Siem Reap Local Customs

  • Happy day for the monks
    Happy day for the monks
    by shavy
  • They have each a bags
    They have each a bags
    by shavy
  • Local Customs
    by shavy

Most Recent Local Customs in Siem Reap

  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Chinese All Souls Day in Cambodia??

    by AngMimi Written Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Walking alone, around the Buddhist Temple at Lolei, aaahh.. I found a cemetery, with a lot of spirit houses and Chinese Graves. Those markings on the graves must be belongs to Chinese, as on April 4th, marking the day for Chinese All Souls Day..

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Offerings to the Monks

    by AngMimi Written Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    During the celebration of Khmer New Year, everyone will flock to the temple to offer thanks for Buddha and a lot of them came with some food cooked and kept in Tiffin carriers as offering for the temple monks. Buddhist believed, any food you give to the monks to eat, you will have the food in another life. :-))

    It doesn't matter, if the food is too simple or too grand. As long, you are sincere..

    Monks in chanting..
    Related to:
    • Religious Travel
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Khmer New Year Traditions.

    by AngMimi Written Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    I visited a Buddhist temple in Lolei and I came acrossed this unique erection of sand mounds on the temple grounds that representing holy burial grounds. Cambodian all dressed in new outfit came to offer prayers and will plant incense in the mounds and leave offering for loved one and family who have passed on to the next life and praying for their happiness and prosperity. Colourful decorations on the sand mould as you can see.

    Related to:
    • Road Trip
    • Religious Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Some local custom rules and regulations :-))

    by AngMimi Updated Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    1. Don't Touch the Head especially to someone older than you, as the head is the holiest part of the body and it is very considered rude and an act of disrespect.

    2. Bend Before your Elders: When an elder is seated, and you have to walk past them it is customary to bow your heads and stoop slightly as you cross their path as a sign of respect.

    3. Use Both Hands : Unlike is some countries where the left hand is unused , here it is polite to use both when passing something over, and accepting something. It shows your full willingness to give and gratefulness to receive.

    4. An Extended Family: When addressing those people older than you, you must called them "uncle, aunt, grandpa, grandma ...." as a respect.

    5. Clasped hands together, bowing a bit to say “thank you".

    Anyway, we Malaysian also followed this local customs.

    Thank you.

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Spirit House

    by AngMimi Written Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Many visitors to Cambodia may not know the presence of spirit house, many shrines are be seen everywhere in Cambodia. The Buddhist believe that leaving offerings at the spirit houses wishes luck in the next life for the recently departed. In doing so, they believed they will be blessed with good luck.

    Poor Man's Spirit House at Tonle Sap Nice Spirit house

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • AngMimi's Profile Photo

    Khmer New Year

    by AngMimi Updated Jun 11, 2012

    4.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    At 11 mins after seven on the evening of Friday April 13, a dragon will lead an angel riding a buffalo from heaven, bringing the Khmer New Year to Cambodia. The angel - Kemera Devi or the Friday Angel, is one of seven daughters born on seven different days to a king of the gods. Each year, a different daughter ushers in each day of the New Year.

    There is a story behind this New Year, I will write later.... so then, at every house in Cambodia people will make shrine by placing biscuits, fruits, face powder, juice and flowers to welcome the new angel. They will light candles and incense sticks and pray for the new angel to protect them and bring them prosperity.

    On this Khmer New Year, a lot of shop closed for a weeks, as every Cambodian goes back home to celebrate New Year with family..

    A mini shrine Getting ready for prayers to celebrate New Year lanterns placed in every house
    Related to:
    • Road Trip

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    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

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Festivals
    • Historical Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    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.

    Related to:
    • Family Travel
    • Historical Travel
    • Festivals

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    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.

    Related to:
    • Business Travel
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • Cathy&Gary's Profile Photo

    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.

    Related to:
    • Budget Travel
    • Family Travel
    • Business Travel

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner
  • XKuger's Profile Photo

    Another Pic of the...

    by XKuger Written Aug 25, 2002

    1.5 out of 5 starsHelpfulness

    Another Pic of the Magnificient Angkor Wat in daylight. The first Pic was taken as sunrise over the Angkor wat

    Was this review helpful?

    Add to your Trip Planner

Instant Answers: Siem Reap

Get an instant answer from local experts and frequent travelers

23 travelers online now

Comments

Siem Reap Local Customs

Reviews and photos of Siem Reap local customs posted by real travelers and locals. The best tips for Siem Reap sightseeing.

View all Siem Reap hotels