Behaviour in Cambodia – 18 tips

  1. The people of Cambodia are very friendly. Those who encounter them friendly, they will gladly offer assistance.
  2. Loud voices and wild gesturing is the Cambodians strange and frighten them.
  3. Basically, the clothes should be covered, meaning a respectful attitude towards the Cambodian culture. Topless T-shirts and short shorts are inappropriate, especially in the Temples of Angkor Wat. Above all, this applies to free upper body in men and midriff shirts in women. More info in the Code of Conduct.
  4. In temples and pagodas headgear and sunglasses are decreasing.
  5. At the Welcome Cambodians do not give the hand but bring in more hands in front of chest in prayer position together. The more respect one pays to the other, the farther up the hands are folded – right up to the end – and also a little bow.
  6. When sitting, the feet should be directed neither to a Buddha nor to any other person. It is also important that you do not sit higher than older people.
  7. As a Buddhist country, the head is sacred in Cambodia, because here are the flames out of life. Never touch another on the head.
  8. Women should not touch monks.
  9. If a person waving to zoom, should pay attention to that the back of the hand facing upward. However, it should be avoided if possible completely on the beckoning, because it can also be compared with a loss of face.
  10. Kissing, hugging, expressive gestures and loud cries do not like being seen in public, because this is not used in Cambodia and leads to irritation.
  11. We locals like to take a picture, they should ask for permission first.
  12. For many Cambodians, photography is a serious thing. Therefore, they usually look seriously at the camera. They should not move to smile.
  13. Especially in tourist areas such as Siem Reap, it happens that children beg for money. Consider: Cambodia is one of the poorest countries in the world. It is generally not recommended to give the children any money because they would otherwise not go to school, but only beg for money.
  14. Most Cambodians bathe with T-shirt and pants, especially the women. This must be respected, even if you want to take a bath in the nearby area by locals and not to go even in the skimpiest bikini into the water, or to sunbathe.
  15. Once confined spaces are entered, the shoes are taking off. This is especially true for pagodas and when you should be invited in families.
  16. Cambodians love it when you try to speak their language. Also they like to test their own knowledge and are happy when they can learn something.
  17. Information of Cambodians are to consider some with caution. If they do not know something, they tell prefer something wrong, than nothing. This has to do with the avoidance of loss of face. They also do not want to disappoint.
  18. If you hurt yourself, then you should not be surprised when people laugh. This is not a laughing at, on the contrary: With laughter is attempted in Asia, to take away the pain and bring the others quickly on positive thoughts.

More info for your stay in Siem Reap

In these articles, you can find further information here on visit Angkor for your stay in Siem Reap:

Like what you read? Why not subscribe to my blog. Just enter your e-mail address and you’ll have all new posts sent directly to your mailbox.

Delivered by Google FeedBurner

Did you enjoy reading the post? Why not follow Visit Angkor on Facebook, where you’ll find more articles about Cambodia? I’d also be happy to hear your reviews and comments– the asterisks are directly under this text. Thank you so much :-)



  1. Seriously, many Cambodians are extremely loud. My Cambodian coworkers shout across the office, jump out and scare each other, sing loudly, play-fight, etc. Also my neighbors play their music at ear shattering volumes and are constantly yelling, howling and laughing!

    1. Ah ok, maybe I did not make it clear. Was meant in puplic, not when Khmer are together with their family, friends, colleagues or so. About music: Oh yes, I agree!
      Best :) Inga

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *