Cambodia Local Customs

  • Local Customs
    by akkipaa
  • Guests and stage
    Guests and stage
    by adelinemmc
  • mini shrines for sale
    mini shrines for sale
    by machomikemd

Cambodia Local Customs

  • Daily life

    Phnom Penh Local Customs

    Opposite the Royal Palace along the river is this small shrine which seemed to have some kind of ceremony happening when I was there. You'll also find people selling flowers, birds (which I think are said to bring good luck/your wishes come true when you let them go), and street hawkers.

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  • Useful informations

    Phnom Penh Local Customs

    As most tourists know, it is not advised to drink anything but bottled water while in Cambodia. But the ice in country is actually made from filtered water and is therefore, supposedly safe to consume. The ice is transported in large blocks and on the back of carts as seen being loaded in the photo. But do beware, sometimes the blocks of ice are...

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  • Religion

    Phnom Penh Local Customs

    It’s a very common sight to see Buddha’s in local temples with money donations in plain view, something Westerns might find odd in such a poverty stricken country. But as is the case in most cultures, robbing religion is not common even in a country as politically corrupt as Cambodia. Still, the Khmer Rouge had little regard for religious...

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  • Mindset

    Phnom Penh Local Customs

    Cambodian people don't seem to have any manners. This can be observed daily. Of course this excludes the service people who are paid to be polite and nice (ie, hotel staff reception desk, waitress, etc) but other than that being polite in cambodia is the last thing on their minds. Often times when I wait in line to get serviced (ie, getting food),...

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  • Local Market

    Phnom Penh Local Customs

    The Olympic Market is a three story covered market near the Olympic Stadium which was upgraded and reopened in 1994 and now specialises in wholesale items. I went here with a Cambodian girl (who lives with the family i stayed with) and a friend. We went to get groceries for the family. I really like these kind of market and it was good not to run...

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  • Dual currency system, KHR and USD

    US dollars are widely used in Cambodia with local currency Riel. Take US dollars with you when traveling there, small notes, you can easily spend them without changing to Riels. The change rate is 1$ = 4000KHR, but if you are used to small amounts like me with Euros, it's easier to use dollars than riels. Or probably you are more math oriented than...

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  • US DOLLARS

    The currency in Cambodia is the Riel but EVERYBODY deals in US dollars. They take US dollar notes but you get change in Riel. The reason for using US currency is so that if the economy collapses as it did when the Khmer Rouge took over the country and abolished all money, people could still use their money in other countries.

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  • I DIDN'T TRY THE LOCAL FAVOURITE...

    CAMBODIA I watched as many travellers were trying the local delacies , but for me I passed on them. I watched the girl handling her many tarantula spiders at a bus stop Siem Reap and this I imagined was the normal procedure as she let them run up and down her arms.She held out her hand to offer me a few spiders...I reclined the offer..There were...

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  • Proper Dress in Temples

    Proper temple ettiquette is something tourists often inquire about.I'm a firm believer that, before entering someone's country, it is the tourists sole responsibility to educate him/herself on the do's and don'ts of that country in order to avoid accidentally offending the host.Simple research through most guide books as well as "googling" the...

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  • Khmer (Cambodian) Language

    The Khmer have had a written language since 156 A.D., but it has been modified a bit over the centuries . Their language has 33 consonants, 23 vowels, and 14 Sanskrit letters. Their computer keyboards have 4 letters per key, and they have to use a combination of shift and alt keys to get the right letter.

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  • The Krama

    Most Cambodians have an all-purpose checked scarf called a krama—it does everything. It’s a head cover, a baby sling, a dust mask, baggage carrier, whatever. Men wear it tied differently than women do when it’s a head covering. It comes in a variety of colors, but almost nobody wears red—that was the color of the Khmer Rouge.

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  • Buddha - everywhere

    At Ankgor Tomh and at pagodas all over the country. Respect, incense, some people leave money for the Buddhas at temples, in pagodas, in the Royal Palace; and there are shrines in every garden.

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  • namasteh instead of shaking...

    I felt culturally blind here without language! But all greetings were the namasteh pose from yoga and bowing the head. I also understood that when Cambodians were silent, instead of responding that was good, or OK. (I also earned a negative response) Khmer Buddhists as well as Khmer Islam and the Cham are modest! I did not wear Islamic dress, I...

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  • GIVE TO THE ELDERLY!

    In Cambodia you will probably find yourself giving money to, or buying things from the small children. As much as they need it the charities in Cambodia recommend you try avoid this as it just encourages parents to keep them on the streets (and so to some extent out of school). After a while I realised it is better to give to the elderly, or...

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  • Khmer classical dance.

    Khmer classical dance is often referred to as apsara dance and is a dance that dates back from the 7th century.It's a very slow and fine way of dancing where the dancers wear costumes and you can probaply say that is has some links to classical ballet.The dance was forbidden during the khmer rouge in the 1970's and almost all dancers were killed by...

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  • Have some home made rice wine.

    Home made rice wine is a big passion in Cambodia and there is a good chance that you will be offerd some.It looks pretty unhygenic very often and not like something you wanna drink, but i have tried it and didn't get sick and i was able to drink it without looking too funny i think.Give it a go.When in Rome do as the romans.

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  • Have a spider or a cricket for lunch.

    The camdodians love to eat spiders and crickets for lunch and you will see them selling by the side of the road and on the markets around Camdodia.I have tried both and find that they have little taste, but the cambodians are one big smile when you mention these funny animals, so i guess they are very tasty once you get used to the taste.

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  • Handy Customs we learned while visiting

    It was a shock to us learning that the skull of the poor victims who were tortured till death where collected and presently desplayed in a pretty large glass tall container in the center of a religious or historic congregation. See photos attached.

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  • Be respectful

    Be aware of cultural norms for show of respect and disrespect. Never shake your foot at anything, never disrespect the King or government, ask if you're not sure if pictures are allowed of certain government buildings and be kind and courteous. Cambodian people are very kind and inviting, enjoy it

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  • hints for volunteers to Cambodia

    volunteer > the cultureLike all people, Cambodians have their own norms of behaviour, style of conversations, and manners of interaction. Understanding certain cultural mentalities will make the transition toward working with the Khmer much easier. Below is a list of cultural do’s and don’ts. Lists such as this are far from definitive, and...

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  • FIGHT AGAINST CHILDREN SEXUAL SLAVERY

    If you visit Cambodia don't make mistakes like this for them and for you. Until 30 years in prison. Also the web www.afesip.org is useful. I liked to see in Sihanoukville, Phnom Penh and Siem Reap people with the simbol of Chidsafe. This text is taken from the Web http://www.childsafe-cambodia.org/. Please visit it and read such a great...

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  • street petrol kiosks

    it was very amazing to see street petrol kiosks such as this one (in the picture). very, very old school!

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  • Learn to greet and bow

    If you travel with children, teach them the local customs as well as learning them yourself. It is amazing the reaction you get from learning just the basic greetings in another language.

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  • Rice for breakfast, noodles for lunch &...

    It was only on the forth day in this country have I realized, local people usually have rice for breakfast, but noodles for other meals. Actually, street stands don't serve rice after noon time.

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  • Te Ou-kun

    There are many children trying to sell you the souvenirs at entrances of all temples. Some could be quite persistant but they are harmless, merely making a living. If you have no intention to buy, please turn them down politely. We learned to turn them down in Khmer language:"Te Ou-kun" meaning "No, thank you"It did help by bringing along some...

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  • keep cool

    Don't show anger if possible. Most Khmer will bend over backward for you, but things can naturally be frustrating at times and losing your temper will only make you and the Khmer person more uncomfortable.

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  • Swimming at Sihanoukeville

    Not really a local customes, but one of the locals taking a dipThis was taken early one morning when the sea was so calm it was like glass. A cambodian family were all swimming in the sea. I caught this boy with the backgroundof the cambodian fishing boat. One of my favourites.

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  • Every day of the week

    In traditional Cambodian culture a lady should wear a different colour skirt every day of the week. Monday is Yellow, Tuesday is Violet, Wednesday is Yellowish-green, Thursday is Green, Friday is Blue, Saturday is Blackish-red and Sunday is Red.

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  • Every night one girl for the king

    Each night the king of Angkor had to sleep with a girl, choosen between hundreds of nude girl on the royal pool. This was due to fulfil the wishes of the nine-headed serpent in form of women. Probably this legend of the serpent was created by the king himself to fulfil his own whishes of unbridled sex (also to control queen jealousy).

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  • Angkor Wat remains a religious shrine...

    The Khmer heritage is most evident in the work at Angkor Wat, in a way even more meaningful than the Egyptian pride of their antiquities. The temples are still used as sacred places where incense is burned and prayers made. It's important to keep this in mind as you climb around the stone monuments.

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  • Do not TEACH children to beg

    In Cambodia (as in many parts of Asia) children who are found begging are often the products of Lazy adults who make a living by sending out a "cute" child or, presistent gentle eyed child to beg for your dollars. In exchange, children are given some food or, place to shelter.If you're providing the child with enough money, that child learns that...

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  • Begging in Cambodia - Don't be Annoyed!

    The other thing that was brought quickly into perpective about Cambodia was that, more so than any other place in Asia, we found beggars more aggressive here....Before you pass judgement, read up on it's history, the fact that it's a war ravaged country and that there are alot of war casualties from land mines, leprosy, etc. in it's midsts.I will...

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  • Petrol

    Petrol is still sold in bottles or pumped from barrels by the roadside. There are very few "big" petrol stations.The Cambodia people still prefer buying from the roadside though. Well, they somehow feel more at ease when they see the petrol flowing into their vehicles' petrol tank rather than a more modern pump whereby they can only see from the...

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  • discretion

    When traveling in a foreign country, one should take heed of local customs though at times this can become hard to do. Westerners generally are less worried about the amount of skin they show than those from many other parts of the world, particularly Asia. We hadn't really planned on hitting the beaches of Cambodia but found ourselves there just...

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  • Shoot Off an AK-47

    I couldn't resist. My buddies and I went out to the "Happy Shooting Range" to shoot off a round on an AK-47. Quite exhilarating. It also made me think about the people in the armed service who use those on a daily basis. It was a humbling experience. Of course, I did find the whole thing a little amusing... especially the German grandmother who was...

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  • Hang Out with Monks

    The monks in Cambodia were among the friendliest and most relaxed I encountered in Southeast Asia. They were also very liberal in their habits and conversation, which I found interesting.

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  • Cambodian loves to eat!

    When I first arrived to Siem Reap, the first thing I recognize is restaurants. from small & local people, to big and expensive. The second I recognize is -- almost all restaurants have outside eating place. so we can relax seeing the road. This behaviour made me have a little nostalgia to Aceh (a province in Indonesia) where people loves to drink...

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  • At someone's place

    If you happen to be invited for a chat or more by people, you will notice that most of the time, they won't really let you inside their house. You will stay under the house if it is a stiltted house, and most of them are. or even when I was visiting friends of some cambodian guy I was hanging around with they would always let me sit on the balcony...

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  • Visa

    It depends what country you live, but most tourists can get a visa when arriving. Fill in visa application form (one passport photo), arrival and customs declaration cards. Go to a visa application desk and handed your passport, application form and photo to the first officer. Then move along desk following your passport and pay visa fee 20 US$.

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  • Passenger service charge

    A domestic service charge is 6 US$ and an international payment is 25 US$ (Feb. 2005). Phnom Penh Int. airport: Passenger service charge counter is located just after check-in desks. Just go at the end of check-in desks and you will find that counter. Pay charge and then go upstairs using an escalator. Siem Reap Airport: Passenger service charge...

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  • Eating Spiders!!

    Forget Mcdonalds or KFC, this is what passes for fast food in certain areas of Cambodia - Deep fried Spiders! -Euk!

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  • Language

    The official language is Khmer. It is part of the Mon-Khmer family. English is rapidly gaining popularity, particularly among the young, while the educated older people speak French.Counting to ten:1.................moo-ay2.................bpee3.................bay4.................boo-un5.................bprum6.................bprum...

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  • Religion

    The official religion is Theravada Buddhism, which is also practised in neighbouring Laos, Thailand, Burma and Sri Lanka.In the traditional Cambodian society, men must enter the monkhood for at least three months during their lifetime, often at the age of twelve or thirteen. During this time, they learn Buddhist philosophy, social morality, and...

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  • Number 73

    This is a historical fact told by a cambodian local:Pol Pot died in the year 1998, at age 73. Because of this age many people bought a lotery ticket with the ending number 7 end 3, hoping they would be winning numbers. Fortunatly for them they were! The lottery drawing's last two numbers were 7 and 3!

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  • Floating Home

    Al throughout Cambodia you can find floating villages. People build their house on some kind of raft made out of poles. You can see many of them if you would take the boat from Battambang to Siem Reap, also the boattrip from Siem Reap to Phnom Penh will let you get a glimpse of these scenic villages.Most of these villages are built by Vietnamese...

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Cambodia Local Customs

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