The Dutch government relaxed their travel warning from “orange” to “yellow” for Cambodia’s Oddar Meanchey and Preah Vihear provinces, citing an ease in border disputes with Thailand – though the government is now admonishing tourists in the Kingdom not to “comment” on politics or culture due to the tense political situation.
The security risk in the two provinces stemmed from border clashes with Thailand, though the area has now been quiet for years. As such, the Netherlands’ travel warning was reduced from “only travel if necessary” to “be careful of security risks”.
But while relations with Thailand had improved, the political situation inside of Cambodia remains tense. Citing the arrest of opposition leader Kem Sokha, the dissolution of his Cambodia National Rescue Party and upcoming elections in July, the Netherlands is advising citizens in Cambodia to avoid political gatherings and protests.
However, Ho Vandy, secretary-general of the Cambodia National Tourism Alliance, said he did not expect tourists to get into trouble over political speech as he had not seen “any warning from the Ministry of Interior”. On the contrary, he said, tourists should “give feedback” if they “see bad things”.