Angkor Wat, Cambodia

Can I Drink Tap Water in Cambodia?

Cambodia is a little confusing when it comes to the safety of tap water. Officially, the water running through the mains supply in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is safe to drink. However, Cambodian buildings tend to have large storage tanks that mains water is pumped into before it reaches the tap. These tanks can be breeding grounds for a range of bacteria and viruses. 

It’s always recommended to ask at your accommodation whether the tap water is drinkable. Newer buildings may not have storage tanks, although installing them is still a relatively common practice. Outside of Cambodia’s major cities, tap water should be avoided. 

You may notice tap water in Cambodia has a distinct smell of chlorine which can also affect the taste. Chlorine is used as a disinfectant, so water that smells this way should be safe to drink, however, plenty of people don’t like the taste. 

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Can I Brush My Teeth With Tap Water in Cambodia?

In Cambodia’s major cities, you can brush your teeth with tap water. However, in more rural locations, you should use bottled or filtered water to be safe. 

Tooth Brush
Brushing your teeth with tap water in Cambodia is safe in some locations!

Can I Wash My Face With Tap Water in Cambodia?

Yes, you can wash your face with tap water in Cambodia. Just be careful not to swallow any in rural locations. 

Do Locals in Cambodia Drink Tap Water?

Locals in Cambodia tend to stick to bottled water or have water filters installed in their homes. While the water in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap is considered safe, it can taste of chlorine. 

There is also distrust in the water infrastructure since the days of the Khmer Rouge when the water systems were disrupted by Pol Pot’s regime. 

Is Ice in Cambodia Safe?

Yes, ice in Cambodia is generally safe to consume. Most ice comes from ice factories, so look out for cylindrical shape ice cubes with a hole in the middle – these are made from clean water. 

Ice In Water
You can take ice in your drinks in Cambodia!

Are There Water Dispensers in Cambodia?

Cambodia doesn’t have the same water refill points as other Southeast Asian countries like Thailand. However, that’s not to say you can’t refill your water bottles safely in the country. 

Refill Not Landfill is an initiative set up by two people in Cambodia and has now spread across the world. You can purchase an aluminium bottle from them, then have access to water refill points across the country – although they’re most common in Siem Reap and Phnom Penh. 

Most refill points are in cafes, restaurants, bars and hotels but you can find them all easily using the interactive map on RFNL’s website. 

Bottled Water in Cambodia

Bottled water in Cambodia is a huge industry. You’ll see well-known brands like Fiji and Evian, as well as local companies selling bottled water. It’s worth noting, however, that not all bottled water in Cambodia is safe. It’s worth sticking to well known water brands if you’re concerned about the quality of the water. 

Can I Use a Filtered Water Bottle in Cambodia?

Yes, you can use a filtered water bottle to clean tap water in Cambodia. We always recommend opting for a water purifier like the Grayl UltraPress which removes viruses, as well as bacteria and protozoa from your water. Some filters only remove bacteria and protozoa but allow viruses to slip through. 

Tap Water in Cambodia – Is It Drinkable?

Officially, tap water in Cambodia’s two largest cities is considered safe to drink. However, water is sometimes stored in large tanks within the buildings. These tanks can be a breeding ground for dangerous bacteria and viruses. It’s safer to avoid tap water in Cambodia unless it’s been treated first.

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