Cambodia is one of the countries in Southeast Asia which most of the visitors don’t put on top of there travelling list. Cambodia’s history is of colonization, brutal civil wars, land mines left around Cambodia that affects most tourists’ perception of Cambodia.
However, recently Cambodia has grown into a country with a wonderful culture and natural landscapes such as Angkor Wat and the Cambodians want to welcome each visitor. Still, you need to understand what not to do in Cambodia so you can get the best experience visiting when Cambodia.
Bringing Up a Sensitive Subject About Cambodia’s Past
As mentioned above, Cambodia has a painful history. Many people lost their families and friends due to the brutal wars.
So, don’t every try to bring sensitive subjects such as wars, violence, politics, or even the Khmer Rouge. Don’t even also wear clothes or an attribute that depict those issues.
Doing These Bad Etiquettes
Cambodians are people who respect visitors who also respect their customs. So, not been aware of the negative etiquettes can cause accidental offense at some point.
For example, don’t ever touch someone’s head, even children. Don’t raise your feet high, show the bottom of your feet and use your left hand to hand something. Don’t also ever pointing something with your index finger because it is considered rude.
Furthermore, everyone doesn’t like to be demeaned by anyone, including Cambodians. Although you are doing unintended jokes of their outdated infrastructure but it can come across negatively and get you into trouble.
As you know, Cambodia is still in the process of developing their country after the wars.
Not Dressing Properly When Visiting the Temples
Angkor Wat and other temples are the main tourist attractions in Cambodia. Since temples are shrines for Cambodians’ worship, you need to show respect. Not only by your attitude but also by how you are dressing.
Although most tourists wear shorts to deal with the heat but don’t wear them during your visit in the temples. Wear clothes conservatively or something that don’t too revealing.
Moreover, during your visit temples, don’t talk loudly and rude. Show your respect to the Buddha statue. Don’t touch it, take photos without permission and turn your back to the statue while taking selfie.
When coming inside the worship area in the temples, always removes your shoes and hats.
Buying From or Giving Money to Begging Kids
Wars have directly affected the high poverty in Cambodia. So, there’s no wonder there is a lot of begging kids, orphanages and beggars on the street with missing legs and arms. Although there is a lot of centers to help with getting employment for these people but you should be still careful.
Moreover, there are also orphanages who exploit the children to work for donations. So, when you find children selling goods such as candy, postcards, handicrafts or other stuff, just don’t buy from them. Giving them is only a way to support their way of living by begging and continue the cycle of poverty.
If you really want to give a donation, then give it to the right organization or an official government organisation.
Finally, you should learn everything about what you should do and don’t before visiting Cambodia is a must preparation. It is your decision whether you want to visit Cambodia or stay at home. But, it is undeniable that you should do you homework on the do’s and don’ts when in Cambodia but this will help you can make the most out of your trip to Cambodia.
And that’s it for now! I’d love if this post on the beginner’s guide of what not to do in Cambodia was helpful to you. Let me know if you have any questions and let me know if you go.