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It is essential that visitors wear appropriate clothing, covering the knees and shoulders for Angkor Wat temples. This is to show respect to our culture and heritage.
Sturdy shoes are advised. There can be a lot of walking involved and the weather can be very warm and humid. It advised to bring sunglasses, hat, and sun block.
Khmer Language Essentials
While a lot of Cambodians understand English, we love it when visitors to our country show an interest in our language as well. Here’s a few of the key words and phrases:
- hello ——————————– joohm ree-up soo-a
- how are you? ———————– sok-sa bai jee-a tay?
- goodbye ————————— joohm ree-up lea [formal] / lee-hai [informal]
- what is your name? —————– laok ch’moo-ah a-vwai?
- my name is ———————— k’nyom ch’moo-ah
- please —————————– soam-un-jern
- thank you ———————— arkun
- sorry —————————— som-dtoah
- yes ——————————– baat
- no ——————————— a-dtay
- no thank you ——————— a-dtay arkun
- good —————————— la-or
- bad / no good ——————— ot la-or
You can find some more Khmer essentials on the Ministry of Tourism of Cambodia website.
Currency and Tipping
The US Dollar is the most popular form of currency, and small change will be given to you in the local currency – riel. One US dollar is equivalent to about 4000 riel, so remember that if you choose riel for tipping.
Tipping is not traditionally expected here, but in a country as poor as Cambodia, tips can go a long way. Salaries are very low and our service is superb thanks to a Khmer commitment to hospitality.
A tip of just US$1 might be half a day’s wages for some of us. If you stay a couple of nights in the same hotel, try to remember to tip the staff that clean your room. Consider tipping drivers and guides, as the time they spend on the road means time away from home and family.
It is also considered proper to make a small donation at the end of a visit to a wat (temple), especially if a monk has shown you around – most wats have contribution boxes for this purpose.