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Driving in Cambodia

In Phnom Penh and throughout Cambodia, vehicles drive on the right-hand side of the road as they do in the US. Right-hand drive cars are now illegal but, many are still on the roads. Traffic conditions in Phnom Penh are chaotic and dangerous, primarily because traffic regulations are rarely enforced. Few Khmer drivers have had any type of formal driving instruction, and most do not have a licence. Large cargo trucks, cars, and a mix of motos, bicycles, cyclos, a few ox-pulled carts and pedestrians share the streets. The absence of stop signs or functioning traffic lights at many intersections and beggars in the middle of the streets add to the confusion and danger of driving in Phnom Penh. Additionally, some informal but significant 'rules of the road' may prove initially confusing to foreignn drivers. For example, in Cambodia, the meaning of another car flashing its headlights is “You are in my driving path and I am not yielding my right of way to you!”.

Traffic conditions at night can be challenging, particularly outside of the city. Travellers are strongly advised against driving on roads outside of Phnom Penh after dark. The roads are dark and many cars, motos, cyclos and bicycles travel at night without any lights. During the rainy season when roads frequently become flooded, drivers should beware of potentially slippery conditions and hidden potholes.

A Cambodian drivers’ licence is required for driving in Cambodia as an International Driving Permit is not recognised in Cambodia. Do check with the local relevant authorities in regards to obtaining Cambodian driver's licence.





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