Cambodia Do’s and Dont’s

In case you are planning to go to c for work or other purposes, you need to be aware of the country’s dos and don’ts. These things will guide you to slowly adapt to your new environment. Also, knowing the dos and don’ts will allow you to see through cultural glasses. If you are not used to one behavior, you will start accepting it once you are in Cambodia because you know that the particular behavior is acceptable there. Also, the “don’ts” are the things that you should avoid. You will save yourself from a lot of trouble if you know the actions that are considered rude in the country.

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To help you know more about Cambodia’s dos and don’ts, we shared in this article the things that you should consider. We listed here the dos and don’ts of the country in general. Most of these things are related to etiquette. If you are successful in doing and avoiding these actions, you will have a good life in Cambodia despite being there for the first time.

So, what are Cambodia’s dos and don’ts? How do you behave in that country?

dos and donts in cambodia

How to Behave when you Visit Cambodia?

You will know how to behave in Cambodia if you learn its dos and don’ts. While there are a lot of things to learn, you need to focus more on the basic ones. As you live in the country, you will slowly discover more things which you can also share with your friends and family. Here are the dos and don’ts in Cambodia.

Dos in Cambodia

The dos are usually the things that you can freely do in a given country. Here are the actions you can practice in Cambodia.

  • Do take your shoes off when entering a house or other premises in Cambodia. Feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body in the country. This is why most Cambodians and other tourists wear slippers and slip-on shoes, so they can easily remove it when entering an establishment in the country.
  • Do speak Cambodia’s local language. Don’t worry about not being able to pronounce the local language perfectly. Most locals won’t laugh at you. They will instead appreciate that you are trying to learn their language.
  • Do bargain. When shopping for local products, you may bargain with vendors. Although this is not a good practice for Westerners, this is acceptable in Cambodia. If you don’t practice this, you will end up paying a high price.
  • Do eat using your right hand. Eating and conducting business are usually done using the right hands. The left hand is meant for dirty activities like toilet functions. Handle things to other people using your right hand.
  • Do dress modestly. When dressing, make sure to wear clothes that are not too revealing, unless you are going to the beach. If not, dress as decently as possible. Wear dresses, pants, blouses, collared shirts, shoes, and comfortable sandals.
  • Do say thank you. Always say thank you to anyone who’s done something good to you. Show your gratitude.

Those are the basic things that can guide you so that you can communicate well with the people in Cambodia. In case of doubt, just go back to this list and remember the basic etiquette.

Don’ts in Cambodia

Now, let’s go to the things that you should avoid when you go to Cambodia. If there are things you can practice, there are also certain behaviors that you should watch out for. Here are the actions that you should consider not doing in Cambodia.

  • Don’t touch monks. Especially if you are a woman. Monks are considered religiously highly in Cambodia. There are ways on how you can interact with them but it’s recommended not to talk to them. Avoid touching them if you must, including their robes.
  • Don’t bring up sensitive topics. You should avoid bringing up sensitive topics such as violence, war, and politics. Cambodia has a bad history with Americans. Being an American is not something to be too proud of. Keep it low-key and avoid sensitive topics.
  • Don’t wear too revealing clothes. If you are going out, try not to wear too skimpy clothes. The weather in Cambodia may be too hot but it’s not an excuse to wear skimpy clothes.
  • Don’t show a public display of affection. Cambodians are known to be conservative. If you need to show affection to your partner, do it in private. Avoid showing public displays of affection especially when you are in a public area.
  • Don’t point at someone. Like in other countries, pointing at someone is rude behavior in Cambodia. Use your palm or your whole hands when showing something to someone.
  • Don’t touch someone’s hair. If feet are considered the dirtiest part of the body, the head or the hair is the highest one. Avoid touching someone’s hair or head when in Cambodia.
  • Don’t use your left hand when paying or handing objects to someone. You must avoid using your left hand to hand objects to someone. Left hands are considered used for toilet functions in the country.

Tips when going to Cambodia for the first time

If this is your first time going to Cambodia and you can’t memorize all the acceptable behavior, try to be as observant as you can. This will help you learn other things aside from what is mentioned in this article. Observe the behavior of Cambodians when you are outside. And, observe the basic etiquette when talking to someone. For example, saying thank you and smiling.

Buy a book about Cambodia’s culture and traditions. This will help you decode the actions or behavior that are new to you. If you are staying in Cambodia for a long time, always allocate time to learn its culture and tradition. If you do this, you will have an easy time adjusting to the new environment. You will also get used to how Cambodians behave. It takes efforts from you to know more about the country, including the dos and don’ts that you should always bear in mind.

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