Customs, traditions and etiquette of Cambodia



Recognized for its excellent temples of Phnom Penh close to Siem Reap, Cambodia is likely one of the hottest nations in Southeast Asia for guests from around the globe. Not solely that, however there are lovely stretches of shoreline and seemingly unspoiled islands off its southern coast, merely including to the intrigue and curiosity that this distinctive and exquisite nation arouses amongst those that enterprise right here.

Sadly, Cambodia additionally has a particularly bleak historical past, primarily partly due to the brutal and bloody Khmer Rouge regime that lasted from 1975 to 1979, throughout which it murdered hundreds of thousands of Cambodians in chilly blood. In reality, it’s believed that individuals of a sure age in Cambodia right now (about one to 2 generations) had been straight affected or know somebody who was straight affected by the Cambodian genocide from the mid to late 70s. The consequence made political dialogue uncomfortable for a lot of Cambodians.

Touring to Cambodia could be a daunting prospect for a lot of given the historical past, however it’s not obligatory. Now we have put collectively this convenient information to navigate the customs and traditions of Cambodia in addition to a number of the labels in an effort to put together to your journey to this distinctive, culturally wealthy and wonderful nation with Explorient throughout one in all our visits. in Cambodia.

Cambodia – A rustic of contrasts

Cambodia is definitely a rustic of contrasts – as evidenced by its extra trendy capital of Phnom Penh – which is residence to glass-edged skyscrapers, typically slums neighboring to coastal hippy villages alongside the southern seashores, to the south. ; former capital of the Khmer kingdom of Siem Reap. All through the nation, you’ll uncover a myriad of various traditions and customs by way of catering, faith and life typically. Listed below are a number of the commonest ones you'll possible come throughout when exploring this lovely nation on the exploratory tour of the Explorient Mekong Delta.

Keep calm

We're not speaking about temperature, though it's additionally a good suggestion when the mercury soars through the summer time months, typically reaching 45 ° C. Staying cool about your temper is an integral a part of the idea of save face. It’s completely unacceptable to lose your mood and shout or belittle individuals in public – as with many Cambodia's neighbors. Basically, being impetuous and abrasive will lose you a whole lot of respect whereas being in temper, form and calm, you’ll get the identical factor in return. Listed below are some fascinating (and straightforward!) Methods to save lots of face in Cambodia.

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When haggling, give a little bit extra on the ultimate value. You may as well come again to the shop to purchase one thing later.All the time politely refuse a present at first or two, however at all times settle for it on the finish and obtain it with each fingers.You’ll want to be genuine while you praise and switch the compliments in direction of your self away from your self to another person. Above all, keep humble.

Palms, toes, heads

As in different nations within the area, the toes are thought of the dirtiest components of the physique and shouldn’t be pointed at anybody and care ought to be taken to not present the soles of your toes, even by chance, at an particular person or direct them to a sacred place. or a statue, like a temple or a Buddha. This contains sitting casually together with your legs stretched out. If unsure, you may cowl your decrease legs and toes with a shawl or sarong if it’s a must to sit that manner, if not, the popular strategies are cross-legged or in your knees in case you can. The pinnacle is taken into account essentially the most sacred and necessary a part of the physique as a result of that is the place the soul or consciousness lives, and subsequently touching the top of anybody – even youngsters – ought to be prevented. When it comes to fingers, the left is taken into account soiled whereas the proper is for consuming and passing issues to individuals, however when giving or receiving issues, it have to be completed with each fingers.

The previous

Whereas Cambodia has a considerably sordid historical past which might arouse the curiosity of vacationers, it’s advisable to keep away from asking questions or speaking about them frankly to keep away from disturbing anybody. For curious vacationers of the Cambodian genocide, you may go to locations like Killing Fields or S21 (Tuol Sleng), an old-fashioned turned jail in central Phnom Penh the place the Khmer Rouge would torture and kill many harmless Cambodians. . You'll go to Tuol Sleng and the Demise Fields throughout your Cambodia tour on the Impressions of Explorient Cambodia tour, a tour you'll be speaking about for years.

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As in Thailand with wai, in Cambodia, the standard greeting is called som pas. They’re basically the identical, the place you clasp your fingers collectively in a prayer place and bow barely. Some Cambodians additionally go for the western handshake, however it is going to be fairly tender and never agency as we normally count on within the west, so don't be shocked to get a tender handshake. One of the best typical response to a greeting from a Cambodian – be it a handshake or a som not – is to return the greeting in the identical manner … or at the very least in a sure manner. Failure to return a greeting to Cambodia is taken into account extraordinarily impolite.


Whereas many individuals can put on shorts in Cambodia, that is the place the acceptance of western apparel ends. Guests ought to take care to not present an excessive amount of pores and skin or to put on revealing clothes comparable to tight pants, leggings, yoga pants, quick shorts, mini skirts and others and in addition to not put on something of non secular symbolism – particularly the Buddha – above. Swimwear seems nice on the seashore, however preserve it for the seashore. Garments on the town have to be respectful and canopy the shoulders and others. Within the temples, make sure that to cowl the shoulders and knees. Put on a shawl or sarong if needed. It may well get highly regarded in Cambodia, like in lots of neighboring nations, so protecting up could appear counterintuitive, however it could really assist defend you from the solar's rays and supply shade. Be sure that to pack properly earlier than your Angkor Wat exploration tour with Explorient and embrace longer garments for extra consolation.


The monks

Conversing with monks is likely one of the most fascinating issues you may expertise in South East Asia and lots of of them like to speak to foreigners and have a superb understanding of English due to the excellent schooling they obtain by way of their temples. The final rule is to comply with the instance of the monk. If he’s sitting, sit down earlier than you begin a dialog and attempt to sit decrease than them. Ladies are allowed to talk to the monks however mustn’t ever transmit something on to them. Lastly, monks don’t eat within the afternoon, so watch out to not devour meals or drink when conversing with a monk out of respect.

Temples and journeys

Whenever you enter the temples, take off the sneakers and depart them outdoors. Observe everybody else's instance – while you see a bunch of sneakers, it is a good indication that your sneakers ought to be a part of these of the bunch. Temples are sacred locations, so you should definitely flip your cellphone on with headphones eliminated and respect peace and serenity by not talking loudly, particularly since there could also be individuals who meditate or pray. Ask earlier than photographing something, and by no means contact the statuary current or flip your again on the Buddha statue. Additionally be sure you are appropriately dressed for temple exploration – even Angkor Wat while you go to the Indochina Explorient circuit to expertise these beautiful temples up shut and private.

Right here you can find a number of the most delicate factors of Cambodian etiquette and customs to arrange you to your journey on this lovely, heat and welcoming nation. With a little bit bit of knowledge beneath your belt, you need to be capable of get began and revel in your whole excursions and adventures with Explorient on our spectacular tour of Indochina.


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