Dear travellers to Cambodia: Please don’t come until you’ve understood these 10 things


Cambodia is one of my favourite places in Southeast Asia, and everyone who travels here is affected by the country’s ancient and more recent past, and by the kindness and generosity of its people.

But there are a few things you need to know to not only make your visit a good one for you, but also good for Cambodians.

Here’s my latest article, a listicle for Matador Network: Dear travellers to Cambodia: Please don’t come visit until you’ve understood these 9 things.

My 10th tip was edited out, but here it is, exclusively for readers of :-)

While walking to see Cambodia’s attractions, you need to know this to avoid being hit by a moped

  • Cambodia’s roads feature few stop signs and even fewer traffic lights. Drivers tend to ignore them anyway, as they ignore lanes. Cars, motorcycles, bikes and cyclos simply weave in and around each other through intersections in a way that looks chaotic to westerners.
  • To avoid some of this chaos, drivers will often create an extra lane of traffic — going the opposite direction — next to the curb. They’re taking a shortcut because they plan to soon make a turn and don’t want to bother crossing all the lanes of traffic.
  • Assume that a moped or bicycle can come from any direction, and never forget to look three times before you even step off a curb.

For a crazy Cambodian traffic story, read my Pursued by police in Phnom Penh story, published in Canada’s national newspaper, The Globe and Mail.

For more advice about visiting Southeast Asia, read my How to walk in Asia story for Singapore Airlines’ regional inflight magazine. Lots more on my pages on Asia and responsible tourism.

Have you been to Cambodia? Have any advice to share?

Monks site-seeing. photo by Johanna Read small

2 responses to “Dear travellers to Cambodia: Please don’t come until you’ve understood these 10 things

  1. I’m leaving for Asia in a few days.
    Very interesting & useful tips.
    Thanks !

    Liked by 1 person

What do you think? Your comments are most welcome.

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s