasingly accepted within Cambodia, and a number of banks in Phnom Penh accept Visa cards for cash advances. Credit cards are often subject to a service charge. Banks and major hotels accept travelers' checks but usually charge a service fee. Several international banks operate ATM machines that allow travelers to obtain U.S. dollar currency in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and other urban centers. Personal checks are not generally accepted. Several banks serve as Western Union agents, to which funds can be wired, including in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, Sihanoukville, and other provincial cities. Information on Western Union can be found at their website.
Photography: Taking photographs of anything that could be perceived as being of military or security interest — including government buildings, military installations, airfields, and bridges — may result in problems with the authorities and confiscation of your camera.
Please see our Customs Information.
WOMEN TRAVELER INFORMATION: If you are a woman traveling abroad, please review our travel tips for Women Travelers.
LGBT RIGHTS: While there are no legal restrictions on same-sex sexual relations or the organization of LGBT events in Cambodia, public attitudes remain negative towards LBGT individuals, and same sex marriage is generally not permitted. There have been no reports of arrests or violence related to LBGT travelers. For more detailed information about LGBT rights in Cambodia, you may review the State Department’s Country Reports on Human Rights Practices for 2012. For further information on Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual and Transgender (LGBT) travel, please read our LGBT Travel Information page.
ACCESSIBILITY: While in Cambodia, individuals with disabilities may find accessibility and accommodation very different from what they find in the United States. Currently, except for buildings and hotels that have been built under international standards, most public places and public transportation are not accessible. Persons with disabilities will face difficulties with Cambodia’s sidewalks, rest rooms, road crossings, and tourist areas.
Medical facilities and services in Cambodia do not meet international standards. Both Phnom Penh and Siem Reap have a limited number of internationally-run clinics and hospitals that can provide basic medical care and stabilization. Medical care outside of these two cities is almost non-existent. Local pharmacies provide a limited supply of prescription and over-the-counter medications, but because the quality of locally obtained medications can vary greatly, make sure to bring a supply of your medications that is adequate for the duration of your stay in Cambodia. You should be wary of purchasing local medication. Counterfeit medication is readily available, often indiscernible from authentic medication, and potentially lethal.
You can find detailed information on vaccinations and other health precautions on the CDC website. For information about outbreaks of infectious diseases abroad, consult the World Health Organization (WHO) website, which contains additional health information for travelers, including detailed country-specific health information.
Tuberculosis is an increasingly serious health concern in Cambodia. For further information, please consult the CDC's information on TB.
Travel & Transportation
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 2013 when a bus crossed the center line and crashed into a car in which six foreign family members were traveling, killing three and critically injuring three.
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 cycles, 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.
Please refer to our Road Safety page for more information.
AVIATION SAFETY OVERSIGHT: As there is no direct commercial air service to the United States by carriers registered in Cambodia, the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has not assessed the government of Cambodia’s Civil Aviation Authority for compliance with International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) aviation safety standards. Further information may be found on the FAA safety assessment page.
Assistance for U.S. Citizens
U.S. Embassy Phnom Penh
No. 1, Street 96 (entrance on St. 51 between St. 96 and 102)
Phnom Penh, Cambodia