Local traditions and culture in Khett Siem Reab

  • mini shrines for sale
    mini shrines for sale
    by machomikemd
  • buying at the souvenir shop
    buying at the souvenir shop
    by machomikemd
  • buying at Chnong Keas Floating Village
    buying at Chnong Keas Floating Village
    by machomikemd

Most Viewed Local Customs in Khett Siem Reab

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    Krama Scarf

    by machomikemd Written Jun 24, 2012

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    if you plan to have a multi day tour of the angkor complex and is afraid of getting sun burn or having a tan from the stiffling heat and humidity while walking among the many shrines and temples of the complex, you can buy the local cambodian scarf, the Krama as a means of protection from the sun and exposed areas of your neck and face from the elements, which my friend did due to his fair complexion hehehe.

    according to wikipedia:

    is a sturdy traditional Cambodian garment with many uses, including as a scarf, bandanna, to carry children, to cover the face, and for decorative purposes. It is worn by men, women and children, and can be fairly ornate, though most typical kramas contain a gingham pattern of some sort, and traditionally come in either red or blue. It is the national symbol too. It can be used, when folded as a hammock, worn on neck and many other uses.

    you can buy them everywhere, at souvenir shops and they cost $ 2 if you haggle.

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    Small Coin Purses

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

    you can buy the local Small Coin Purses all around siem reap and at the angkor complex and a caveat: if you had been to thailand and vietnam, they have the same kind of Coin purses available there and at the same designs too and i am confused on where this cute items were made?

    are they made here in cambodia or in thailand or in vietnam or only one of these countries mass produced similar items and exports them wholesale so that the vendors can sell them at the various souvenir shops and markets OR all of these countries mass produced them with the same patterns and designs?

    these kitschy small coin purses are available everywhere and you can buy them at $ 3 if you don'y know how to haggle but only $ 0.50 per piece if you are good in haggling skills hehehe.

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    Messenger Bags

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

    you can buy the local mini messenger bags all around siem reap and at the angkor complex and a caveat: if you had been to thailand and vietnam, they have the same kind of messenger bags available there and at the same designs too and i am confused on where this cute items were made?

    are they made here in cambodia or in thailand or in vietnam or only one of these countries mass produced similar items and exports them wholesale so that the vendors can sell them at the various souvenir shops and markets OR all of these countries mass produced them with the same patterns and designs?

    these cute mini messenger bags are available everywhere and you can buy them at $ 5 if you don'y know how to haggle but only $ 2 per piece if you are good in haggling skills hehehe.

    they are a nice gifts items for your friends rather than buying key chain for them.

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    Ladies Bags

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

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    These kind of ladies bags are very inexpensive gifts for your female friends and if you are an "el cheapo", for your girlfriend or fiancee or wife to0! hehehe.

    One thing I've noticed when going to the markets here at Siem Reap and at the Markets at Bangkok and Saigon is that they have many similar items on sale on these three countries and these kinds of ladies everyday bags with the same design patterns are what I've seen at the Chatuchak Market in Bangkok and at the Benh Thanh Market in Saigon and here at the Old Market of Siem Reap. All these countries must be mass producing almost the same merchandise like these Ladies Bags and the other silk bags and other merchandises or maybe they are mass produced in Thailand or here in cambodia or in vietnam and are ordered wholesale and to be sold as souvenir items for tourist in the other countries.

    These simple ladies carry on bags will cost $ 5 if you don't haggle but you can cut down the cost for just $ 2 per bag if you are good in haggling as they jack up the prices here by up to 200% !

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    Angkor Wat Shot Glasses

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

    Collecting Assorted Shot Glasses of the places that I've travelled is again one of my hobbies when going to a place and besides these shot glasses, I also collect Fridge Magnets. You can find lots and lots of souvenir items in Siem Reap, Tonle Sap and Angkor Wat and many of them are Shot Glasses and they come in assorted designs like hand painted, with stickers, with plastic encrusted at the shot glass, with bronze plaques at the shot glass and even bigger size shot glass and aluminum shot glasses. Again, you can buy them anywhere but you must haggle for the price of a regular sized shot glass will cost $ 4 without haggling and you can bring it down to $ 1.50 woth haggling.

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    Tonle Sap Refrigarator Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

    As you would know by now, I'm an avid collector of kitschy refrigerator magnets and shot glasses and while on a Siem Reap and Angkor Wat and Tonle Sap Lake, I must buy these favorite souvenir items of mine. You can buy the Assorted Tonle Sap Fridge Magnets at the Chnong Keas Floating Village or at the Boat Station to the Tonle Sap Lake. You can get them Even from the various Souvenir Shops lining the huge Angkor Complex north of Siem Reap or just buying them at the Souvenir Stalls along Sivutha Boulevard and Central Market, Old Market and Pub Street and Alleys near Pub Street or at the Airport. They are available in different designs and are either magnetized material or wood with magnets inside or Pewter with magnets or just Porcelain with magnets. Prices Start at $ 1 if you are good in Haggling or up to $ 3 if you are not.

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    Angkor Wat Refrigerator Magnets

    by machomikemd Written Jun 21, 2012

    As you would know by now, I'm an avid collector of kitschy refrigerator magnets and shot glasses and while on a Siem Reap and Angkor Wat and Angkor Complex Tour, I must buy these favorite souvenir items of mine. You can buy the Assorted Angkor Wat and other Angkor Complex Fridge Magnets at the various Souvenir Shops lining the huge Angkor Complex north of Siem Reap or just buying them at the Souvenir Stalls along Sivutha Boulevard and Central Market, Old Market and Pub Street and Alleys near Pub Street or at the Airport. They are available in different designs and are either magnetized material or wood with magnets inside or Pewter with magnets or just Porcelain with magnets. Prices Start at $ 1 if you are good in Haggling or up to $ 3 if you are not.

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    Mini Buddhist Shrines

    by machomikemd Updated Jun 20, 2012

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    Since Cambodia is a Majority Theravada Buddhist Country, You would see many Wats, Temples and Pagodas around the area But for the Pious Buddhists, they also have a mini shrine in front of their homes or commercial establishments where they burn aromatic insense sticks and offer things like food or money to Buddha and assorted buddhist deities and even hindu deities as their is religous syncretism of Buddhism and some Hinduism here. You can find this mini shrines everywhere in siem reap and along the countryside, even in front of homes and stores and even inside hotels too.

    they even have stores around that sells these gold colored mini shrines to people.

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    Tomb Raider

    by Ramonq Updated May 21, 2012

    Initiated by Hollywood A-lister, Angelina Jolie, this drink called "Tomb Raider" is a combination of lime juice, Cointreau, and tonic water. It's served very chilled so therefore it can be refreshing especially after touring the ruins in the jungle. This is served at the Red Piano bar/restaurant where the famous actress stayed during the shooting of the film, Tomb Raider back in the year 2000.

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    Bon om Touk - Waterfestival

    by iammon Written Apr 10, 2009

    This is an ancient 3 day festival dating back to the 12th century (times of Jayavarman VII). It marks the reversing of the water flow (water flows back from Mekong River to Tole Sap) and kicks of the fishing season. It happens on the full moon of the Buddhist month of Kadenk which is usually in November (2009 1-3 November). There are fluvial parades, boat races, fireworks and other general merriment.

    The races along the river in Siem Reap are very interesting.

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    Water Festival - Bonn Om Took

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    Bonn Om Took (normally held in November) is the water festival which brings in the fishing season and marks the change of the flow of the Tonle Sap river, during this time the river begins to flow backwards towards the sea.

    The population of Phnom Penh doubles during this very popular festival when people from all over the country come to celebrate the three day water festival and to watch the longboat races on the Tonle Sap in Phnom Penh, fireworks and a lighted flotilla of boats.

    There are lots more photos from Cambodia on my link below:
    Cathy and Garys Travel Pages

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    Royal Ploughing Ceremony

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    The Royal Ploughing Ceremony is celebrated in May at the beginning of the rainy season and is the first of the traditional agrarian festivals.

    This day marks the start of rice planting for the country.
    In times past on a day determined by Palace astrologers, the King traced the first furrows in the capitals sacred rice field, inaugurating the Ploughing season.

    Today a ceremonial furrow is ploughed in the park of the National Museum and the scared cows are offered selected foods and drinks and what they choose foretells the following years crops.

    The ritual is performed by a man, the King of Meakh, who leads the yoke and plough. A woman follows, Queen Me Hour, who then sows the seeds.

    After circling the rice filed three times, the procession stops at a chapel where Brahmins invoke the protection of the Gods.
    For this ceremony both men and women wear brightly colored traditional Khmer costumes.

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    Local Custom's

    by Cathy&Gary Updated Mar 21, 2009

    Cambodian culture and customs has a rich and varied history dating back many centuries and has been heavily influenced by India. In turn, Cambodia has also greatly influenced Thailand and Laos.

    Cambodian teachings include that if a person does not wake up before sunrise, they are lazy.
    You must tell your parents or elders where you are going and what time you will be home.
    If you slam a door then you must have a bad temper, always sit with your legs straight down and not crossed, (crossing your legs shows you are impolite) and always let other people talk more than you.

    The greater a persons age, the greater level of respect must be shown to them. Everyone in Khmer culture is given a hierarchical title before their name, in some cases names are shortened with the title added before the name is given.

    Some elders are referred to by a family title even though there may be no relation, out of respect to their seniority in life. Referring to someone by the wrong title is a sign of disrespect and would be taken as improper parenting or lack of respect for the elders.

    Most Cambodians wear a checkered scarf which is called a Krama.
    This scarf is used for many purposes such as for style, protection from the sun, an aid for your feet when climbing trees, a hammock for children, a towel or even as a sarong.
    Under the Khmer Rouge all Khmer were forced to wear a red checkered krama.

    In Khmer culture a persons head is believed to contain the persons soul, so it is taboo to touch or point your feet towards the head.
    It is also disrespectful to point or sleep with your feet pointing at another person as the feet are the lowest part of the body and considered impure.

    Weddings

    In Khmer weddings it is the groom who carries the brides scarf and stays with the brides family, this symbolizes that he is from afar and marrying into her family.

    The wedding ritual takes three days and the bride and groom wear garments decorated with jewellery as a sign of respect to their parents and are surrounded by family and guests.

    They also pray to the monks for a happy life.

    Today most Khmers in Cambodia and overseas celebrate with both a traditional Khmer wedding and western style wedding.

    Khmer Classical Dance

    Khmer Classical Dance is also known as Khmer Royal Ballet or Khmer Court Dance, it is a form of dance originally performed only for Royalty.

    In the Khmer language it is called robam preah reachea trop which means "dances of Royal wealth."

    The dances have many elements in common with Thai classical dance, more than likely as a result of the Royal Khmer Court exchanging culture with the Royal Thai court throughout the post Angkor period.

    Khmer and Thai classical dance costumes also were very similar but the Khmer dance and costumes have changed slightly due to reforms bought in by the former Queen of Cambodia Kossamak Nearireath.

    During the mid 20th century Khmer Classical Dance was introduced to the public where it is now a celebrated icon of Khmer culture and is often performed during public events, holidays and for tourists.

    Vernacular dance (or social dance) are dances which are danced at social gatherings.

    Social

    Though it is acceptable to wear smart casual dress to most temples and pagodas - including those at Angkor - visitors to the Royal Palace's Silver Pagoda are expected to dress a little more formally, with men wearing long trousers and women in long skirts.

    Shoes are generally removed before entering pagodas.

    Cambodians greet each with a bow and a prayer like gesture called a Sompeah, the younger or lower ranked person normally initiating the gesture.

    Acting calmly and quietly - especially when under duress is recommended, while displays of bad temper, especially in public, will make a bad situation worse.

    Permission should be sought before taking photographs of people, especially monks and hill tribe villagers.

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    People of Cambodia

    by Cathy&Gary Written Mar 21, 2009

    Cambodia is bordered to the North by Thailand and Laos, to the East and the South by Vietnam and to the South and the West by the Gulf of Thailand.

    Approx. population is 14,000,000 Million
    Language Khmer, secondary languages: English and French
    Religion 95% Buddhist with the balance being Muslim, Christian and animist.

    About 90-95 percent of the people are Khmer ethnic. The remaining 5-10 percent include Chinese-Khmers, Khmer Islam or Chams, ethnic hill-tribe people, known as the Khmer Loeu and Vietnamese.

    Approximately 10 percent of the population lives in Phnom Penh, the capital, making Cambodia largely a country of rural dwellers, farmers and artisans.

    The Khmers would have to be one of the friendliest people on this planet, everyone we have met are always happy, willing to share and loved talking to us.

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    Show of respect

    by Eggboy Written Mar 20, 2009

    I noticed a strange gesture when being handed change by the clerk in a shop in Siem Reap and also when "knocking glasses" when out drinking with local Khmer. Lets say its in a shop and the guy behind the counter is handing you change after a purchase, using his free hand he will touch the forearm of the "money hand. it alsmost looks like he is using the other hand to support the hand with money (or glass if you are out drinking). Its is a show of respect to older folk and sometimes to "Barangs" as in my experiences. I felt very humbled to be treated this way.

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