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Vaccinations required for Cambodia

In general, Cambodia is a safe country to travel. There are no compulsory vaccinations for Cambodia required by law for travelers from Western countries to gain entry.

Nevertheless, if your passport shows that you have travelled via a yellow fever endemic country then the immigration authorities in Cambodia will usually check to see that you have received adequate vaccination cover against that disease.

Moreover, there is a certain list of vaccinations that you should have to make sure you stay safe in the country.

This article will give you the list of necessary vaccinations for your journey to Cambodia and some advice to stay healthy and safe in Cambodia.

There is also some recommendation in case you feel sick after coming back from your Cambodia adventure.

Let's check it out!

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Disclaimer: The following is a rough guide only. No website can tell you exactly what you need, as recommendations often change and depend on your health status and what you do in the country. You need to consult a doctor with expertise in travel medicine who can review your individual health issues. Don’t forget to ask for numbing cream if you are worried about pain from the injection.

Diseases in Cambodia

First things first, we will check what diseases that you will most likely encounter during your Cambodia trip.

Hepatitis A

Spread through consuming contaminated food and water or person to person through the faecal-oral route.

Risk is higher where personal hygiene and sanitation is poor.

Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who inject drugs.

Hepatitis B

Spread through infected blood and blood products, contaminated needles and medical instruments and sexual intercourse.

Risk is higher for long stays, frequent travel and for children (exposed through cuts and scratches), those who may require medical treatment during travel.

Risk is highest for those with underlying medical conditions where there is increased risk of severe disease e.g. chronic liver/kidney disease; haemophiliacs; men who have sex with men; people who change partners frequently; people who inject drugs.

Malaria

Malaria is spread through mosquito bites. Symptoms include high fevers, shaking, chills, and flu-like illness. Without treatment, Malaria can cause severe illness and even death. There are several vaccines on the market, and you need to take these in advance of your travel as well as upon return.

Dengue

Dengue Fever is endemic throughout Cambodia with large outbreaks occurring every few years. While cases occur year-round, the rainy season is the peak transmission period. Symptoms may be mild to severe flu-like conditions and can result in death.
A vaccine has been developed and is available for people aged 9 to 45 years, but they must be living in endemic area. And it’s not recommended for people who’ve never had Dengue Fever. This particular mosquito is active during the daytime–so cover up.

Japanese Encephalitis

Spread through the bite of an infected mosquito. This mosquito breeds in rice paddies and mainly bites between dusk and dawn. Risk is highest for long stay travellers to rural areas, particularly if unable to avoid mosquito bites.

Rabies 

Spread through the saliva of an infected animal, usually through a bite, scratch or lick on broken skin. Particularly dogs and related species, and also cats and bats. Risk is higher for those going to remote areas (who may not be able to promptly access appropriate treatment in the event of a bite), long stays, those at higher risk of contact with animals and bats, and children.All travellers should avoid contact with animals (both wild and domestic) particularly dogs and cats. Even when pre-exposure vaccine has been received, urgent medical advice should be sought after any animal or bat bite.

Tetanus

Spread through contamination of cuts, burns and wounds with tetanus spores. Spores are found in soil worldwide. A total of 5 doses of tetanus vaccine are recommended for life in the UK. Boosters are usually recommended in a country or situation where the correct treatment of an injury may not be readily available.

Typhoid

Spread mainly through consumption of contaminated food and drink. Risk is higher where access to adequate sanitation and safe water is limited.

Cholera

Spread through consumption of contaminated water and food. It would be unusual for travelers to contract cholera if they take basic precautions with food and water and maintain a good standard of hygiene.

Risk is higher during floods and after natural disasters, in areas with very poor sanitation and lack of clean drinking water.

Risk is highest for humanitarian aid workers; those working in refugee camps or slums; those caring for people with cholera.

Cambodia Travel Vaccinations

For most standard tourists the usual recommended vaccinations for Cambodia include cover against the childhood diseases (Tetanus and Diphtheria, Measles, Mumps and Rubella) as well as cover against the food borne diseases of Typhoid and Hepatitis A. For those trekking in the Cambodia countryside or staying for longer periods then cover against Hepatitis B and Rabies should be considered.

Most travelers should start their vaccines about 4 to 6 weeks before they leave for Cambodia. However, those planning a longer visit, or where their planned trip is likely to bring them to more rural parts of Cambodia, should attend earlier to ensure that they have sufficient time to complete the vaccine courses.

Malaria prophylaxis may need to be considered depending on the expected itinerary.

Check the table to have more idea of what immunizations you should have depending on the places you visit and what you plan to do.

Vaccine Staying in the Cities Exploring Rural Cambodia Visiting Border Regions Hiking and Trekking
Tetanus
Typhoid
Hepatitis A
Hepatitis B      
Meningococcal      
Tuberculosis      
Japanese Encephalitis      
Malaria      
Rabies      
Dengue Fever Optional Optional Optional Optional

 

The below list of vaccinations is based on the recommendation from CDC. You can check more detail HERE

All travelers

Measles

  • Infants (6 through 11 months old): 1 dose of measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine before travel. This dose does not count as the first dose in the routine childhood vaccination series.
  • People 12 months old or older, with no evidence of immunity or no written documentation of any doses: 2 doses of MMR vaccine before travel. The 2 doses must be given 28 days apart.
  • People 12 months old or older who have written documentation of 1 dose and no other evidence of immunity: 1 additional dose before travel, at least 28 days after the previous dose.

Routine vaccines

Make sure you are up-to-date on routine vaccines before every trip. These vaccines include measles-mumps-rubella (MMR) vaccine, diphtheria-tetanus-pertussis vaccine, varicella (chickenpox) vaccine, polio vaccine, and your yearly flu shot.

Most travelers

Hepatitis A

CDC recommends this vaccine because you can get hepatitis A through contaminated food or water in Cambodia, regardless of where you are eating or staying.

Typhoid

You can get typhoid through contaminated food or water in Cambodia. CDC recommends this vaccine for most travelers, especially if you are staying with friends or relatives, visiting smaller cities or rural areas, or if you are an adventurous eater.

Some travelers

Japanese Encephalitis

You may need this vaccine if your trip will last more than a month, depending on where you are going in Cambodia and what time of year you are traveling. You should also consider this vaccine if you plan to visit rural areas in Cambodia or will be spending a lot of time outdoors, even for trips shorter than a month. Your doctor can help you decide if this vaccine is right for you based on your travel plans. See more in-depth information on Japanese encephalitis in Cambodia.

Hepatitis B

You can get hepatitis B through sexual contact, contaminated needles, and blood products, so CDC recommends this vaccine if you might have sex with a new partner, get a tattoo or piercing, or have any medical procedures.

Malaria

When traveling in Cambodia, you should avoid mosquito bites to prevent malaria. You may need to take prescription medicine before, during, and after your trip to prevent malaria, depending on your travel plans, such as where you are going, when you are traveling, and if you are spending a lot of time outdoors or sleeping outside.

Talk to your doctor about how you can prevent malaria while traveling. Areas of Cambodia with risk of malaria: Present throughout the country, including Siem Reap city. None in the city of Phnom Penh or at the temple complex at Angkor Wat. 

Rabies

Rabies can be found in dogs, bats, and other mammals in Cambodia, so CDC recommends this vaccine for the following groups:

  • Travelers involved in outdoor and other activities (such as camping, hiking, biking, adventure travel, and caving) that put them at risk for animal bites.
  • People who will be working with or around animals (such as veterinarians, wildlife professionals, and researchers).
  • People who are taking long trips or moving to Cambodia
  • Children, because they tend to play with animals, might not report bites, and are more likely to have animal bites on their head and neck.

Yellow Fever

Required if traveling from a country with risk of YF virus transmission and ≥1 year of age, including transit >12 hours in an airport located in a country with risk of YF virus transmission.

Stay safe & healthy in Cambodia

Although Cambodia is a safe place to visit, there is a certain number of safety notices and precautions that you need to follow to have a smooth journey.

Below you can find some extra notices from CDC to help you have a healthy trip in Cambodia (or everywhere)

Eat and Drink Safely

Cambodia is renowned for its wonderful food, and there are thousands of street stalls and markets offering all sorts of delicious treats. However contaminated food and water can cause traveler’s diarrhea and other gastrointestinal illnesses such as Typhoid and Hepatitis A.

  • Food: CDC recommends consuming food that is properly cooked and served hot, ensuring fruit and vegetables are washed in clean water, avoiding food from street vendors, not consuming unpasteurized dairy products, and not eating “bush-meat” (monkeys, bats, or other wild game).
  • Water: Presume water from any tap, well, or other local sources, as non-potable. Use bottled or treated water for consumption and when brushing your teeth and rinsing your mouth. Never assume that ice is made from filtered water.

Prevent Insect Bites

Some viruses and illnesses in Cambodia are contracted by insects, particularly mosquitoes. Here are some insect avoidance tips.

  • Sleep in insect-proof or air-conditioned rooms
  • Wear long-sleeved clothing, long pants, and hats outdoors, day and night, especially at dawn and sunset
  • Use permethrin-treated clothing and gear, such as boots, pants, socks, and tents
  • Use personal repellents on exposed skin–the most effective mosquito and tick repellents contain DEET; look for a minimum 20%
  • Avoid dark-colored clothing and strong scents such as perfume, aftershave, and perfumed cosmetics and deodorants as these may attract mosquitoes
  • Ensure large amounts of standing water is not left around unnecessarily

Stay away from Animals

In Cambodia there are many street dogs and cats that may not have been immunized. Generally, they don’t bother people unless they feel threatened or their territory has been invaded. Animal bites and scratches can lead to serious diseases such as Rabies.

Even cute puppies, monkeys, cats, and bats can carry the disease, so avoid touching or feeding animals you don’t know. If you’re bitten or scratched seek medical advice immediately.

Avoid Sharing Body Fluids

Diseases and viruses such as Hepatitis B, HIV and Aids, and TB may be passed by the exchange of body fluids. Practice safe sex don’t share needles, and ensure any medical instruments used are sterile.

Reduce Exposure to Germs

Good hygiene practices help you avoid sickness and spreading illnesses to others. Wash your hands often, especially before eating. Carry hand sanitizer containing at least 60% alcohol. Cover your mouth and nose with a tissue or your sleeve (not your hands) when coughing or sneezing. If possible avoid contact with people who are sick or if you’re sick.

Healthy travel packing list for Cambodia

Packing a basic health kit is a good idea no matter where you are going, and truly imperative if you have any sort of health conditions or take regular medications.

  • Personal medical essentials plus Epi Pen if necessary
  • Copies of all your prescriptions/immunizations and your doctor’s phone number
  • First aid kit: Imodium, ibuprofen, paracetamol, tums/antacid tablets, Benadryl
  • Allergy meds, asthma inhalers, & eye drops
  • An adequate supply of prescription medications (knowing the generic name comes in handy)
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Anti-diarrheal tablets
  • Antibiotic cream/ointment
  • Anti-malarial if necessary (check with your doctor and the CDC/WHO before going)
  • Anti-itch cream for bug bites
  • Tiger balm (for headaches/muscle soreness/sinus issues)
  • Band-Aids/bandages
  • Mints or ginger to aid digestion and upset stomach
  • Essential oils/travel diffuser for wellness regimen

Check the full list of Healthy Packing List from CDC HERE

You may want to learn more about Cambodia travel packing list

In case of serious health problem

Because most medical treatment is piss-poor in Cambodia, having an idea of where you’d like to get care before you’re in an accident is a good idea.

If your accident is serious, you will need to go to Bangkok or Singapore. Make sure you will have insurance for Cambodia especially if you plan to join any active or sporty activities.

Local options include International SOS, the one clinic in town that is to “international standards”, although some reports indicate that they still leave a lot to be desired. (T: (012) 816 911).

Royal Rattanak is affiliated with Bangkok Hospital and is said to operate at Thai standards. There are many reports of expats who have been quite happy with the level of care they received there. (T: (023) 99 1000). 

You will find below the list of hospital in some tourist sites in Cambodia. Just keep it handy in case you need it.

You can either check the extended list of hospitals for tourists/foreigner in Cambodia HERE

List of hospitals at some tourist sites in Cambodia

You can find below our list of recommended hospitals and clinics at some tourist sites. You can also check the extended list HERE.

Phnom Penh

In Phnom Penh, Thai-owned Royal Rattanak Hospital is the best international hospital in town, but it’s not cheap! You can see Khmer doctors there for less than the foreign doctors charge, but it’s still fairly pricey. A less expensive option that expats still trust is Sen Sok University Hospital.

Royal Rattanak Hospital

Sen Sok International University Hospital

  • Address: 91-96 Street 1986, Phnom Penh
  • Tel.: 023 883 712; 012 840 731
  • Website: www.sensokiuh.com

Siem Reap

In Siem Reap the options are even more limited. Royal Angkor International Hospital is, like Royal Rattanak, affiliated with Bangkok Hospital in Thailand. Royal Angkor International is the best available, but that isn’t saying much. Prices are sky-high and the services they offer are limited; be prepared to be sent to Phnom Penh or Bangkok if it’s something serious. If you are traveling with children, you can see someone at the Angkor Hospital for Children in Siem Reap, but expect a long wait.

Royal Angkor International Hospital

Angkor Hospital for Children

  • Address: Tep Vong (Achamean) Road and Oum Chhay Street, Siem Reap
  • Tel.: 063 963 409
  • Websote: www.angkorhospital.org

Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville doesn’t have the best medical care in Cambodia, but it’s improved leaps and bounds over the last few years. You should probably head to Phnom Penh for something serious, but there are several good choices in Sihanoukville for medical care, including immunizations, cuts and scrapes, and sore throats.

Dr. Dmitry

T: 067 707 769

Sihanoukville International Clinic

  • Address: 85 Ekareach Street, Sihanoukville [map]
  • Tel.: 092 911 911; 034 933 911

CT Clinic

  • Address: 47 Borei Kamakor Street, Sihanoukville [map]
  • Tel.: 081 886 666; 034 936 666

Dr. Som Dara

  • Address: 92 Borey Kamakor Street, Sangkat 3, Sihanoukville [map]
  • Tel.: 012 845 223

Sihanoukville Referral Hospital

  • Address: 31 Ekareach Street, Sihanoukville [map]
  • Tel.: 016 526 520

Sonja Kill Memorial Hospital

  • Address: National Road 3 (6km west of Kampot, close to the road to Bokor mountain), Kampot
  • Tel.: 012 738 888; 092 210 599
  • Website: www.skmh.org

Getting sick after your trip

Sometimes, travelers come home with more than souvenirs. Some travel-related illnesses may not cause symptoms until after you get home. Fortunately, most after-travel illnesses are mild and not a concern, such as a head cold or an upset stomach.

If you feel sick when coming back from Cambodia, you need to see your doctor immediately.

Below are some of the popular problems that may come back with you from your adventure in Cambodia.

Fever

If you have been in a country with malaria and develop a fever within a month after you come home, see a doctor immediately. Most fevers are caused by less serious illnesses. But because malaria is a medical emergency, your doctor must first rule it out. A fever could be malaria even if you took antimalarial medicine, because the medicine is not 100% effective. Most malaria develops within 30 days, but rare cases can lie dormant for a year or longer. So always tell your doctor about any travel you have done, even if it was months ago.

Persistent Diarrhea

Most cases of diarrhea go away by themselves in a few days, but see your doctor if you have diarrhea that lasts for 2 weeks or more. Persistent diarrhea can make you lose nutrients and is often caused by a parasitic infection that might need to be treated with special drugs.

Skin Problems

Skin problems (rashes, boils, fungal infections, bug bites) are among the most common illnesses reported by people who have returned from international travel. Most skin problems are not serious, but they may be a sign of a serious illness, especially if you also have a fever.

At the Doctor

Be sure to tell your doctor about your travel, including where you went and what you did on your trip. This information will help your doctor consider infections that are rare or not found in the United States. Make sure to include all relevant details:

  • What you did on your trip.
  • How long you were gone.
  • Where you stayed (fancy hotel, private home, tent).
  • What you ate and drank while you were there.
  • Whether you were bitten by bugs or animals.
  • Whether you swam in fresh water.
  • Whether you received health care abroad.
  • Any other possible exposures (sex, tattoos, piercings).
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We believe you have the right to arm yourselves with as much information as possible before making any decision.

Check below our detailed tips & guide for every places to visit in Cambodia, recommendation regarding the inclusion in each theme you prefer, and what you can do based on the time frame you have.

PLACES TO VISIT IN Cambodia
Siem Reap
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Tonle Sap Lake
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One of the most fish abundant lakes in the world and supports 360 floating villages and thousands of waterbirds.

Phnom Penh
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Battambang
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Sihanoukville
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Koh Rong Island
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Cambodia PLANS BY TRAVEL THEME
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Check out all the must-see places and things to do & see

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Unique experience combined with top-notch services

Wellness & Leisure
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Easy excursion combined with week-long beach break

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The combination of some must-see experience and the cruise tour along the mighty rivers

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Explore every corners of the destination on two wheels

Honeymoon
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Easy excursions combined with unique experience making the long-lasting romantic memories

Unseen
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Reveal off-the-beatentrack routes, least explored destinations, and unknown tribe groups

Trek & Hike
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Explore the least visited destinations and unknown experience on foot

Family
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The combination of fun and educational activities

Cambodia PLANS BY TIME FRAME
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Cambodia BLOG ARTICLES

A playground for locals, Phnom Kulen (literally Mountain of the Lychees) is a gorgeous day out. The main attraction is the waterfalls at the top of Kulen Mountain and it’s also a great picnic spot; well set up in Cambodian style with hammocks and shelters to keep you shaded from the sun. It’s around 1.5-2 hours drive from Siem Reap and if you go all the way to the top by van or car, you need to get there early, as the road is one-way traffic only.

The birthplace of the ancient Khmer empire, it is said that it was at Phnom Kulen that King Jayavarman II proclaimed Cambodia’s independence from Java.

Additionally, it is a very sacred site with multiple temples easily accessible. Two sites most noted are the Thousand Lingas at Kbal Spean, within the Kulen National Park site and Preah Ang Thom pagoda with its giant reclining Buddha. The area is a magnet to “kru khmer” (natural medicine doctors), and attracts people seeking blessings from its holy waters, particularly the potent life-giving waters at Kbal Spean, that are said to help couples conceive.

You may be interested in Khmer Empire & Jayavarman II

...more

Preah Vihear Temple (Prasat Preah Vihear) is an ancient Hindu temple built during the period of the Khmer Empire, that is situated atop a 525-metre (1,722 ft) cliff in the Dângrêk Mountains, in the Preah Vihear province, Cambodia. In 1962, following a lengthy dispute between Cambodia and Thailand over ownership, the International Court of Justice (ICJ) in The Hague ruled that the temple is in Cambodia.

Affording a view for many kilometers across a plain, Prasat Preah Vihear has the most spectacular setting of all the temples built during the six-century-long Khmer Empire. As a key edifice of the empire's spiritual life, it was supported and modified by successive kings and so bears elements of several architectural styles.

Preah Vihear is unusual among Khmer temples in being constructed along a long north–south axis, rather than having the conventional rectangular plan with orientation toward the east. The temple gives its name to Cambodia's Preah Vihear province, in which it is now located, as well as the Khao Phra Wihan National Park which borders it in Thailand's Sisaket province, though it is no longer accessible from Thailand.

On July 7, 2008, Preah Vihear was listed as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

...more

Deep in the forests of Cambodia’s Siem Reap province, the elegant spires of an ancient stone city soar skyward above the sprawling complex of Angkor Archaeological Park.

The Khmer Empire’s various capitals thrived here from the 9th to 15th centuries, while their rulers presided over an empire that stretched from Myanmar (Burma) to Vietnam. Including forested areas and newly discovered “suburbs” Angkor covers more than 400 square kilometers.

Though just one of hundreds of surviving temples and structures, the massive Angkor Wat is the most famed of all Cambodia’s temples - it appears on the nation’s flag - and it is revered for good reason. The 12th century “temple-mountain” was built as a spiritual home for the Hindu god Vishnu. The temple is an architectural triumph laden with artistic treasures like the bas-relief galleries that line many walls and tell enduring tales of Cambodian history and legend.

In other parts of Angkor such art depicts scenes of daily life - offering scholars a precious window into the past.

Reading the below epic guide for Angkor Archaeological Park, you will have all the information you need from its history, maps, best time to visit and so on to have the best out of your Angkor tours

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Banteay Kdei Temple (Prasat Banteay Kdei), meaning "A Citadel of Chambers", also known as "Citadel of Monks' cells", is a Buddhist temple in Angkor, Cambodia. It is located southeast of Ta Prohm and east of Angkor Thom. 

Built in the mid-12th to early 13th centuries AD during the reign of Jayavarman VII (who was posthumously given the title "Maha paramasangata pada"), it is in the Bayon architectural style, similar in plan to Ta Prohm and Preah Khan, but less complex and smaller. Its structures are contained within two successive enclosure walls and consist of two concentric galleries from which emerge towers, preceded to the east by a cloister.

This Buddhist monastic complex is currently dilapidated due to faulty construction and poor quality of sandstone used in its buildings and is now undergoing renovation. Banteay Kdei had been occupied by monks at various intervals over the centuries till 1960s.

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Just east of Angkor Thom’s Victory Gate is Chau Say Tevoda. It was probably built during the second quarter of the 12th century, under the reign of Suryavarman II, and dedicated to Shiva and Vishnu. It has been renovated by the Chinese to bring it up to the condition of its twin temple, Thommanon.

...more

Thommanon Temple is a Hindu temple site that's covered in intricate carvings and surrounded by forests in Angkor. The temple is in relatively excellent condition, thanks to extensive restoration work in the 1960s.

It was constructed about the same time as Angkor Wat. The style of architecture is quite evident in the towers and carvings, which are in very good condition. During the rainy season, the dampened sandstone offers great photo opportunities.

Part of the UNESCO World Heritage Site, the complex dates back between the 11th and 12th centuries. It is about 600 metres east of the Victory Gate of Angkor Thom, just opposite Chau Say Tevoda. Even before restoration, Thommanon was in much a better condition than Chau Say Tevoda. Unlike the latter, which was built using wooden beams enclosed in stone, Thommanon Temple's entire structure was made out of stone. 

...more
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