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DOs and DON’Ts in Cambodia

People in Cambodia are well-known for their hospitality and warmth. Out of respect, visitors to the Kingdom should take care to observe local customs and practices. You may find it useful to familiarize yourself with the following common dos and don'ts before embarking on your trip to Cambodia.

DOs in Cambodia

  • Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks.
  • It is customary to 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).
  • It is respectful to remove your shoes when entering someone’s home.
  • Though not always expected, a respectful way of greeting another individual is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest (known as “Sampeah”).
  • If invited to dine in a Cambodian family’s home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert, or flowers.
  • If invited to attend a Cambodian wedding, it is customary to bring cash as a wedding gift.
  • When using a toothpick at the table, use one hand to cover your mouth.
  • Keep business cards ready, and present them with both hands. Accept business cards with both hands.

DON'Ts in Cambodia

  • Don't use your feet to point at someone.
  • Don't touch a Cambodian person on the head.
  • Don't begin eating if you are a guest at a dinner and the host has yet to take a bite.
  • Women should never touch male monks or hand something directly to them.
  • Keep public displays of affection to a respectful minimum.

Commonsense Practices

  • Do not litter; keep our community clean and safe
  • Plastic bags can be hazardous; dispose them properly
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