Cambodia is a wonderful country to visit especially if you are interested in temples like Angkor or Cambodia’s dark history. The question of whether can you drink tap water in Cambodia is a common question asked.
It is NOT advised to drink tap water in Cambodia this is due to their lack of infrastructure especially outside of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap and there is a lot of chlorine added. Phnom Penh and Siem Reap claim that their water is safe but I won’t risk it. You should only drink bottled water.
In this post, we will go through can you drink tap water in Cambodia. So let’s get started!
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Is It Safe To Drink Tap Water in Cambodia?
It is NOT advised to drink tap water in Cambodia this is due to their lack of infrastructure especially outside of Phnom Penh and Siem Reap.
There is a lot of chlorine added to the water and this is because Cambodia is a tropical country where bacteria and viruses can grow much faster.
Chlorine is a very efficient disinfectant and is added to the public water supply to kill bacteria, viruses, and pathogens. This gives the water a bad taste and a funny smell.
In Cambodia, you should only drink bottled water and if no water is available then you can boil the water before drinking.
What Are The Alternatives To Tap Water in Cambodia?
Again, it is NOT advised to drink tap water in Cambodia. You will hear that Phnom Penh and Siem Reap water supply is safe to drink. I wouldn’t risk it.
You should remember that the locals have built up a tolerance to drinking tap water in Cambodia.
Overall it simply is not worth the risk of getting sick while on holiday and that drinking tap water could easily ruin your visit to Cambodia. And it can take over a week to get better.
Here is a list of the tap water alternatives in Cambodia.
- Bottled water
- Filtered water
- Boiled water
Can You Drink Tap Water in Phnom Penh?
You will be told that the water supply in Phnom Penh is safe, simply I wouldn’t risk drinking it. Phnom Penh’s water has improved over the last few years but the problem is the pipes from the water plant to the premises.
There is also the strong smell of chlorine from the water. It is safer to drink bottled water or filtered water.
Typically, the locals don’t drink straight out of a tap cause they claim that don’t trust the water. Simply if the locals don’t do it, then you shouldn’t.
Is it OK To Drink Boiled Water in Cambodia?
You can drink tap water in Cambodia if you boil it but the hotel will most likely provide you with some bottles of water. By boiling the water you will kill the bacteria and organisms that may be in the water.
Again, you should avoid tap water completely as you run the risk of getting sick. It is safer to drink bottled water.
Can You Brush Your Teeth With Tap Water in Cambodia?
Yes, tap water is safe to brush your teeth in Cambodia but you should boil it first. Try to use bottled before tap water. If you are using tap water for brushing your teeth, don’t swallow the water.
Is Bottled Water Safe In Cambodia?
Yes. Bottled water is the best choice for visitors to Cambodia. It is clean and safe to drink.
Here is a list of the popular bottled water in Cambodia.
1.5 liter bottled water can cost around $0.70. The price depends on the brand with the local water brands been the cheapest.
How Safe is It To Drink Filtered Water in Cambodia?
Yes, assuming that the filter for the filtered water is replaced and maintained regularly. This sometimes can be healthier than bottled water.
Again, it is advised that people don’t drink from their taps in Cambodia.
What is Wrong With The Tap Water in Cambodia?
The water infrastructure in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is fairly modern. But outside of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, there is a lack of infrastructure and the locals depend on wells and rivers for the water supply.
As a result, the water quality will vary from region to region. There is a high risk that there may be harmful bacteria or viruses in the water.
To summarise, while the water quality at the treatment plants in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh is at a good standard, there is a lot of chlorine in the water. And the other problem is transportation from the plant to the tap.
While outside of Siem Reap and Phnom Penh, the water is sourced from wells and rivers. The water is not treated for any harmful bacteria or viruses.
I suggest playing safe and drink bottled water.
Finally, I would advise NOT to drink the tap water in Cambodia. If you need to use tap water, you should boil it first as this will kill the bacteria and organisms. You should stick to using bottled water as it safe.
Remember getting food poisoning is a sure way of ruining your trip to Cambodia.
And that’s it for now! I’d love to know if this guide on the can you drink tap water in Cambodia has helped you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if there is more to add.