Dos and Don'ts in Cambodia

Cambodia is a peaceful and friendly country. However, Cambodians are quite close and conservative so you should bear in mind some do’s and don’ts advice to have a joyful Cambodia Holiday.

Dos in Cambodia

- Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks because most of Cambodians live in the village and they are quite shy. Taking photos of Cambodian and monk without permission might be considered rude.

- Remove your shoes when entering a place of worship such as a pagoda or temple. Additionally, visitors should dress appropriately when inside a religious site (upper arms and legs should be covered, hats removed) to show respect to locals’ belief.

- Remove your shoes before entering someone’s house to show respect to house’s owner. Besides, Cambodian’s do not have the habit of wearing shoes inside the house.

- Receive things from the other (especially the old and monk) with both hands to show respect.

- Bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest (known as “Sampeah”) as a respectful way of greeting.

- Use one hand to cover your mouth when using a toothpick at the table to show politeness.

- Bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert, or flowers if you are invited to dine with a Cambodian family

- Give genuine compliments to people when merited.

- Show your respect to the elders. Acknowledge an elder's status by allowing them to walk first, take a lead or control the conversation 

- Do wait for the monks and the eldest sit first to show the respect to the monks and the elders.

Remove your shoes before entering a house

Don'ts in Cambodia 

- Don't use your feet to point at someone. It will be considered rude. You may tuck your feet beneath when seated so that you do not point at someone.

- Don't touch a Cambodian person on the head, even children. It violates common sense of Cambodians. 

- Don't begin eating if you are a guest at a dinner and the host has yet to take a bite. It will be considered impolite. 

- Women don't touch male monks or hand something directly to them. They will feel awkward.

- Don't show intimate action to the public.

- Don't point with your index finger. You may use your right-hand palm.

- Don't sit higher than seated monks to show the respect to the monks.

- Don't make loud inside the temples to show the respect to the religious places. 

- Don't give money to children or buy things from them in the tourist area. By doing that you may keep them more on the streets. The children or their parents may think that is more useful to spending time begging or selling things than going to the school.

Enjoy your Cambodia Holiday!

Don't wear tank-top in Pagoda

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