Tips to travel like a local in Cambodia
Cambodia is always the “target” of Southeast Asia lovers in these recent years, because of not only Angkor Wat but also its breathtaking beauty. However, the unique culture and different language sometimes maybe the barrier for passionate travelers to dig inside the hidden beauty of this country. So how to experience Cambodia like a local during your vacation? We have some really helpful tips for you!
Participate in a bike tour
A bicycle is one of the best vehicles to explore Cambodia countryside, and it is perfect for your health too. A bike will help you see the best lush green outside city limits, reduce the air pollution and traffic jams. The responsible travel trend is strongly supported by million travelers the recent time, so a biking tour does not harm at all unless your physical condition does not allow you.
Put at least one night in your itinerary to try homestay with a local family
Nothing can beat a homestay with the local family in case you want to understand deeply the unique culture and daily life in your Cambodia trip. Large hotel chains and all-inclusive resorts are obviously good in term of comfort, so you can combine both in your itinerary. It will be a big regret if you leave a country without knowing about their social life and the warm-heart of locals.
Eat local food at local restaurants
Southeast Asia in general and Cambodia, in particular, are well-known for their culinary art and street food. You will love eating so much while being here. The food looks good, smells good and tastes really good, plus the price is very affordable. Avoid chains and imported foods, because they carry a larger carbon footprint. And why do you need to travel around the world to eat KFC or McDonald’s? For sustainable travel, there’s nothing like eating the food that is grown and prepared by local people. Besides, what better way is there to learn about a place’s culture than eating its authentic food?
Know some proper Cambodian etiquette
What do travelers need to know about Cambodian customs? Here are some basics:
- Stay calm. It’s considered very rude to show anger in public.
- No public displays of affection and take extra care when interacting with members of the opposite sex.
- Always bring a gift.
- Use only your right hand. The left hand is considered “dirty” and should only be used for things like using the bathroom.
- It’s considered rude to point.
- In Cambodia, because the head is the most sacred part of the body, never touch anyone on the head. Even children.
- When entering someone’s home or a temple, remove hats and shoes.
- If a Cambodian shakes hands, it’s appropriate to return the greeting. The traditional greeting, though, is to put both hands near the chin and bow slightly.
Responsibility & Respect in Cambodia
With a rational and responsible traveler, the destination should always be the focus of the trip. Be respectful. Be responsible. Rather than expecting the people and places to accommodate the visitor, the visitor needs to try to assimilate into the day to day life of the people who call Cambodia home. And when you respect the locals, they will definitely treat you like a Cambodian. Get ready to receive a lot of smiles along the way!