The main reason for tourists to visit Siem Reap of course are the world famous Temples of Angkor.
And yes, they are a truly ‘must see’ in Cambodia. But they’re not only a top tourist attraction, they’re a sacred, religious site, too.
So, you should know how to behave.
Here are a few simple rules (that you would obey in your home country and this being a tropical country doesn’t make it different):
- No offending clothes (in simple words: exposing too much flesh). So: no shorts, no tank tops, no ‘wife beaters’ (or whatever you call them). Just decent clothing. A T-shirt is OK, a singlet is not.
- NO smoking! I’m an addicted smoker myself, but I wouldn’t think of smoking when entering the temple sites. Oh, and of course no littering (well, would you do that anywhere else?)
- Be calm and respectful, so no shouting, no loud conversations
- DO NOT TOUCH ANYTHING! You might think that the one touch of you doesn’t make a difference, but when millions of others think the same: yes, it will damage the historical structure. So, just don’t!
- Of course you can climb the steps of temples, but do not climb on any other parts. Respect the signs that say: “Climbing prohibited”
- Be respectful to monks. Touching a monk is a BIG no-no! Want to take pictures with a monk? Ask their permission first and respect when they decline.
- And, as anywhere else in Cambodia: do not give money or candy to kids, even if they seem to be desperate beggars (read more: THINK Child Safe).
Want to read the Angkor Code of Conduct in your language? Here are the links:
Here is a video explaining the Code of Conduct in Angkor Historical Site: