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Ask for permission before taking photographs of any Cambodian people or monks.

It is customary to remove shoes when entering a place of worship, such as a pagoda or temple. Additionally, dress appropriately when visiting a religious site (upper arms and legs should be covered, hats removed).

Though not always expected, a respectful way of greeting another individual is to bow the head slightly with hands pressed together at the chest (known as “Sampeah”).

If invited to dine in a Cambodian’s family home, it is polite to bring a small gift for the host such as fruit, dessert, or flowers.

If invited to attend a Cambodian wedding, it is customary to bring cash as a wedding gift.

When using a toothpick at the table, use one hand to cover your mouth.


Don’t use your feet to point at someone.

Don’t touch a Cambodian person on the head.

Don’t begin eating if you are a guest at a dinner and the host has yet to take a bite.

Women should never touch monks or hand something directly to them.

Keep public displays of affection to a respectful minimum.

Talking politics can be sensitive, except if your Cambodian host initiates such a conversation.

Common Sense Practices

Do not litter; keep the community clean and safe.

Plastic bags can be hazardous; dispose of them properly.

*Source: Ministry of Tourism, Cambodia