Gypsies in Eastern Europe

Since I’ve been loudly and proudly referring to the dim-witted imbecile apologists as “sheep“, many contacted me angrily questioning how I came to conclusion that I wasn’t one. Nothing could be easier to prove, so let me get right down to it.

Sheep are dim-witted imbeciles. More than anything else, they lack the ability to see the forest for the trees. With their noses firmly glued to the ground, it’s no wonder they can’t see the plains that stretch far and wide. All they see are stems of grass that fill up their entire field of view. But somehow they believe that being this limited comes with a license to nag. So nag they do. The more limited their field of view, the louder they nag.

The issue of child sex tourism in Cambodia or an outlook on how cheap Cambodia really is are great examples of how lacking their wits are. If you focus on a raindrop that’s right before your face so much you can’t see the ocean that spreads before your feet, and use your limited wits to argue with everyone that your shiny raindrop is the largest body of water in the universe, then there is no better way to address you than by calling you a dim-witted imbecile. But nagging at anyone who dares to tell you that your raindrop is nothing compared to the ocean, just because the majority are as limited in their field of view as you are, makes you a sheep.

Gypsies in Eastern Europe

Another great way to show how limited minds of the dim-witted sheep are, is by talking about Gypsies from Eastern Europe. I spent substantial amount of time in Eastern Europe and had a fair share of experience with them, as well as with people native to those lands. As with pretty much every place I’ve spent a lot of time in, I found reports on Eastern European Gypsies by other travel bloggers not only misleading, but downright dangerous. If someone were to truly believe what other bloggers are saying and adjust their behavior accordingly, they’d be setting themselves up for a walk down a mine field.

Photo: Screenshot from a YouTube Video Posted by the Romanian Police Who Filmed a One Legged Gypsy Beggar

Photo: Screenshot from a YouTube Video Posted by the Romanian Police Who Filmed a One Legged Gypsy Beggar

I don’t make a point at being politically correct – I make a point at being truthful. I’ve never downplayed anything and never offered half truths to avoid being called a racist, so let me do the same here. To put it bluntly – Eastern European Gypsies are incredibly dangerous, deceptive and always looking to take advantage of others. These nomadic people settled in Eastern Europe because it provided them with everything they needed to engage in a lifetime of crime and get away with it. Had it not been so, they would have moved on.

Generations of living at an expense of others made them expert whiners. They especially like whining to the sheep because sheep are many (significant majority) and lack the ability to see the forest for the trees so simple whinery is enough to fool them into believing that they are not criminals but victims. And guess what sheep do – I don’t need to tell you. You already know that by now.

Gypsies and Sheep

Sheep believe that presenting themselves as righteous warriors who fight for the rights of the oppressed somehow makes them god-like so they seek out the opportunities to prove themselves to other sheep. It’s sheepish to conform – individualism is frowned upon and usually results in exclusion which is what sheep fear the most. They forsake the ability to think for themselves and become expert brown-nosers, aka arse-kissers without a face who bleep when others bleep and jump in the well when others jump in the well.

There is only one thing that could possibly come out of a meeting between a dim-witted sheep and a professional manipulator. Sheep swallow every single bit of the fabricated story and spread the corrupted tale of it to the world. As a result, the ridiculous untruth about discrimination of Gypsies in Eastern Europe caught on and wrongfully painted Slavs as racist bigots. The very group of people who were the victims and themselves discriminated against became the target of international criticism all because wits-lacking sheep sided with manipulators. It’s the nature of the sheep to ignore the real issue if it lacks shock value (seen really well in the above described child sex tourism article).

There are many instances when I wish I could slap sense into a sheep, but when they take victims and label them racists, I just want to kick them in the nut-sack so hard they can’t bleep no more.

History of Gypsies in Eastern Europe

Would it surprise anyone to learn that history of the Eastern European (Slavic) nations is a history of peace? Slavs have always been non violent, hard working people who would rather sing folk songs and dance to beautiful music than march to war against another nation. This inherently non violent nature presented them with many challenges as other, more power hungry nations took them for an easy target, but it changed nothing on their desire to live in peace and grant the same to the others.

Anyone who’s ever worked with people from Eastern Europe can attest to how hard working they are. This can also be seen from how advanced and economically powerful countries like Czech Republic and Slovakia were before the 20th century world wars swept through their lands. Not even the UK could measure up to them at the time. And that’s despite thousand years of occupation and attempted elimination by the Magyars (Hungarians) who did everything in their might to erase their languages and identity from the pool of the living and turn them into Magyars.

This is the story of many Slavic nations – often attacked and oppressed for centuries, but never rising up to march against another sovereign nation to conquer it. They took to the arms when others tried to conquer them, enslave them or undermine their values, and through bravery and determination, they prevailed (sometimes with help from friends), but this only happened as a response to the outside aggression.

Then in 1968, Soviet armies moved in and instilled communist philosophies upon them. Private properties were turned public and everyone was guaranteed a house to live in and a job to earn a living with – unless of course they were found unable to work, in which case they would get monthly monetary support from the government. The government would also assist parents by awarding them child benefits for each child up to the age of 18 years old.

This worked reasonably well since Slavs are naturally honest and very hard working so everyone rolled up their sleeves and got down to work to help recover from the devastation caused by two major wars. Everyone except from Gypsies. These nomadic people saw the opportunity to get something for nothing so instead of moving from place to place like they’d done for centuries, they stopped where they were and started exploiting the system for their own benefit.

Since government paid so much money a month for each child a woman had, Gypsies started breeding in out of control numbers to get as much in child benefits as possible. And since government also paid for the disabled who were deemed unable to earn their own living even if job for them was guaranteed, they all started pretending they were mentally insane in order to avoid going to work but still have monthly income coming their way.

They would not entertain an idea of leaving Eastern Europe after it became apparent that they could get unlimited amounts of money if they just kept breeding and pretending they couldn’t work. So breed and pretend they couldn’t work they did and money kept coming. If they needed more dough, they just made more kids and voila – their monthly allowance increased.

As a result, Gypsies who didn’t spend one day working earned more money each month than Slavs who worked hard every day. You’d think these well funded Gypsies’d live in poshy palaces and wear finest clothes, given the money they got for nothing, but exact opposite was true. They took this money most Slavs who worked couldn’t even fathom and wasted it all within days on booze and drugs, leaving nothing for food or clothes for children.

Aside from looking slightly different owing to their ethnic background, Gypsies are also easily distinguishable from the Slavs by the fact that they always wear old and dirty clothes and their kids suffer from malnutrition. It’s not surprising that to the sheep, Gypsies would look poor, oppressed and neglected. Except that sheep never look below the surface because if they did, they’d see that Slavs, who always look clean, healthy and presentable earn less money than Gypsies get for nothing each month.

Most of the time, the real reason why kids of Eastern European Gypsies look so sick and dirty, and why they wear what looks like pre-war clothes with tears and holes on every fold, is because their parents never try to manage money properly and waste it as quickly as they get it. The use of the “Easy come, easy go” phrase has never been more appropriate. If Slavs can make it through the month with less money than Gypsies get and still look well taken care of, then there really is no excuse for Gypsies not to. But then again, unlike Gypsies, Slavs don’t own 20kg worth of golden chains and rings each.

Needless to say, what follows after all the monthly allowance was wasted is stealing. Both parents and their kids go out to look for supplemental income by robbing people who have to work for their money. Stolen money not only gets them through the weeks after their monthly allowance was wasted, it’s also a way to kill time. Since they don’t need to go to work, they have whole long days to look for something to kill boredom with and a little excitement victimizing natives has proven to go a long way. It also, at the same time satisfies their inbred itch to commit crime.

Gypsies are natural born criminals. They’ve stolen, pillaged, raped and murdered as part of their normal development for centuries, polishing the art of theft to perfection. And since Slavs are by nature non violent and hold a very negative stance on crime, they make for perfect victims. Faced with these professional criminals, the law abiding natives stand no chance.

Days of boredom on end allowed the Gypsies to form gangs and organize their attacks for maximum heist. Kids are often used as lures or agent provocateurs while whole mobs wait nearby to struck at the opportune moment. Heavily outnumbered, robbed victims are often beaten, or in the case of girls – raped. Not even children or seniors are spared. There is simply no line Gypsies wouldn’t cross.

Gypsies did not value anything they were given because it cost them absolutely nothing to get it. Government gave them houses for free so Gypsies destroyed them. Government gave them child support for breeding like rabbits so they wasted it all on booze and golden trinkets. And if anyone dared to stand up to them, Gypsies attacked every member of his/her family and threatened further violence should this be repeated.

The police were the once with the least leverage against Gypsies. It would be very rare for a crime to take place which was not committed by a Gypsy, but trying to bring any of the Gypsy perpetrators in resulted in whole gang of them coming together to complain to the international court that the arrest of their criminal friend was an act of racism and discrimination. They portrayed themselves as victims each and every single time making bringing them to justice virtually impossible.

Matters were further complicated by the fact that these huge Gypsy gangs would unleash unspeakable violence upon the family of anyone who would stand in their way. You lock one of them up and end up with five hundred of them setting your house on fire and beating your kids up to the brink of death.

However the biggest joke in all this are the sheep. All the while Gypsies oppress the majority and exploit their good will, they also take each and every opportunity to show off buildings they got new, but destroyed to let the sheep see what conditions they live in, they’d show their sickened, malnutritioned kids whom they haven’t fed because they wasted all their monthly allowance on drugs, but tell the sheep that their kids starve because nobody wants to employ them, and add a number of made up tales about someone attacking them because they were Gypsies and the sheep swallow it whole with cherry on top, get outraged and instantly label Slavs “racist bigots”. Could you believe the dumbness of those sheep?

Catch 22

Slavic nations opened themselves up to these people from afar, gracefully welcomed them among themselves but all they got in return was exploitation, abuse and crime. While the Slavs worked hard to keep the economy going, Gypsies beat little boys, raped little girls and robbed anyone they laid eyes on. 10% of population accounted for 90% of all crime committed but when anyone tried to point it out, they complained to the international court and the victims took the blame.

Gypsies utterly painted Slavs – some of the most peaceful people in the world – racist just to satisfy their ever growing greed and lust for criminal behavior. And how did the sheep respond? Unsurprisingly… by nagging and crying on behalf of those “oppressed Gypsies” whose life must surely be so incredibly hard in Eastern Europe. I mean, can you imagine never needing to spend a day at work and still get more money than any working man? And how about complete freedom to commit countless crimes and always get away with it because if they tried throwing you in jail, you’d scream “Bloody Racists” until the sheep trampled the system till you were freed?

Cause and Effect

It goes without saying that even the most peaceful nation, when pushed to the limit, would eventually stand up and say “enough is enough”. For 20 years of communist rule, Gypsies exploited peaceful, hardworking Eastern Europeans and never as little as said “Thank you”. Instead, they labelled them “racists” and framed them with lies of discrimination all the while their peers robed, raped and murdered the very people whose money they lived off of. Someone was bound to slam their fist on the table and attempt to put a stop to it.

When the police has their hands tied because each time they try to arrest a Gypsy, whole Gypsy community gangs up on them, threatens them with murder and violence against their children, and complains to the international court that they are racially targeted, then perhaps it’s time to look for solution outside of official ways.

The natural response was the spark of the Skinhead movement. Skins didn’t just come to exist because someone thought it was cool. They were a response of a nation to the exploitation by abusive invaders. Unwillingness of Gypsies to live lawful lives and respect others like others respected them forced oppressed individuals into retaliation.

It made sense – I mean, you can only rape someone’s sister, bully his brother and rob his parent’s so many times before he snaps and tells to himself: “That’s enough!”. Gypsies kept raping innocent girls, bullying innocent boys and murdering innocent workers for so long, something was bound to happen. And so the Skinheads came to be.

My Encounters with Gypsies in Eastern Europe

I visited High Tatras in Slovakia with an Australian girl I met in London, England. While we were there, minding our own business, we were abducted by a Gypsy looking to rob someone and draw blood. My companion was like all other sheep at first – she complained about racism towards Gypsies based on reports by fellow sheep, but when knife wielding Gypsy attacked us and threatened to kill us if we didn’t give him our possessions, she was forced to sober up and realize that the opposite was true.

There were people around, but since it was a Gypsy who attacked us, nobody dared to intervene. After decades of exploitation, people feared these criminals who operate in gangs and because they don’t go to school or work, they have whole days to improve on their gangster tactics. We were attacked within the train station in Poprad. There were people inside and we had hoped someone would come to our aid – but no one did. It was clear why.

We got off without being stabbed in just the last moment after the attacker ripped our bags we were trying to hold on to off. It was a terrifying experience and it wasn’t the only one. A few days later, in a public transport bus, a group of Gypsy kids boarded a packed bus and started pulling stuff out of people’s pockets. When confronted, the kids ganged up on the victim, spat on her, kicked her and threatened with violence. They always have bigger, stronger accomplices accompanying them so if anyone dared to not cooperate, they would get beat up.

Things like that kept happening absolutely everywhere and all the time. We saw groups of those Gypsies wandering the streets, always looking for trouble. During the day – when all locals were at work, Gypsies provoked lone, out of place individuals to pick fight with them. While all Slavic people were incredibly welcoming, peaceful and friendly, the feeling of safety was always gone when Gypsies were around.

And then we visited Bratislava, the capital of Slovakia. Without realizing why, the tensions we used to experience before were suddenly gone and entirely replaced by feelings of complete safety. A few days later we realized that since we came to Bratislava, we have not seen a single Gypsy. We no longer had to always look around us to make sure no Gypsy was after us, or to be aware where they are so we don’t look that way because they could consider it a challenge and respond to it by taking their whole gang that’s been sitting around whole day waiting for something exciting to spark it up and jumping us to see what “our problem” was.

After traveling through places populated with Gypsies, by whom we were threatened, attacked, robbed and several times near killed, a visit to a Gypsy free place was an incredible relief. Turned out that Skinhead movement was so strong in Bratislava, they cleaned their city off Gypsies and no new ones dare to come. The citizens had enough of being pushed around and victimized and stood up for themselves, forcing crime away from their city. The police couldn’t do it, so the citizens took their own safety into their own hands. That allowed us to embrace that notorious Eastern European hospitality and friendliness to the fullest.

After we’d left Bratislava, the danger returned. Never from the ranks of locals. Always from Gypsies. They had whole areas donated to them by the Communist governments in which they built them houses and parks but Gypsies destroyed them all. We passed by several Gypsy communities and could not believe our eyes. Buildings literally ripped to shreds, surrounded with up to a meter of garbage, all windows smashed, doors burnt with burn marks staining the walls, horrible smell everywhere, disease literally crawling all over – it was plain and simple disgusting and they turned it into this mess themselves, after it was donated to them new and free.

We could often see Gypsy areas built next to areas occupied by the Slavs. Same buildings, same size and style, clearly built at the same time, just one occupied by the locals, whilst the other by Gypsies. Buildings in which Slavs lived were clean and well maintained, buildings of Gypsies were ravaged, stripped to bare walls. There was this saying that what was not welded against something unmovable, it would have been stolen by the Gypsies.

Everything the government gave them was ripped into pieces. Showing zero respect for property, Gypsies stole or destroyed anything that could be stolen or destroyed. Then once completely destroyed and looking as if a nuke was dropped on the area, Gypsies would show it to the sheep while forcing fake tears out of their eyes with a claim that that’s how they are forced to live here. The fact that the building was provided to them in brand new condition and that it was them who destroyed it is somehow never mentioned and the sheep don’t ask. They just see a whiny Gypsy living in a disgusting house so it must be the result of discrimination of Gypsies by racist Slavs.

Occupation of Europe

Through criminal behavior and deception, Eastern European Gypsies are often incredibly rich. They promenade themselves in old, smelly, dirty clothes when sheep are around, but we got a chance to see a Gypsy wedding and I couldn’t believe how rich they really are. I was surprised they were able to walk with all these golden chains all over them. Must be a tough life for a Gypsy in Eastern Europe when all they own is $10 Million worth of gold jewelry each.

Another close look behind the veil of poor, discriminated faces of Eastern European Gypsies revealed an even more shocking surprise. Despite the fact that they never spent a day working for their money, many lived in incredibly poshy multi million dollar homes. Shortly after Velvet Revolution (end of Communism in Eastern Europe), they found out that Denmark and other Scandinavian countries had welcoming asylum policies and provided people who take advantage of it with more freebies than even communist governments did in Eastern Europe, so they rearranged their gang structures and spread the activities to other parts of Europe.

In order to be granted an asylum, they presented authorities with fabricated stories of discrimination in Eastern Europe and it worked. Foreign governments provided them with new accommodation, more money for nothing and daily rations so they could enjoy work free lives and focus on exploiting people beyond borders of Eastern Europe.

And so Gypsy gangs with international ties were formed and exploitation on much broader scale began. Seeing that deceiving people with begging tricks worked well, Gypsies from Eastern Europe whose numbers grew through out of control breeding (remember that they got so much money per child – the more children, the more free money) spread into every corner of the old continent pretending they were poor, sick, disabled or otherwise disadvantaged to get money from sympathetic citizen.

One Legged Gypsy Beggar

The video below was filmed by the Romanian police after they’d arrested a one legged Gypsy beggar. It’s Gypsies like this one legged beggar that cause sheep to cry “bloody racists” at Slavic people. Sheep simply can’t see past the tip of their noses so their response is to turn victims into bigots.

I call this beggar a “lying piece of shit” because that’s what he is but apparently, according to the sheep, calling a liar and liar is being a racist bigot myself, so that’s what they call me too. A liar Gypsy uses his race as tool of deception and sheep would jump down the throat of anyone who calls him out.

Good thing is – I know darn well how dim witted sheep are so being called a racist bigot by the lot of them is actually a flattery and a proof that I’m doing the right thing:

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Cambodia Rape Victims

I spent most of my time in Cambodia living like a Cambodian. While I stayed in the village, I became part of the day to day affairs that commanded the village life and became close friends with a number of members of the community. Thoroughly integrated, I took part in the village’s daily routines many of which were so strange to me, they raised questions. Through close ties with a few friends, I was soon filled in on much of what seemed as an unusually uptight lifestyle.

Photo: I Was Lucky, I Was Only Raped By This Out Of Focus Monkey

Photo: I Was Lucky, I Was Only Raped By This Out Of Focus Monkey

It seemed, for example, rather strange to me that single girls stayed in a dedicated house and would always lock themselves up inside immediately after dark. As was explained to me later, Cambodian tradition dictated the girls to not spend nights in company of men. Children stayed with their parents, married couples stayed together, but adolescent, unmarried girls always stay with one another and would bar outside world’s access to them for the whole night entirely.

Things became even clearer later on, when almost every other night someone would try to break into the house of girls with an intention to rape them. That was the reason why no girl would ever stroll out after dark and why even though they lived separated from men, their close male relatives were always nearby. This was because sexually oriented assaults against girls were so frequent, a male they could trust – usually a father or brother of the girls – was always nearby to fight off perpetrators looking to sexually violate them.

Unfortunately (but not shockingly), despite these rather drastic precautions, an alarmingly high number of Cambodian girls still gets raped before getting a chance to engage in voluntary intercourse with someone they like. Everybody in Cambodia either knows someone who was raped or were victims of rape themselves.

Cambodia, as I found out is one rape happy nation. Being a female in Cambodia carries with it an inherent, very realistic and ever increasing threat of becoming a rape victim at some point in their lives with the least lucky ones getting exploited long before reaching maturity. Children, after all, are easy victims. They are naturally afraid of adults and their dependency on them makes them obedient. Plus a child does not have the matching physical strength to possibly fight the perpetrator off or run away.

However, if a child is not available, your average Cambodian male will not pass up on an opportunity to sexually violate a woman should said opportunity present itself. And if no opportunity presents itself, he’ll go out to create one (remember my post about driving habits of people who like to use their physical advantages against disadvantaged individuals? Cambodians are a perfect example. The entire history of Cambodia is the history of unprovoked aggression, and it still reflects in their inherent lust for abuse of anyone who’s weaker, with aggressive driving and inclination to rape being the most obvious).

The possibilities and opportunities for rapists in Cambodia are endless. Not only can they enjoy violating the weak and not face a threat of punishment, they can even count on the victims to keep to themselves as most will feel ashamed to even admit that they were violated. The place of a woman in the Cambodian society is not particularly enviable.

A society which deems women a lesser human form is not likely to recognize rape as a serious crime to begin with. As a result, rapists are not prosecuted, which leaves victims to deal with the ordeal on their own all the while the rapist is out on the lookout for his next prey. Add to the mix how fundamentally corrupt and incompetent Cambodian police are and it becomes clear that it wouldn’t even make any sense for the victim to report the crime. Why bother if the likelihood of being further victimized by the police is higher than a chance of them investigating on the report?

Because there are no lines that Cambodian rapists would draw, foreigners visiting Cambodia are as likely to become victims of rape as locals. And statistics show that. There are none in the Cambodian police files, because Cambodian police doesn’t recognize rape since it never gets reported, but if you look at travel advisories posted by governments of countries with significant number of citizens traveling to Cambodia, you’ll notice a frightening trend. And all these rapes are perpetrated by aggressors from a country with total population of 14 Million. The ratio here must be some of the worst in the world.

Cambodia Traffic Safety Issues

Considering how crime ridden Cambodia really is, it’s hard to imagine that tourists and expats could be exposed to a danger that’s far more serious than violent crime. Yet it’s true. Traffic safety issues are so severe in Cambodia, they put country’s violent crime to shame. And that’s something that’s not to be taken lightly. Afterall, Cambodia is one of the most violent countries in the world, a country in which mob killings and political violence gain epic proportions. Just imagine how dangerous Cambodia’s traffic must be if it’s even deadlier than their ongoing genocide.

Cambodian corrupt government is too busy exploiting country’s natural and historical resources to give a dump about alarming crime rates or traffic safety issues which translates to a dangerous society whether you only fly by or stay for a while.

Photo: Traffic on Cambodian Roads is Out of Control and Very Dangerous

Photo: Traffic on Cambodian Roads is Out of Control and Very Dangerous

Unqualified Drivers

One of the reasons contributing to an extremely dangerous traffic situation in Cambodia are unqualified and uneducated drivers. Thousands of motorcycles are operated by children as young as 10 years old. Proper driver’s education doesn’t exist in Cambodia and since traffic laws are both non existent and not enforced, nobody even tries to get educated and become a safe driver.

Cambodian Traffic Laws

There allegedly are some traffic laws in Cambodia but the enforcement is not a priority of the government which is too focused on securing their position by removing everyone in their path. The police occasionally go out to give fines – when they need an extra cash in their own pockets – but that doesn’t mean anyone in Cambodia gives a crap about the rules. They like to fine foreigners because foreigners don’t know regular traffic fines are about 3,000 Riel (roughly $0.75) and ask for $20 or so. If it ever happens to you, make sure you request a “sombot” which is a Khmer word for “receipt”. Traffic infractions in Cambodia have fixed fines so asking for a receipt may prevent the police from extorting outrageous amounts of money from you.

Speaking of traffic laws – at the time of this post, there has been no traffic law in Cambodia outlawing drunk driving. Not surprisingly, DUI is one of the main reasons for grisly ends to many traffic accidents.

What Side Do Cambodians Drive On?

Officially, Cambodians should drive on the right – same as in the USA, Canada or mainland Europe, but as with other traffic regulations, this requirement is not enforced and is as such completely ignored. You will have all sorts of vehicles coming at you from all sides, joining the traffic by riding in opposite direction, reversing into the traffic, ignoring red lights or stop signs, never ever yielding to anyone whose vehicle is smaller than theirs. The video below contains a footage of a motorcyclist riding in the opposite direction and a Cambodian cop being a complete waste of space:

Traffic Anarchy

Cambodian traffic situation can best be described as a complete traffic anarchy. Nobody follows any rules, everybody does what the hell they want even though nobody actually knows what the hell they are doing. And as could be expected from an anarchy – the bigger a vehicle you drive, the more arrogant you get while on the road. As it is with carrying and flashing guns, driving and purposefully oppressing all other traffic participants, including the pedestrians is nothing more than an attempt to compensate for inadequacies and insecurities.

As soon as Cambodians get off their vehicles, they become pedestrians and will have to dodge all the vehicles which will never make any attempt to slow down or stir away for someone smaller in size. Hence when they get back in their vehicle, the feeling of being oppressed goes away and now it’s them who become the oppressors. The full circle gets closed.

Pedestrians

There are a few pedestrian crossings (zebras) here and there on the roads with busy traffic to presumably allow the pedestrians to cross the street. I don’t know who came with an idea of painting the zebras on the road as it’s been nothing but a complete and utter waste of paint. As a pedestrian, you can wait as long as you want for someone to stop and let you cross – afterall you are on a cross walk – but no one ever will. Ever. No Cambodian will ever stop for a pedestrian. Not even in your wildest dream. They need to compensate for their insecurities and yielding to a pedestrian when you are on a motorcycle or inside a car simply diminishes their egos.

I first noticed the inability to cross the street on my first ever walk through Siem Reap right after I had landed in Cambodia. I stood at the pedestrian crossing for a good while, I stepped down on the road to make it absolutely clear that I am intending to cross the road on that cross walk, I even made a step forward in an attempt to move across thinking that once I start moving along the zebra, the drivers would stop but even though everyone could see me, nobody stopped. As a matter of fact, nobody even as little as slowed down. Not a slightest attempt to allow me to get through. Complete arrogance and ignorance which was also doubled by local’s mean-spirited nature who had a good laugh watching me stuck, unable to cross because nobody would respect the crosswalk.

Shockingly, as if no respect towards pedestrians by the drivers was not enough, Cambodians also like to park their cars and motorcycles on the sidewalks making it impossible to use them for walking. As a pedestrian, you will spend more time walking on the roads, than on the sidewalks because sidewalks are simply blocked off by rudely parked vehicles of all sorts. But then by having to walk on the road you will be subjected to rude, disrespectful drivers and moto riders swerving through the traffic from all directions, putting you directly in harm’s way.

Photo: Cars Blocking the Sidewalk in Siem Reap

Photo: Cars Blocking the Sidewalk in Siem Reap

The danger doesn’t stop there, though. Remember those cars and motorcycles parked all over the sidewalks preventing you from walking somewhat separated from extremely dangerous roads? Well, with so many vehicles blocking up the sidewalk, every time you go for a walk, you will have dozens of them backing off into the traffic on the road, literally reversing right into you, who has to walk along the side of the road because sidewalks are blocked off. Nobody will wink an eye if a pedestrian or a bicyclist is behind them, they will continue reversing, until they either ran you over, or you jumped off to save your life.

Photo: Pedestrians Are Forced to Walk on the Road Because Sidewalk is Blocked by Motorcycles

Photo: Pedestrians Are Forced to Walk on the Road Because Sidewalk is Blocked by Motorcycles

The video below shows how sidewalks in Phnom Penh are full of rudely parked cars and motorcycles giving pedestrians absolutely no chance to walk separated from dangerous traffic on the roads:

Riding a Bicycle in Cambodia

Oh boy. I bought a mountain bike when I got to Cambodia to have my own, independent means of transportation and while it means slightly more respect than walking, it surely doesn’t raise it by much. You get buses plowing it down the middle of the narrow road at full speed with zero respect for bicycles. Unwilling to stick to their side of the road, as a bicyclist you are left with mere inches of room and a choice to make – do I kill myself by throwing myself into a ditch at full speed or by staying on the road to let the gust of air created by the speeding bus throw me there?

Wearing Helmets

Unlike it is in Vietnam, when you take a moto ride in Cambodia, the driver will not provide you with a helmet. That slaps the whole road safety right in the face and makes you extremely prone to serious injury. While it is allegedly required by the law for the drivers to wear a helmet, not everybody does and if they do, they are the only ones on the motorcycle wearing one.

You will see entire families, sometimes with as many as 7 members packed up on a scooter whistling away down the muddy roads. For the most part, there is either nobody with a helmet on it, or only the driver has one, the other passengers are without. It’s a massacre in the making.

Honking Horns

Cambodians love honking horns. It has everything to do with compensating for their insecurities. Once they sit behind the wheel of a vehicle, they feel empowered and spend their entire time honking horns to let everyone know they are coming. Whether there is a reason to honk a horn or not, they do. The blaring of horns is a constant on Cambodian roads. Check out the horn crazy Cambodians in a video below:

Cambodia’s traffic safety issues are a serious threat to the safety of tourists visiting the country. While Cambodia is exceptionally dangerous for tourists because of its out of control crime, vast majority of tourists stays out of crime’s way by using organized tours and not venturing off the beaten touristy tracks and places. However, even if you’re one of the many who will be spared from becoming victims of Cambodian violent culture, you will not be able to avoid the dangers of Cambodia’s traffic. A combination of drunk driving, speeding and lack of safety helmets, doubled with severe disrespect for other traffic participants with nobody following any traffic rules makes Cambodian roads the most dangerous place you could find yourself in.

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Cambodia Travel Advisory

When speaking about whether Cambodia is a dangerous country or not, one should not miss out on valuable pointers provided by the travel advisory of each of the western governments. If you read through the Cambodia Travel Advisories, you will find repeated statements warning you about Cambodia, off the hook muggings and violent crime, including rape and murder against foreigners, but somehow this message gets lost in the translation. The following are extracts from the travel advisories posted on government websites of a few (English speaking) western countries:

Cambodia Travel Advisory by the Government of Canada

Violence in Phnom Penh and other cities occurs occasionally.

Street crime, targeting foreigners, has been occurring with increasing frequency in urban areas, including Phnom Penh, Siem Reap and Sihanoukville, even during daylight hours. There are reports of armed assaults along the riverfront in Phnom Penh and on isolated beaches in Sihanoukville. Canadians have been injured in the course of assaults and armed robberies. Thieves, sometimes on motorcycles, grab bags and other valuables from pedestrians, motorcycle drivers and their passengers. Banditry continues, largely at night, in rural areas and on routes between Snoul, Kratie and Stung Treng in the northeastern provinces. Sexual assaults have been reported. There have been reports that foreigners have encountered difficulties with ill-disciplined police or military personnel. Canadians are advised to exercise a high degree of caution at all times, avoid travelling alone, especially at night, and ensure personal belongings, passports, and other travel documents are secure at all times.

Website: voyage.gc.ca

Cambodia Travel Advisory by the Government of the USA

Cambodia has a high crime rate, including street crime. Military weapons and explosives are readily available to criminals despite authorities’ efforts to collect and destroy such weapons. Armed robberies occur frequently in Phnom Penh. Foreign residents and visitors are among the victims. Victims of armed robberies are reminded not to resist their attackers and to surrender their valuables, since any perceived resistance may be met with physical violence, including lethal force.

Local police rarely investigate reports of crime against tourists, and travelers should not expect to recover stolen items.

The U.S. Embassy advises its personnel who travel to the provinces to exercise extreme caution outside the provincial towns at all times. Many rural parts of the country remain without effective policing. Individuals should avoid walking alone after dusk anywhere in Sihanoukville, especially along the waterfront. Some of the beaches are secluded, and the Embassy has received reports that women have been attacked along the Sihanoukville waterfront during the evening hours. Take security precautions when visiting the Siem Reap (Angkor Wat) area. Travelers should be particularly vigilant during annual festivals and at tourist sites in Phnom Penh, Siem Reap, and Sihanoukville, where there have been marked increases in motorcycle “snatch and grab” thefts of bags and purses. In August 2008, the Embassy received reports of unaccompanied U.S. citizen females being robbed at knifepoint during daylight hours in Sihanoukville. Another U.S. citizen female was sexually assaulted in October 2009 while walking alone at night in Kompong Thom province.

Website: travel.state.gov

Cambodia Travel Advisory by the Government of UK

Particular areas where crime levels have been relatively high in recent months have been the riverfront and BKK areas of Phnom Penh, and the beaches and tourist areas of Sihanoukville, although incidents are not confined to these areas. You should be particularly vigilant at night, and in deserted areas, although incidents have occurred at all times of day.

There have also been a small number of rapes and sexual assaults in various locations.

Website: fco.gov.uk

Cambodia Travel Advisory by the Government of Australia

Opportunistic crime is common in Cambodia and the frequency of incidents is increasing. Thieves frequently snatch foreigners’ bags and pick-pocketing is a problem in Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap. Several foreigners have been injured in the course of these incidents, in particular when bags are pulled from passengers on moving motorbike taxis. Bag-snatching, other robberies and assaults often occur during daylight hours.

There have been reports of assaults and armed robberies against foreigners, especially in areas frequented by tourists and expatriate residents, including the Riverfront in Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville (particularly at isolated beaches). You should exercise vigilance when travelling through these areas at all times, but especially after dark.

You should limit night time travel around Phnom Penh, Sihanoukville and Siem Reap to well-lit public areas and travel in groups. At night, travel by car is safer than motorcycle, moto-scooter or cyclo (cycle-rickshaw).

Foreigners have been the target of sexual assault in Cambodia. Due to the high prevalence of HIV/AIDS, victims of violent crime, especially rape, are strongly encouraged to seek immediate medical assistance.

Levels of firearm ownership in Cambodia are high and guns are sometimes used to resolve disputes. There have been reports of traffic disputes resulting in violence involving weapons. Bystanders can get caught up in these disputes. Foreigners have been threatened with handguns for perceived rudeness to local patrons in popular Phnom Penh nightclubs and elsewhere.

Banditry and extortion, including by military and police personnel, continue in some rural areas, particularly at night in areas between Snoul, Kratie and Stung Treng in the north-eastern provinces.

Website: smartraveller.gov.au

Cambodia Travel Advisory by the Government of New Zealand

There has been an increase in violent crime against foreign travellers, particularly in areas frequented by tourists and expatriates including the river front area of Phnom Penh, and at isolated beaches in Sihanoukville. New Zealanders are advised to be vigilant and maintain a high level of personal security awareness at all times.

Website: safetravel.govt.nz

So there you have it. It’s all between the lines of each travel advisory. Some of the most repeated statements include warnings that there have been an increasing number of violent attacks in Cambodia, including sexual attacks (rapes) against foreign nationals and they are urged to exercise an increased degree of caution. Don’t take these warnings lightly unless you intend to stick with visiting the tourist Cambodia, not the real one!

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Few Facts About How Dangerous Cambodia Really Is

There is no law in Cambodia, there is no justice in Cambodia. So what is there to stop anyone from killing you? Nothing! Absolutely nothing! If the person you encounter feels like drawing blood, they will because there is nothing to hold them back. And once you’re lying dead in the ditch, life for everyone in Cambodia, including your killer will go without change, without remorse. Unhindered, undeterred and unpunished, the killer will wait around for another opportunity that offers itself.

There is much confusion about how dangerous Cambodia really is so let’s take a look at a few facts. Taking into account that Cambodia is ruled by the world’s most corrupt government, lead by a vicious dictator Hun Sen who has blood of a million people on his hands should in itself provide quite an image of the country. Yet this is not unusual because the history of Cambodia is the history of violence and by looking at a Cambodian crime track record against foreigners, one can clearly see that little has changed in the last few decades.

Being a lawless country, killing someone in Cambodia carries virtually no punishment and since all of the guns used by Khmer Rouge are still in the country, distributed amongst the populace without any control or regulations, why would anyone hold back? Afterall, even those who killed an estimated 2.5 million people escaped the punishment, so what is a couple of murders compared to the genocide?

But than… how is it possible that some people claim that Cambodia is not dangerous?

It’s simple – if you look at it closely, you will notice that nobody has the balls to go as far as claiming straight up that Cambodia is not dangerous. If anyone does, they always include countless “buts” in each sentence that carries the “not dangerous” statement. One must read between the lines to better understand what they mean when they say that “Cambodia is not dangerous, one just needs to exercise common sense”. So let’s take a closer look at what it means:

Cambodia is not dangerous, but don’t wander the streets alone after dusk

Translation: Being a country that’s close to the equator, daylight hours are identical to the nighttime hours virtually year round. By saying that you shouldn’t wander the streets of Cambodia alone after dark means that you should lock yourself up after 6pm because Cambodia is too dangerous during the 50% of the time you spend there.

Cambodia is not dangerous, but don’t carry more than $15 on you at any given time

Translation: It is almost certain that if you stay in Cambodia long enough, sooner or later you will get mugged, but because of incapable police force, muggings are never reported so people just chalk it up as a terrible experience because that’s about all they can do about it in Cambodia. And since you stand such a high chance of getting mugged with zero chance of recovering your possessions, don’t carry anything expensive on you so that the loss is as minimal as possible.

Cambodia is not dangerous, just avoid confrontations with locals at all costs

Translation: Locals carry guns and are not afraid to use them. They will stare you down, laugh straight into your face and otherwise try to provoke you into a self defense mode so they can enjoy taking another foreigner down. The richer a kid, the more provocative they get.

Cambodia is not any more dangerous than, say… New York

Trust me, getting mugged in Cambodia is different from getting robbed in New York. First of all, unlike in Cambodia, 90% of New York residents don’t spend their time looking out for easy victims of crime they could mug. Likewise unlike in New York, 90% of Cambodians are too lazy to go to work to try to help themselves. They rely on someone else to help them which leaves them with too much time on their hands to kill.

If you do get unlucky and get jumped by a robber who tries to move your valuables from your pockets to his in New York, you stand a good chance that he would take the stuff and run away. Muggings in Cambodia are nothing like that. During the course of an ordeal you will be subjected to an endless violence and even if you manage to diplomatically give them all of your possessions without getting hit, before they leave to move on to the next foreigner, they will either shoot you, or in a better case just hit you with the handle of their gun. This is if you do not try to resist in any way.

If you do try to resist, their natural aggression will come out in all of its glory and you will understand why they refer to Cambodia as the culture of violence. Cambodians are accustomed to violence and live being violent every day. Cambodians seek confrontations and will keep provoking you at all times to give themselves a reason to come at you with violence. If they have nothing else to say, they will tell you that you look too white to be in their country and that it offends them. If you respond to it in any way, you will see them come at you with their naturally violent selves. That is what they want.

Cambodia is not dangerous, but…

So here is the answer to all the riddles. 90% of all visitors to Cambodia will do exactly as stated in the points above. They will get picked up by their hotel at the airport, take taxi everywhere they go to minimize contact with and exposure to the locals, have a guide by them at all times or travel as part of an organized group, etc. As such, the chances of encountering a violent crime Cambodia is drenched with is next to zero. It’s not surprising all of those people will say that they have never felt threatened in Cambodia.

Sticking with popular tourist spots that are always full of foreigners and avoiding self reliant transportation options, such as a bicycle, without ever wandering off the beaten track drops chances of a violent attack to near zero even in a country full of criminals like Cambodia. So if all you care about is an artificial experience, then chances are you will not find Cambodia dangerous. That’s what majority of people do and they come and leave without any major problems. And that’s why you hear so many people say that Cambodia is not dangerous. That’s simply because they were smart and didn’t attempt to meet the real Cambodia which is nothing like what they say. The real Cambodia is without doubt, one of the most dangerous countries in the world.

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Is Travel to Cambodia Safe? My Personal Experience

History of Cambodia is a history of violence. Violence has been part of Cambodian culture and everyday life for centuries and is as prevalent today as it has always been. As a traveller who spent a few months in the country and didn’t go through it locked up behind the safety fence of his hotel, I was exposed to the reality of the Cambodian ways, including its endless violence and crime. I have already shared the stories of other travelers who were victims of violent crime while travelling through Cambodia, and now I would like to share my personal experience and answer the question “Is Travel to Cambodia Safe?” with my own stories.

I stay in amazement when I see certain bloggers or forum members go through lengths to portray Cambodia as a safe country. Whatever the agenda behind such purposeful twists of truth is, I can’t help but express the horror over how public is systematically mislead. It takes savage imagination to call Cambodia a safe country. But let’s not get ahead of ourselves just yet.

The following is nothing less and nothing more than my personal, firsthand experience after 2 months in Cambodia. These are not reports I got from other people, this is what happened to me personally:

My Personal Experience

I came to Cambodia with an open mind. I have been volunteering and supporting this country since the moment I set my foot on its soil and continued doing so unhindered despite the ordeal locals were repeatedly putting me through. Just as most other visitors to the country, I was also told that it was safe to travel in Cambodia. Having traveled through many countries before, including third world, non western countries (6 months on various islands in the Caribbean and 2 years in Eastern Europe – aside from countless other countries) I knew one has to keep his wits together and play it safe at all times, but still I came here believing that Cambodia was reasonably safe.

Theft

The very first time I had an unfortunate encounter was after two weeks in Cambodia at a more remote temple on the grand circle of Angkor. I locked my bike and walked inside the temple when I got that funny feeling that maybe I should have locked my bike against a tree rather than merely locking the wheel against the frame. This was the first time I only had my bicycle locked against itself and sure enough, as I walked out of the temple, I saw little kids who stood around with the banner that they were from an orphanage carrying my bike away. I yelled at them instantly, so they dropped the bike and bolted away. It was particularly disappointing since only minutes prior I had donated money to their orphanage as that’s what they were there for. Needless to say, I left that temple instantly even though I have only seen a small part of it.

Photo: Preah Khan Temple Where Fake Orphanage Kids Tried to Steal my Bike

Photo: Preah Khan Temple Where Fake Orphanage Kids Tried to Steal my Bike

A few days later, I had the bicycle lock keys stolen. I know I should have kept it on my chain along with other keys, where it’s much safer than loosely in my pocket, but it was becoming inconvenient as I rode the bike everywhere so I kept using the keys all the time and pulling the whole bunch on a chain became troublesome. Luckily, when a person who was suspiciously getting close to me unexpectedly left, I checked to see whether I still had all of my belongings and as I saw missing keys, I went right to my bike which was still there (in my vicinity all the time), took it to the shop to pay 2000 riel to get the old lock sawed off and spent additional 5000 to purchase a new, vastly superior lock. Unfortunate event, but I still ended up with little loss so I wasn’t making much of it.

Phnom Penh

It wasn’t until the time to renew my visa came. I wanted to combine it with a short trip to Phnom Penh. My stay in the nation’s capital started with a boy of about 10 years of age trying to steal my wallet. Cambodians, even though skilled thieves are not very smart and he failed to put two and two together so my wallet stayed safely fastened to the chain with the keys on the opposite end. I’ve worn my wallet on the same chain for 20 years and have never had my wallet, or my keys stolen thanks to it. I would have to be either unconscious or threaten with lethal force to lose it. The boy used the moment when I was posing myself to take a picture of hundreds of motorcycles taking off at the traffic lights, pulled the wallet out of my rear pocket and bolted off only to have the wallet ripped out of his hands by the chain that remained sealed in my other pockets thanks to a bunch of keys attached to it. Even though I was focused on the photo I was about to take, I still could feel the wallet coming out of my pocket so I don’t know how exactly he thought he was gonna be successful with this pull. What do you do with a 10 year old when you catch him stealing, though?

Photo: I Was Posing to Take a Photo of the Phnom Penh Traffic When a 10 Year Old Attempted to Steal my Wallet

Photo: I Was Posing to Take a Photo of the Phnom Penh Traffic When a 10 Year Old Attempted to Steal my Wallet

Photo: My Wallet and My Keys Are Connected With a Chain Making Them Difficult to Steal

Photo: My Wallet and My Keys Are Connected With a Chain Making Them Difficult to Steal

Violent Crime

I only had three days to spend in Phnom Penh, but the crime was persistent. The day prior to my intended visit to the immigration office, I was jumped by a man a block away from the riverside, not far from FCC. He came running from behind me and skilfully snatched at my bag in an attempt to steal it. Not willing to part with my $1,600 laptop inside, I managed to grab at the strap as the bag was leaving me and started to fight back for it. It was followed by the thief yelling something in Cambodian, after which I saw several dozen men with metal rods, knives and machete loom out of every direction running towards me. I don’t know what that man yelled at them, but he obviously abused the fact that I was a foreigner so he said something in a language I couldn’t understand to set those people against me. And they surely did.

I have never run that fast in my life. I don’t even know how I escaped getting killed there that day, but I counted my blessings and when the following day came, instead of going to renew my visa, I went to the Vietnamese Embassy and got myself a visa to Vietnam so I could leave Cambodia instantly. I called people from the village where I was volunteering that I would not be back, because I feared for my life and that instead I was going to Vietnam. As I was riding the bike back to my guesthouse from the Vietnamese Embassy, I saw a group of people standing around a bullet riddled body along the road. I didn’t have the camera with me to take pictures of it as I rode across Phnom Penh to spend my whole day dealing with the visa situation, but this has added a seal of approval to my decision to leave the country. Besides, where there is one dead body in Cambodia, there are also people with deadly firearms. I wouldn’t want to join the dead man by being next with a bullets in my head.

Vietnam vs Cambodia

Vietnam was a whole different world from Cambodia. It was a breath of fresh air I desperately needed. Not only has it helped me to relax and get over the terrible experience from Cambodia, it was also a place where locals respect tourists (unlike it is in Cambodia). I could walk into a supermarket, do my thing and walk out – there would be locals there, but no one would start whistling at me from across the street, clapping hands at me and yelling like I’m a cheap whore. It was unbelievably liberating to have this type of treatment after a month of abuse in Cambodia. There were locals out there, but they were minding their own business, leaving me alone to enjoy my time at my own pace.

Then I would go for a walk (I have explored entire Ho Chi Minh on foot) and there would be tens of thousands of motorcycles passing by me every minute, yet I did not get any of them in my face every 3 seconds like it is in Cambodia. It was incredibly refreshing. When I went to highly touristed places, that’s where I would occasionally get asked whether I wanted a ride on a moto, but when I said “no”, it was a “no” and I was not bothered by that person anymore. That’s again unheard of in Cambodia. But what I really liked is that even beggars in Vietnam have respect. Cambodia is the only place I know of where a 10 year old kid would say “Fuck You” straight to your face if you don’t give him any money after he asked for it.

From the beginning I could not understand why treatment of tourists in Vietnam was so different from Cambodia, even though they are so close to each other. Why did people in Vietnam leave me alone? Vietnam is not that rich either and unlike Cambodia, they don’t enjoy extra millions from tourist revenue because they don’t have anything equal to Angkor to attract mass numbers of tourists there. And then it all came together.

I noticed that Vietnam was abuzz with construction. There was work in progress everywhere I looked. People were not bothering me, simply because they were involved with their own lives. Millions on motorcycles are either on the way to work or from work. Unless they are on the way to school or from school or on the way to get something for the family. Either way, they are involved with their lives. They work to provide for their families and as such, they don’t have time or interest to bother tourists. They actually appreciate them and are grateful when they visit their country. I have also encountered unconditional help in Vietnam, which something that doesn’t exist in Cambodia, but that’s a whole different story.

Back in Cambodia

I got caught between a rock and a hard place though. I left Cambodia because it was unsafe and too much crime was being committed against me too often. However I did spend a month there building upon something, using my own finances and knowhow to improve the living conditions of people in a remote village but with my premature departure I left it unfinished. I knew that many people whom I started helping would fall back into poverty if I abandoned them before my work has been finalized.

I started to feel the sense of responsibility for being the only hope for a better life these villagers had, so I decided to give Cambodia another go. I thought – since it was Phnom Penh where my life was put in danger in a violent crime attempt, if I stayed away from there, I should be fine.

More Theft

So I came back to Siem Reap and commuted every day 12 km each way to and from the village which is close to Sras Srang moat, not far from Banteay Kdei temple within the Angkor area. I continued teaching English there for free and started a campaign to raise funds for the purchase of solar panel to electrify the village while preserving the environment. All was fine again for about a week, until we went to celebrate some occasion close to that traffic circle, by the entertainment park in Siem Reap.

Photo: My Cell Phone Was Stolen by an Organized Group of Thieves While We Were Leaving This Concert in Siem Reap

Photo: My Cell Phone Was Stolen by an Organized Group of Thieves While We Were Leaving This Concert in Siem Reap

At one point when we were leaving, the street got extremely congested with traffic and we had to push through a group of people which was further congested by food carts on wheels. I had my camera with me and since I felt three young men pressing at me from behind and poking at my beg, I held the bag firmly with my arm, shoving my other arm inside the bag to hold firmly onto the $5000 camera. These young men kept pressing on me from three sides which appeared as though it was on purpose, but I assumed they were in a rush to get through so I didn’t make a big deal out of it and just continued guarding the camera inside my bag. Then at one point the pushing stopped and the boys were gone. I figured they must have changed their plan as these food carts truly kept everyone stuck and gave up on getting through quickly.

The moment I got out of there, I found the cell phone missing from my pocket. I immediately realized what the purpose on pressing on me and poking at my bag was and realized that teamwork and stealing skills of Cambodians are not as backwards as everything else. They work as a team and know very well how to keep you distracted and focused on something while someone skilled at withdrawing things from pockets does what they are best at. This was a painful experience and took me a while to get over with. It was extremely disappointing as I spent a lot of money in Cambodia, brought in some more from other sources, invested a lot of time and effort to improve the lives of people here and this is what I was getting in return.

Murder Attempt

My faith in Cambodia was broken and despite trying hard, I was having troubles recovering from the disappointment cell phone theft had brought upon me. But the biggest hit was yet to come. A couple of days after my cell phone was stolen, I was riding to the village from Siem Reap where I was staying. It’s a 45 minute bike ride (when you step on it and ride swiftly) and I was almost there. Literally, I only had about 2 more minutes before reaching the turn off to the village.

Feeling good that I was almost there, I saw that man crossing the road. I steered in the opposite direction of his walking, but he seemed to have stopped instead of continuing walking so we could safely dodge each other. As I was getting closer, he snatched at my bag I had hung on the handlebars and pulled at it in an attempt to steal it which was followed by a swing of a machete.

Photo: Camera Bag Attached to Handle Bar Gears Look As Though It Was in a Basket

Photo: Camera Bag Attached to Handle Bar Gears Look As Though It Was in a Basket

I have a bicycle with gears. Unlike most Cambodian bicycles, it does not have a basket above the front wheel. However I have been using gear shifts on both sides of my steering bar as hooks on which to hook my camera bag. So instead of having it strapped around my body, I had it safely hooked on the gear shifts as the bag has a handle which is just wide enough to stretch on both hooks. I realized that when I hooked my bag on the handle bars like that, from a distance it could look like it’s actually a bag placed loosely in the basket which is a standard part of most bikes in Cambodia. That is likely what the man who snatched at it was thinking.

Photo: Bag Handle Stretches Just Enough to Go Over The Gears to Stay Safely Attached to the Bars

Photo: Bag Handle Stretches Just Enough to Go Over The Gears to Stay Safely Attached to the Bars

I cannot describe the horror of the experience. The man grabbed at my bag and yanked at it to run away with it, the bag remained safely attached to my steering bar, but it jerked my bicycle which I had at good speed causing me to fall and nearly splatter on the road. A swing of his machete followed and missed my torso by an inch. Had this one landed, I would have disappeared out of all knowledge like British student Eddie Gibson who came to Cambodia and was never heard from again.

This was a direct murder attempt with intentions to rob me off my bag which I have only avoided by a miracle. The man who attempted to kill me couldn’t have known whether there was anything of value in that bag, but since I was a foreigner and had a bag in an area surrounded by jungle and there were no other vehicles on the road which otherwise sees a fair deal of traffic, he took the opportunity and tried to kill me to steal it. Had he succeeded, he would have just dragged my bloodied corpse into the forest so it rots there until the end of days. Unhindered, the man would be free to continue roaming the roads with his machete waiting for his next encounter.

My guardian angel was by me that day, though. The yank resulted in a complete loss of balance but I have somehow managed to stick my foot down and not splatter, but in that process I scratched it quite badly and bled (especially from the heel) like a stuck pig. I could not believe this. I was almost in the village. Given the proximity to the village, I assumed it could have been either a person from the village I haven’t met yet, or someone who lived reasonably close. Why would they otherwise roam around in the neighbourhood?

When the villagers saw me all bloodied and trembling with fear following the near death experience, they asked me what happened and I told them. They also wanted to know what the man who tried to kill me looked like to possibly identify him, but given that I almost died not expecting it, I was so shaken, the last thing I had on my mind was to take a good look at the guy. Plus, I still had the memory of my last altercation I had with a man who tried to steal my bag in Phnom Penh and that ended up with a group chasing me with deadly weapons. This man tried to kill me. Hurting or not, as soon as I was able to get back on the bike, I darted right off from there not looking back, as if I confronted him, he would likely continue swinging the machete until a hit that disabled me was delivered.

Cambodia IS Dangerous

This basically concluded my stay in Cambodia. I immediately started making plans to change my return ticket to leave asap but Korean Air proved excessively difficult to accommodate such requests when they are made outside of the country of origin. This kept me in Cambodia for a few extra days. I stayed mostly locked in, as from my personal experience, Cambodia is extremely dangerous.

I have been half way across the world, but it took a country like Cambodia for a man to fear for his own life. And these are by no means isolated incidents. Since I have been volunteering within Angkor area and close to one of the main temples (on short circuit which is done by most people who visit the park), I got a chance to meet many tourists with horror stories. It starts with seeing people carrying disposable cameras and asking them why the hell would they come all the way to Angkor with this piece of plastic – and hearing answers that this was their only option since their camera along with the money and passports were stolen, all the way to girls walking out of the temple scared to death, crying because they were just raped inside.

Is travel to Cambodia safe? No it is not. Cambodia is one of the most dangerous destinations in the world, period!

Is Travel to Cambodia Safe? How to Draw Your Own Conclusions

So the question that comes to mind is – then how come there are so many people who insist that Cambodia is safe? Well, at this point, instead of trying to raise any more points to prove my case over theirs, I will leave it up to you to make your own mind up and decide for yourself whether Cambodia is safe or not. And in order to come to such conclusions, you need to know what the people who live in Cambodia are like.

One of the most obvious things I noticed right upon coming to Cambodia are countless banners warning tourists to stay away from child sex tourism. It is forced into everyone’s face by banners throughout the country to a point that it becomes ridiculous. Even if you are someone like me, who would not only ever consider sex with a child, but would not even have it cross their mind, by being constantly reminded about it, it almost seems as though Cambodia wanted to introduce itself as a country with striving sex tourism.

Photo: Child Sex Tourism is Advertised All Over Cambodia

Photo: Child Sex Tourism is Advertised All Over Cambodia

I have spoken with countless people, including the police officers and while there definitely are occasional cases of tourists sexually abusing children in Cambodia, these cases are very sparse. Vast majority of all sexual abuses of children are done by local men – the same men who are responsible for an infamous title attributed to Cambodia – the rape capital of the world. Rapes are extremely common in Cambodia and not only are they never punished, they are never even reported because for one – the police force is a joke and secondly, it is socially and culturally unacceptable for a girl to admit that she had a pre marital sex, even if she was violently forced into it. To sum it up – excessive number of Cambodian men are a bunch of sexually abusive characters who don’t stop at nothing. Not even when it comes to helpless children. This is important to understand when coming to Cambodia and you are unsure after hearing one side claiming that Cambodia is safe, while another claiming that it is dangerous. Just take into an account that it is a country of rapists and draw your conclusions from that.

Photo: Boys and Girls in These Pictures Were Recruited by Khmer Rouge To Act as the Killing Machines. Today They Are 30 Years Older

Photo: Boys and Girls in These Pictures Were Recruited by Khmer Rouge To Act as the Killing Machines. Today They Are 30 Years Older

Aside from being a country of child rapists, Cambodia is also crammed with former Khmer Rouge henchmen. These killing machines who were enlisted as young children to kill on daily basis are now in their 40s and 50s and are as used to kill as they were in their early teens. Just because they took off their Mao hats and put on fake designer shirts it doesn’t mean they forgot how to pull the trigger or hack a head off. Having killed dozens of people since they were kids and never facing any repercussions or punishment for it, these people are all over Cambodia and still have the same guns and explosives they were given when they were recruited to kill. Unpunished and allowed to live freely after countless murders, these men and women are but a small part of a large group of armed and dangerous killers Cambodia is full of. Regardless of whether you believe those who say that Cambodia is safe or those who say that Cambodia is dangerous, by visiting Cambodia you will be entering a country where Khmer Rouge murderers roam freely, equipped with uncontrolled and regulated military grade weapons. Instead of believing one side or another, draw your own conclusions based on facts. Take a close look at the type of people who make up much of the society and the picture should be quite clear.

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Violent Crime Against Tourists in Cambodia

Cambodia is a country with corrupt government so naturally crime prevention is not a priority. Crime prevention is typically not even on an agenda. The result is a lawless country with incapable and underpaid police force. Add to it the fact that Cambodian culture is a culture of violence and you get the picture of a country with super high levels of crime, including violent crime against tourists.

Getting scammed and ripped off on a daily basis is something I won’t even list as a crime against foreigners in Cambodia as petty crime is so frequent, every tourist visiting the country will be subjected to it on every step of their stay. Instead, let’s focus on more serious crimes that happen more often than anyone cares to admit – violent crimes in which foreigners are brutally murdered:

Australian Man John Edward Thompson Clubbed to Death in Sihanoukville

Sihanoukville is a coastal resort town in Cambodia and is well known for being one of the most dangerous places in the world. While majority of Tuk Tuk drivers throughout the entire country are shady, you occasionally get a chance to deal with an honest driver who tries to make his living by offering decent services. You can even find such in Phnom Penh but they don’t exist in Sihanoukville. Virtually every Tuk Tuk driver in Sihanoukville is a crook with the rest of the local populace consisting of some of the most dangerous individuals anywhere in the world.

47 year old John Edward Thompson of New South Wales, Australia was clubbed to death in a robbery with wooden sticks while living in Sihanoukville, where violent crime against tourists is more than common.

Source: Daily Telegraph Australia

19 Year Old British Student Eddie Gibson Went to Cambodia and Never Returned

According to the words of his mother Jo Gibson-Clarke, Eddie Gibson, despite being a teenager was well travelled and very capable. He was on his way to visit Bangkok, Thailand but also went for a short visit to Cambodia and has never been seen or heard from again. Like so many before him and so many after him, Eddie Gibson simply vanished in Cambodia with no one investigating on his disappearance.

As I have explained countless times before, violent crimes without repercussions are easy and frequent in Cambodia. The cost of a human life is low (you can have anyone offed for $50) and guns are plentiful. With former Khmer Rouge henchmen roaming the country freely, still armed with their military grade weaponry and explosives, killing someone is a matter of simply wanting to, or having been paid a little to. The body would be then thrown in the jungle where wild dogs will eat it and no one will ever hear from you again. Cambodian police will not investigate and no one will be brought to justice.

Source: Daily Mail UK

David Mitchell, Owner of Ginger Monkey Bar Murdered in Phnom Penh

37 Year Old David Mitchell – a British owner of a Ginger Monkey bar in Phnom Penh and his girlfriend, 29 year old Jane Nye – a journalist from Wellington, New Zealand were stabbed in an armed robbery by a nymphetamine addict in Cambodia’s capital city. David Mitchell died as a result of vicious stabbings, while Jane Nye who had her throat slashed and got bludgeoned survived and was recovering in the hospital in Bangkok, Thailand.

If you survive a violent attack that near kills you, the first and most obvious thing to do is to remove yourself from Cambodia immediately. You don’t want any more dealings with this murderous nation and besides, if you come to a Cambodian hospital with life threatening wounds, you’ll leave with life threatening wounds and an HIV.

Source: New Zealand National News

French Tourist Jean-Pierre Blouin Killed in Sihanoukville

63 year old Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blouin was found floating in the sea near Ocheteal beach with fatal wounds to the neck, head and chest. His passport and an empty wallet were found nearby.

In an unrelated incident, another Frenchman, the hotel owner in Cambodia was hacked to death with a meat cleaver in his bedroom.

In yet another unrelated incident, a Canadian girl was raped on a beach in Sihanoukville by a Cambodian military police officer in 2004.

Source: Monsters and Critics

Canadian Aid Worker Jiri Zivny Beaten and Left for Dead in Sihanoukville

43 year old Jiri Zivny was a member of the team of volunteers from International Humanitarian Hope Society, a Kamloops, BC, Canada based humanitarian agency that specializes in distribution of vitamins and food to orphanages in Cambodia, Vietnam, China, Thailand and Burma. In mid January, 2009 Jiri Zivny was withdrawing money from an ATM machine in Sihanoukville when he was attacked, brutally beaten and left for dead in a ditch. When he was discovered, he was stripped of all of his possessions, including his clothes and in a coma. It took a while to get him to the hospital where he was later proclaimed dead due to severe head trauma suffered during the attack.

In an attempt to play down the crime (or perhaps in an attempt to come with a fabricated “breaking story” to establish himself as a superior journalist), a news surfaced that according to some Canadian, the murder of Jiri Zivny was a traffic accident. Even though Jiri Zivny’s body had no rash or scratches typical of bike accidents, and had his cell phone, camera, money and clothes disappear with the attack, Cambodian officials are in a major rush to make his brutal murder play down as a traffic accident. Such whitewash is something that could be expected. Cambodian authorities are experts at sweeping the story under the carpet if it could jeopardize visitor numbers.

Source: National Post

Contradicting Statements About Safety in Cambodia

This is the list of just a few documented cases of foreigners – both tourists and expats killed in violent crime attacks in Cambodia. Strangely enough and following truly bad journalism, many reports contain contradicting or downright silly statements regarding safety in Cambodia. For example following statement from the Reuters report about the murder of David Mitchell in Phnom Penh concludes with the following statement:

Despite its reputation for lawlessness, most violence against foreigners in the impoverished southeast nation, which is still recovering from decades of civil war including the Khmer Rouge genocide, is limited to street crime or assault.

Most violence against foreigners is limited to street crime or assault? Hmm… Does that not cover it all, really? Sure there are also foreigners hacked up with meat cleavers in their own bedrooms, like the French hotel owner, but getting violently assaulted in the street is all it takes to get you killed in Cambodia and that’s exactly what happens in this country more often than any politically correct newspaper would like to admit. Tourist safety is in question so let’s stop being politically correct and call a spade a spade. The politically incorrect translation of said statement, without beating about the bush would read:

Foreigners in Cambodia are subjected to considerable danger of being the victims of violent crime.

Then there is an even more ridiculous statement about safety in Cambodia in an article related to the murder of Frenchman Jean-Pierre Blouin who was killed for 2,000 Riel (about $.50). The statement reads:

While muggings are common in Cambodia, where a sense of lawlessness and a gun culture remain after decades of war that ended in 1998, serious attacks on foreigners have been rare.

Wow! So mugging is not a serious crime? Does this reporter mean that unless a person dies, it’s not worthy of mentioning and doesn’t add to how dangerous the country really is? Violent armed robberies are extremely common in Cambodia and just because some people survive them – regardless of how bloodied and near dead they end up – are we not supposed to count them and continue fooling new travellers to Cambodia with statements that Cambodia is otherwise safe?

Many foreigners (including myself) have been and still are subjected to violent assaults in Cambodia, but all know really darn well that reporting the assaults to the Cambodian police is a waste of time. Yet it’s only a waste of time if they are lucky. In a less lucky case, upon reporting, they would be subjected to extortion or ridicule by the police themselves. Thus, foreigners simply chalk it up as a bad experience, try to collect themselves and swallow the pride hoping it will not happen to them again. The scars follow them for the rest of their lives, but there simply is nothing they can do about it in a country like Cambodia. Unless the case involves shockingly gory loss of life, not only will it not be reported to the police, it will not make it to the media at all.

What Causes Violent Crime Against Tourists in Cambodia?

It is important to understand that a country with hundreds of murders each day will not get an international community talking. However if a government arrests just one person outside of standards accepted by the international community, that could cause a massive media backlash. One wrong arrest could result in human rights violations accusations which could result in shrinkage of foreign aid and foreign support for opposition to oust current dictatorship.

Hence for a government of Cambodia it is easier and more “international media friendly” to let violent crime get out of hand, even if it involves tourists, than having any of the criminals prosecuted and put away. Unfortunately, this approach hurts both ordinary Cambodians who needlessly die in the hands of criminals the number of which seem to be growing like mushrooms after rain, as well as foreigners who are far more attractive targets for violent crime than the locals.

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