The way you dress is very important in Cambodia s culture . It's different from what you're used to . You don't want to unintentionally offend the locals, so it's good to be aware of the cultural differences . This is not your home country and sometimes you just have to adapt . This way they show respect and avoid difficult situations . We give you some tips about the dress code in Cambodia .
Dress code for your visit in Cambodia
The authority for the protection of Angkor Wat has declared that from August 2016 the wearing of revealing clothing , such as sleeveless tops , belly tops or shorts that do not cover the knees , is prohibited for men and women . It disrespects the sanctity of the temple .
– Take off your shoes or sandals , as well as a hat or head covering when entering a sacred place
The conservative Cambodia , from a western point of view
After reading the tips, you can imagine that there is quite a big cultural difference between Westerners and Asians from the Mekong region . From a Western perspective, traditional dress in Cambodia is conservative . Uncovered shoulders and knees are inappropriate . Remember that you are a guest in a foreign country with different values and norms . In touristy areas this may not be obvious . Cambodians inside tend to distinguish between "Barang" (Westerners in) and locals . We advise you to cover your shoulders and knees whether you are in a bar, a supermarket or a temple ,
Another hint : Did you know that ' Barang ' actually means French ose / Frenchwoman , but nowadays it is used for all foreigners .
The Krama – more than just a scarf .
You will see it everywhere, the red-white or blue-white checkered scarf, the K rama. It has a minimum length of 1 meter. During the Khmer Rouge, it was part of the daily dress and can be considered traditional . T he k rama is worn by men and women , but can be used for other purposes as well.
E r can be used as an accessory , baby carrier , to cover the head , sarong , belt , towel or even to help climb trees . Buy a krama and wear it during your trip !
The sampot: cloth made of cotton or silk
Times have changed, even in Cambodia . Cambodian women used to wrap themselves in a long cloth up to their ankles ( S ampot ), now they wear tight jeans and t-shirts. The sampot is considered a traditional shawl and is nothing more than a large cloth made of cotton or silk with an inconspicuous pattern.
During festivities the dark colored sampots are exchanged with colorful ones . The slightly shorter sarong for men is worn at festivities, but also at work in the yard . T he sampot is usually combined with a jacket , for men it is shorter than for women.
Inappropriately dressed tourist inn en and the sacred Angkor
Dress code is currently a hot topic in the Cambodian media . The government has announced a stricter dress code for tourists and locals alike . Last year there was quite an uproar when several western tourists took nude photos in the temple complex . They were arrested , fined and expelled from the premises . More and more scantily clad Cambodian women are being spotted on social media . Will the government also take action here ?
Tip: Our advice is to cover your shoulders and knees no matter where you are . This is really an adaptation to a culture we are not used to .