4 Tips on appliance use in Cambodia

Psar Thmei. Hair dryer. It came home with me cuz my hair is in the growing pains stage and needs assistance.

Forty seconds into my first use of this death contraption I smell rubber. Mind you, these events occurred in a split nanosecond just a tad ahead of reflexes, lest y’all fancy some darwinian goal of mine to improve the human genome.

Air came out of all the holes of the main unit. The cord overheated, burned my arm, and melted plastic dropped on my bare foot. A small plastic clip at the intake in the back of the unit popped loose and pieces of broken filter screen were sucked into the motor. After a small explosion at the outlet where the appliance was plugged into, sparks flew and the heating element burst into flames.

Oh and my hair caught fire so I dropped the flaming gizmo in the sink.

I’m no longer growing my hair.

Tips for using electronics and appliances in Cambodia:

1. Appliances in the market are discarded products from Chinese factories that did not pass safety inspections and quality control. Don’t waste your money (although in 2005 there were few options).

2. Cambodia’s voltage is 220AC, 50HZ. The plugs are not standardised and due to imports from Vietnam and Thailand, all sorts of variations exist. Use an adapter.

3. Use a converter plus surge protector.

4. Most electrical outlets are not grounded. Electrical systems in new buildings constructed in 2007 onwards have a better chance of complying with international safety standards but it is not mandatory. If anyone has a tip for how to deal with this, I am happy to hear it, especially for computers.


  1. Diepiriye says

    Did you really burn your hair? What? Wow!

Speak Your Mind


This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.