No matter from where you are, what culture you come from, you always have some routines that can cause offense somewhere in different corners of the world. Therefore, one of the most important you should include in your Cambodia tour packages is this prime on the cultures mistakes in this country.
Ask permission before taking photo with locals
Even though Phnom Penh and Siem Reap are well adjusted to tourist behaviors, people living in other rural areas are more difficult. Therefore, always ask permission before you take somebody’s picture, as many in the more remote areas do not like to be photographed. Moreover some in the urban areas may be great scampers, they can easily take pictures with you then ask for payment.
|Ask permission before taking photo with locals|
Dress for women is more conservative in Cambodia. While shorts are now acceptable in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap, it is more respectful to wear knee length shorts or trousers when outside of these areas. This is important everywhere, but especially at the temples. The temples are sacred places of worship, and although you will see many tourists dressed inappropriately here, this is considered to be extremely disrespectful.
Children in Cambodia
Groups of young children can be found everywhere in Cambodia and many travellers feel ‘pestered’ by them to purchase their friendship bracelets and other wares. However, it’s often the case that children enjoy the chance to practice their English on you- and by asking them their names and ages a conversation is likely to develop where the ‘hard sell’ is forgotten.
The Political Issue
The Khmer Rouge issue is a very delicate one, and one which Cambodians generally prefer not to talk about. However, if you approach it with politeness, they’ll gladly respond.
Going barefoot outside
It is a common sense that Asian citizens always take off their shoes upon entering a house. They believe that going bare foot is good for health because it allows the relexology pressure points in your feet be stimulated. However it is also a surprise for me that Cambodia also hate someone go on bare feet then walk back inside their house with dirty feet. Frankly, the streets in Cambodia are quite grotty, so it is understandable to take your shoes off in order not to track all that dirt and grime inside.
Never play “Duck Duck Goose” in front of Cambodians
One of my Australian friends told me a story after their trip to Cambodia, which was about a game named “Duck Duck Goose”. In this game, participants sitting in a circle while one person would walk around to tap anyone who said either “Duck” or “Goose”. Well, it seemed to be a harmless game for children, but everyone in the train station looked at them with crooked eyes when they played this game. And then he realized that his family did make a cultural mistake. In Cambodia and other Asian countries, touching anyone on the head, where the spirit is considered to reside, is considered a personal insult to the person that you’re touching and perhaps even to his ancestors.
Pointing with your feet
Besides touching others’ heads with your hands, pointing with your foot is another important taboo. As for example, I will tell you my incident when I visited the Killing Fields near Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The Killing Fields are full of so shocked, horrified and sickened that I wanted to observe and shared with my friend, Sarah… with my foot. Our tour guide noticed and just said to me: “The body of my uncle was buried here somewhere” then I realized that I had done something disrespectful to not only his uncle but also someone’s uncle, aunt father or mothers remains in this sombre places. It took me a long time to live in guilty for that mistake.
Pointing with your feet
Don’t offer change, gifts or objects with your left hand
In South East Asia, in general, passing or accepting anything with your left hand is unacceptable. To avoid being taken offence for your thoughtless behaviors, you can keep your left hand go higher than the elbow when receive something. The higher the left hand is resting on the right arm, the more respective you are. Nevertheless, you can also accept with both hands. Thankfully this is one of those customs that you won’t get driven out of a shop for not following. But you will gain more respect if you do follow it.
Cambodia is such an attractive destination that every travellers won’t never miss. Let’s pack your back and gear up for the trip to Cambodia. We at VietnamTourPedia.com will provide your the best tour services, which helps you create the best memories yourself.
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