Each country has its own unique characteristics, culture that visitors should know in order have the safe and enjoyable trip so people often say “When in Rome, do as the Romans do”. To help you understand more about culture as well as people in Cambodia, in this post, we will list some things that you may not know about this country.
Greeting by Sompiah
For those who have social status equal or higher than you, you should greet them by “Sompiah” style. Sompiah is a greeting form of Khmer people by putting hands together as if you are praying while keeping your head down. Today, although handshake is a popular and acceptable greeting form, you still should greet by Sompiah before handshaking.
Etiquettes of Cambodians
- Don’t point directly at someone or touch someone’s head and hair. You also have to notice when seated on the ground, tuck your feet beneath you so that they do not point at someone.
- Remember to take off your hat and shoes when entering the temple or local’s house. Don’t sit higher than a monk and women are not allowed to touch the monk.
- Don’t express anger because this is a sign of lack of control and very impolite. In any situation, you should keep smile and calm.
Well-dresses when visiting temple
Dress appropriately when entering the temple or Royal Palace in Phnom Penh. You also should bring a karma while traveling in Cambodia. Krama is a kind of scarf of Cambodian, made of cotton that you can wrap around your head and neck which protects you from sun and dust. Cambodia people also use karma to carry baby, decorate table, chair, lamp,…
When hiring motorbike, tuk tuk or cyclo, remember to bargain first. There is no taxi in Cambodia even in the crowded tourist destinations such as Siem Reap or Phnom Penh. The popular mean of transportation of most visitors is tuk tuk and you also do not feel surprised if you see people sitting on the roof of pickup trucks because they think sitting on the roof will be safe and cheaper.
You can use USD in Cambodia
The currency in Cambodia is Riel but dollars are also widely used and accepted in most of places. So, you do not need to convert money before traveling to this country. Although credit card is accepted, you should carry and pay by cash because most travel services in Cambodia only accept cash payments. Make sure your money is not crumpled and dirty.
English speaking ability of local people
The ability to speak English of native people is also thing can make visitors surprised. You will not be afraid to be lost because you can ask anyone, even drivers or salesman, all can communicate in English fluently.
Travel magazines are free
Hotels, entertainment or shopping centers often offer free travel magazines for tourists, especially the periodical about Angkor in Siem Reap. Don’t be afraid to take because the pictures in the magazines are very nice, providing a lot of useful information in English.
Spiders, grasshoppers, crickets,… are all Cambodian favorite dishes. You will find many vendors selling all sorts of grilled insects and reptiles on the street. Choose from typical Cambodian street foods like grasshoppers, worms, spiders, and snakes. Take a deep breath and give it a try!
Houses in Siem Reap are lower than Angkor Wat
Visiting Siem Reap, travelers will find that their houses are always built lower than Angkor Wat even they are rich and can build a taller house. This is a unique custom in here to avoid “breaking a taboo” in the temples – where the gods living.
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