Cambodia is one of the most interesting countries in Southeast Asia. It has known for wonderful mountains, great sceneries, markets, charming culture, and delicious dishes. Visiting the country is a truly amazing experience as you get to know the country’s history and culture through its local people and discovering the beauty of it. However to make your visit a stress-free and meaningful one, you should know and learn the things that you should not do during your stay in Cambodia.
Carrying Single Currency
In Cambodia, there are two major currencies that widely accepted in transacting in local businesses and establishments. It is Riel and US dollars. When you buy anything more than $1, you must automatically pay it using US dollars. However, if it is less than a dollar Riel would be the currency that you would be using.
Riding the Elephants
Although many tour agencies and guides offer elephant riding as part of your itinerary, resist the urge to accept it. Participating in it promotes elephant abuse that is widely considered as immoral. The elephants are taken from their mothers after giving birth to train and torture them to be capable in riding activities.
Drinking Tap Water
Unfortunately, the sanitation level in Cambodia is utterly low and unacceptable. One example of it is drinking tap water. Doing so can put one’s vacation into a disaster or endanger one’s life. It is best practice to only buy bottled waters from the supermarkets.
Feeding or Giving Money to Beggars
You might see a lot of beggars that are asking for money or food from you. It may sound harsh but you must not give anything to them. Never do it as they would think of it as a way to get money or food in an easier way. It is best to avoid or ignore them especially kids to prevent them from devaluing their education.
Disrespecting the Monks
Monks in Cambodia is treated with utmost respect that talking or taking pictures of them without their permission is considered as impolite behavior. There are many monks that you might encounter during your stay and the ideal way to show respect to them is to offer sampeah or som pas. It is done by placing your hands in a prayer-like position and bowing your head slightly that your fingertips should reach your forehead.
Casual Strolls in Temples
Temples like in the Angkor Wat is treated with respect so casual strolling is strictly prohibited. If you want to visit temples, you should first get temple pass, There are passes that are sold in one-day, three-day, and seven-day variants that can be used in consecutive days. Make sure to keep it in a safe and secure area of your bag as losing it can mean buying another pass.