I am due to arrive October 3rd - the starting point of 2-3 months in SEA.
As far as I can tell the political situation appears to be less volitile. I've been reading a few other travel forums and searching the net as best as I can.
I am hoping there are a few people that live in Phnom Penh or some who are presently travelling Cambodia that can give me some accurate information regarding the political situation.
Are more demonstrations planned?
The three days of protests have now finished. Apart from a few clashes on Sunday evening (in locations away from the main demonstration in Freedom Park), which sadly left one person dead, the protests were calm and orderly.
Road blocks have been cleared and everything is moving around the city normally again.
Parliament is due to sit on Monday 23 September, and the King has asked the opposition CNRP to be there and take their seats. The CNRP have said that a boycott is still possible if agreements are not reached regarding the election irregularities - further negotiation meetings are scheduled. Currently, no further protests have been announced.
I'd suggest you keep an eye on Travelfish's Facebook page, and on the local English language newspapers (Phnom Penh Post and Cambodia Daily) but I don't think you need to change your plans. If more protests are announced, you can just head somewhere else in Cambodia from Phnom Penh.
I was hoping to revive this thread a little for more current updates. I see there was a "crackdown" and people died. I'm a female traveling a alone and have my tickets booked to go to Cambodia in February. Is safety a concern here? Is it mainly situated in PP? Should I stay away from PP? I've been reading the news, but it's hard to tell if this is a concern for tourists by what I've read. Is anybody there currently or very recently?
#5 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45
Hi SoloGirls. Travelfish's latest blog post on the situation is here, and the Facebook page will be updated if there's any serious developments.
The protests have been focussed in Phnom Penh, but there's no reason to avoid the city. Currently, things are peaceful in Phnom Penh, and you really wouldn't notice anything amiss in the areas you're likely to visit. I was riding around on Saturday, just a few hours after the protest site was shut down, and apart from a closed road and a few extra police in that area, things were normal. Bars, restaurants and attractions are all open and you should have no problem visiting the places you want to see.
Safety for tourists is no more of a concern now that it usually would be. Make sure you're familiar with personal safety tips, which apply across Asia, not just Cambodia. Things like keeping your bag out of view when you're in a tuk tuk and dividing your money so you only have a small amount in your wallet.
Cambodia is a wonderful country, enjoy!
Thanks. I'll take a look at that article. Though I have been following the Facebook page recently which is where I ready that people had been shot recently.
Since you brought up the topic of bags and tuk tuks, I was wondering how you can be sure of this. Do the drivers sometimes take your larger bag and put it somewhere, or are you always in control of your own stuff?
#7 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45
The shooting took place in a part of the city's outskirts that you'd probably never get to. And remember that Phnom Penh is a city of over 2 million people, if that helps with the perspective.
In tuk tuks, the issue is with your small bag. Your large bag will likely be placed on the other seat, or behind the driver, and it won't go anywhere. It's your day pack/handbag that you need to watch. Some tuk tuks have curtains or netting at the side of the seats, to stop sticky fingers getting in. Although it feels safest to wear your bag, it's actually better to put it on the floor in between the seat and your legs. Also avoid having an expensive phone or camera in your hand/around your neck.
These are just precautions - most people never have an issue, but it's good to be prepared.
Really, safer to not wear it? Why is that? Wi they yank me off by grabbing it? I am fairly small, it could happen.
I always notice that people say to not wear your camera around your neck, but then how do you take pictures? The tuk tuk seems like a good opportunity for pictures.
Gotcha on the safety front. I haven't been too concerned about it, but then I started reading things. Mostly I'm concerned about getting my stuff stolen or getting sick and being miserable.
#9 SoloGirls has been a member since 24/10/2013. Posts: 45
If you are wearing your bag, it can be easier for a thief to get at the straps. And if you are wearing it across your body then yes, you could get pulled along with it.
I don't want to scare you on the safety stuff, but it is better to be safe than sorry. If you don't make yourself an easy target, you're more likely to have an event-free trip. Just be aware, and keep your eyes open. It's certainly not that every tourist who steps out gets their stuff stolen, so there's no need to be paranoid!
If you get a guesthouse with a safety box, it's better to leave what you don't need in that. A money belt is a good idea for carrying cash, then have a wallet with small money in for buying water etc.
As far as being sick or miserable, that's often part of travelling, but only a small part. You might have a day when you wonder what the hell you're doing, but then something funny will happen, or you'll discover a lovely restaurant, and everything will seem better again.
Although you're travelling alone, that doesn't mean you will be alone all the time. You'll meet people headed in the same direction as you, or visiting the same place that day, and hook up with them to split tuk tuk costs or have a beer together. Be open and friendly and you're never truly alone.