• South Korea!

    South Korea: Seorak-san National Park. Go Now!

    South Korea
    From vibrant cities like Seoul, to quiet mountain tops, like Seorak-san National Park, South Korea has it all. Begin Your Journey!

  • Kuwait!

    Kuwait: Kuwait City. Go Now!

    Tucked away in the Middle East, Kuwait is pivotal in the region and an anomaly in the desert environment. Explore Kuwait!

  • Maldives!

    Maldives: Beach in the Maldives. Go Now!

    This low-lying archipelago is a tourist destination due to its many impressive beaches and crystal-clear waters (pictured). Explore the Maldives!

  • Thailand!

    Thailand: Grand Palace in Bangkok. Go Now!

    Thailand is known for its beautiful beaches, but the city of Chiang Mai is a cultural center and Bangkok (pictured) is a thriving urban capital. Begin Your Journey!

  • Tajikistan!

    Tajikistan: A yurt in the mountains. Go Now!

    The high mountains have mysteries around every turn, including yurts (pictured), a home for the nomadic people. Go Now!

Social Life in Cambodia


The Cambodians are somewhat conservative in most aspects of their lives partially due to their Buddhist faith, which preaches modesty. The people are also somewhat isolated so are not well aware of outside customs and traditions, meaning what you may consider normal, may be interpreted as offensive by the Cambodians. Fortunately, curiosity often trumps offence in the country and the people are rarely outgoing enough to question your poor behaviors.

The Cambodian people are proud and insulting them or putting a person down in anyway can be very offensive as the person will feel "shamed." In much the same way, they will rarely give you critical advice or insult you in fear of "shaming" you. This is especially true in business. Turning down a business offer in the wrong way may, unknowingly, be an insult and could force your contact to feel so shamed that he will actually quit his job; if all hope is lost on a deal, allow your local counterpart to gracefully exit the situation so he can save "face." However, the opposite is also becoming more common and if you do (intentionally or unintentionally) insult another, that person may defend his honor by insulting you and will pursue a shouting match. Fortunately, this is more common among locals arguing over driving etiquette.

Additionally, avoid sensitive conversation topics, such as politics, finances, religion, and business unless initiated by your local counterpart. Also try to avoid being loud, rude, showing off wealth, or getting noticeably drunk in public.


The traditional clothing in Cambodia is called the sampot or a sarong, which is the most basic type of sampot. This long cloth is tied to itself to create a loop, then is delicately wrapped around one's body. There are numerous versions of the sampot and these differences indicated both the region a person was from as well as social class. In addition the the sampot, shirts were also traditionally worn in Cambodia. Again the styles and designs of the shirts are vast and have vastly changed over time.

Today the Cambodians have made the shift to western clothing and most of the population dresses in this way. In some towns and villages there are people who still dress in more traditional clothing, but this is rare. Most of these clothes are styles particular to the region and most people prefer pants and long-sleeved shirts with sandals.

Despite the local dress, there are few dress restrictions in Cambodia. Although few locals wear shorts, there is no discourtesy involved in wearing them as this is a cultural phenomenon, not a religious rule. Of course if you are visiting temples or other sights of particular religious importance (including many temples in Angkor) you may be expected to cover up with long pants and shoulders should be covered at a minimum. Additionally, sunbathing naked or women sunbathing topless is rarely permitted; check with locals before doing so.

This page was last updated: November, 2013