Preparing a little bit about local culture before you travel to Cambodia is a need that will not only help you avoid unnecessary misunderstanding but will also ingratiate yourself with your hosts. Here we suggest you a few tips which will be useful for your trip.
1. Dress code
Pay attention to local dress rules, especially at religious sites. We understand that the weather condition in Cambodia is quite hot so it can be easily seen Western tourist who do not know well about restrict rules in term of dressing. Make sure you cover upper arms and upper legs and always remove your shoes before entering a temple, as well as any kind of head covering.
2. Meet and greet
Learning how to say “hi” and “thank you” are two basic things before taking a trip. Simple words but you will impress others Cambodian when using their language to introduce yourself. When you beckon someone over, remember to wave your hands with palm down because palm up with fingers raised can be considered as offensive.
3. A woman’s touch
If you are a woman, remember that you are not allowed to touch monks. If you want to give something to the monks, the object should be placed between you two or on the monks’ “receiving cloth”
4. Keep your cool
In this religious country, there are some rule that maybe different from your home. No matter how high your blood pressure rises, you are better not show any signs of aggression, which will lead to intense situations.
5. Deadly chopsticks
It is common to see Cambodian eating by chopsticks in their daily meals. There is always has rules even in eating. Never leave a pair of chopstick sitting vertically in the middle of a rice bowl because it looks very much like the sticks that are burned for the dead. This act is not only forbidden in Cambodia but also is not appreciated anywhere in Asia.
6. Mean feet
When entering in a Cambodian house, you are expected to take your shoes off. It’s rude to point anything bye the bottom of your feet. Never ever point your feet toward anything sacred like an image of Buddha.
7. Hats off
This is considered as an act of showing respect to elderly or other esteemed people such as monks. You can take off your hat and bow your head slightly when meeting them. Do not pat or touch an adult on his head – in Asia, the head is considered the dignity of a man then never play with it.