Cambodia features several temples of significance, with tourists often blown away by Angkor Wat, arguably the most magnificent of all the Angkor temples. Other spectacles include the Bayon Temple and Banteay Srei.
For visitors’ safety, all travel is advised against by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) to the Preah Vihear temple area and the Ta Krabey/Ta Moan temple area, located on the Thai-Cambodian border.
123,000 British nationals visited Cambodia in 2013, which is only viably accessible from the United Kingdom by airplane. Flight times from London to Phnom Penh, Cambodia’s capital, can vary, with the minimum travel time around 15 hours.
This can extend to anywhere between 19 and 28 hours depending on your airline and how long stops last for along the way.
If you are unsure as to how best to manage your diabetes while travelling then it is best to discuss a plan beforehand with your diabetes specialist.
Cambodia is six hours ahead of British Summer Time and seven hours ahead of Greenwich Mean Time.
You should discuss any alterations to your medication schedule with your diabetes team before travelling.
Cambodia is an exceptionally warm country, with average temperatures throughout the year standing at roughly 28°C.
Regardless of what time of year you are visiting, travellers on insulin should vigilantly monitor blood sugar levels as insulin can be absorbed much faster in warmer temperatures.
The currency in Cambodia is the Cambodia Riel. ATMs are located in most major cities such as Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, but some international credit cards may not be compatible. It is therefore wise to bring currency with you into Cambodia.
There are no mandatory vaccinations to enter Cambodia, however some are recommended. You should consult your doctor eight weeks prior to your departure in order to receive the vaccinations in time.
All travellers are recommended to get vaccinations for hepatitis A and typhoid, which can both be contracted through contaminated food or water.
Some travellers are also recommended to receive vaccinations for other diseases, including hepatitis B and rabies, which can be carried by dogs, bats and other mammals in Cambodia.
Vaccination against Japanese Encephalitis may also be recommended for travellers visiting remote areas of Cambodia for more than a month, depending on what time of year you are travelling.
You should also talk to your doctor about how to prevent the contraction of malaria while travelling. Your doctor may prescribe you medication before, during and after your stay and will advise you on what to do to avoid getting malaria.
There is no risk of yellow fever in Cambodia, although the government of Cambodia requires proof of yellow fever vaccination if you have travelled from a country with a risk of the disease.
Otherwise, the opportunity should be taken to ensure existing vaccinations such as your yearly flu jab and those against polio and tetanus are also up to date.
Getting access to medication
UK citizens with diabetes will not be entitled to any free medication services while in Cambodia. Securing comprehensive medical insurance will be essential in order to obtain even basic treatment.
Diabetic medication is available at the government hospital, NGO hospitals and private institutions. Blood and urine testing kits are not widely available, but can be obtained from pharmacies in the capital (Phnom Penh).
For this reason, it is advised to bring a spare metre and store it away from your main one in case it is lost or stolen.
If you are travelling with another person.
The emergency services telephone number to be called in Cambodia is 119.
It is advisable to contact the manufacturing company of your medication prior to leaving the UK to find out what is available in Cambodia if your medication gets lost, stolen or damaged. It is also worth checking to see what different names your medication may be listed as.
You should note which syringes are available in Cambodia, with U-100 syringes the most commonly used.
The vast majority of insulin in the UK is U-100 insulin. If you need to take a different strength of insulin, say in an emergency, it’s important that you use the correct device and syringes for that insulin.
For example, you would use a U-40 syringe for U-40 insulin. You will need to work with a doctor getting the right dose if you’re using a different form of insulin.
It is important to note the diabetes associations in the country you are travelling to in case of an emergency
There is one diabetic association in Cambodia that can be contacted for information prior to your stay. The address of this association is:
- Cambodian Diabetes Association,
4, Street 55,
Khan Daun Penh, Phnom Penh,
- How is blood glucose measured in Cambodia? Unfortunately, we do not have the information of whether blood glucose is measured in mg/dl or mmol/l in Cambodia
- What language is spoken in Cambodia? Khmer. English will not be widely spoken, so learning some basic Khmer phrases will assist in your day-to-day activities
- Will I need an international driving license when driving in Cambodia? Yes
- If I want to hire a vehicle during my visit, will I face any form of discrimination? No
- What sugar free drinks are available in Cambodia? Mineral water