How to dress at Angkor, Cambodia

Visitors should be aware of a new dress code being put into place at Angkor, Cambodia, after authorities warned too many tourists are wearing inappropriate clothing
Mother and daughter at Angkor. Photo: Shutterstock
Mother and daughter at Angkor. Photo: Shutterstock

Visitors need to be aware that Angkor is still a practising religious site for both Buddhists and citizens who attend to pray, meditate and worship. Follow these simple rules to ensure your time at the temples is enlightening and not embarrassing…

Travelling and visiting new cultures can see all sorts of issues arise, arguably the most important is ensuring local customs and cultures are always respected. Aspara Authority, responsible for managing Angkor, has announced a strict new dress code, as well as additional guidance, to ensure disrespectful behaviour is kept out of the temple complex.

Cover Up

From August 4th 2016, tourists and visitors will not be allowed to enter the temple complex if they are deemed to be wearing inappropriate clothing. Authorities will prevent visitors from buying a temple pass and entering the site.

Clothes to avoid include backless or halterneck tops on women, or tank tops on men. Essentially, shoulders should be covered and the front of clothing shouldn’t be low-cut. Underwear should also not be visible. 

Nothing should be ‘too short’; shorts and skirts should ideally fall below the knee. Clothing should be loose too – this also helps with the heat – rather than skin-tight leggings or exercise clothing.

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Tourists at Angkor Wat Temple. Photo: ShutterstockTourists at Angkor Wat Temple. Photo: Shutterstock

As well as additional guidance on how to behave at the site, Aspara has published a number of photographs showing tourists how not to dress.

Other rules to be aware of:

1. Temples shouldn’t be touched, climbed on, defaced, or rocks removed. 

2. Visitors should refrain from giving money, sweets or other items to begging children. Instead, donate to a local, recognised charity.

3. If you would like to take photographs of people, it is regarded polite to ask permission first. This is especially important for monks. However, women should also be aware it is offensive to touch, stand or sit too close to monks too.

4. Angkor is a peaceful, meditative location; noise and conversation should be kept to an appropriate level.

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