Boy, was I SUPER excited when I saw a copy of the ‘Angkor Code of Conduct’ in my seat on a Cambodia Angkor Air flight. Finally, a way to spread the word about how to act appropriately at Siem Reap’s sacred temples! In case you haven’t heard of this Code of Conduct, the breakdown of good behaviour is below:
Dress code – If people can see your shoulders or knees, it is inappropriate. Leave the tank tops and shorts at your hotel.
Monuments – Avoid touching carvings, leaning on structures (I admit, I had no idea about this, but stopped as soon as I read the Code of Conduct), or taking anything from the temples.
Sacred sites – You are visiting sites that are over 1,000 years old and sacred. Speak softly, calming and avoid disturbing others.
Restricted areas – Yes, I love a good photo opportunity like you do, but you must read all the signs and comply with them. Don’t go where you aren’t supposed to, there are rules for a reason.
Smoking and littering – Angkor is a smoke-free site. Don’t smoke or litter. Pretty simple.
Giving to children – You know I have written about this many times before, so I am SO pleased this is part of the code of conduct. Do NOT give candy, money, presents etc. to children. It encourages them to beg and will keep them trapped in poverty.
Monks – If you see a Monk, ask before you take a photo (I asked once, and a Monk said no. That was fine, we shouldn’t take photos of people without their permission). If you are female, don’t get too close to a Monk as you risk touching them, which is strictly prohibited.
I urge you to share the Angkor Code of Conduct and make people aware of ways they can respect these ancient structures and preserve them for years to come.