Safety in Cambodia
So overall I was in Cambodia for almost a year and saw one act of violence in my entire stay.
I was at the beach when I see a western girl going crazy yelling at a tuk-tuk driver. She was pushing him and her boyfriend was there yelling some also. There were also about 20 other tuk-tuk drivers creeping closer and closer and it looked like things were going to get ugly quick.
Apparently they were claiming he sold them fake drugs and they wanted their money back. He was certainly not going to do that and just stood there taking the verbal abuse. Then the girl starts pushing and slapping him, and the guy gets a little physical also.
As an outside observer I see the other drivers getting closer and closer still. I think there is about to be a beat down because from all I have heard fights don’t stay one on one when its a foreigner vs a local, and these two tourists are certainly asking for it (whether they were sold fake drugs or not.)
The girl throws a closed hand punch now and the guy pushes him really hard. It looks like the full on beat down is about to commence and then it just stops. Maybe the tourists wised up, or maybe they thought they had dished out enough punishment, but that was the end of it. If they had gone any farther it would have got real bad quick.
So overall I felt pretty safe. On forums like Khmer440 though there seems to be a lot of news about expats dying in Cambodia.
That could be related to drug use, old age, lack of good hospitals etc., if you stay clear of those things (I didn’t ride a motorbike, drink etc.) and are healthy I don’t see how it’s that different from any other country.
Early on an expat in Sihanoukville warned me about heroin being sold as coke and other tips for beginners moving to Cambodia.
I also dressed to make myself as poor as possible, didn’t walk around with a smartphone in my hand etc. Plus I stayed in hotels by the beach, they’re so cheap I didn’t need an apartment with a lease. Those have security and are in well-lit parts of town.
Also I tried not to get on the wrong side of any crazy local girls.
Lot of open poverty around, and Cambodian children begging
Street dogs in Cambodia
Side note, anyone who has been to Asia knows about all the dogs running around, as well as other animals. In general they are pretty safe but they still can be quite scary at times.
One night I took some ritz crackers and peanut butter down to the beach because I wanted a snack and the beach was a perfectly logical place to eat crackers and peanut butter.
I had walked and ate them for awhile when I saw a dog sitting in the sand looking at me. I was about 50 yards away from the nearest restaurant and there were some people eating out on the beach. It hit me that this dog had probably never had peanut butter, and dogs love peanut butter. I decide now is the time to let him try it and he is staring at me the whole time.
I get the peanut butter on the cracker and am about 10 feet from him. I take half a step toward him to toss it from a closer range and he goes nuts barking at me like I want to kill him. Now other dogs rush down and start barking at me also.
I look over at the restaurant and 20 people are staring at the strange man all the dogs are barking at, holding a box of ritz crackers and a jar of peanut butter in the middle of a beach.