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How to Dress Properly in Cambodia, Cambodian Dress Code

How to Dress Properly in Cambodia, Cambodian Dress Code

By Wendy Updated Sep. 29, 2022

There is a growing western influence in Cambodia, and western clothing is fairly common, especially among young people. However, more conservative dressing is expected in certain situations, especially when visiting religious places. There are three things you may need to consider when packing for your trip to Cambodia: the weather, respect for the local culture, and whether you'd be attending any special occasions or festivals. Here are some tips to help you dress appropriately for your adventures in Cambodia.

how to dress in Cambodia

Dress Code for Cambodia Religion

When traveling to any country, pay close attention to the local customs there.

Theravada Buddhism is the state religion of Cambodia, so there are some dressing rules you should obey when you visit Cambodian temples or participate in religious ceremonies.

Skimpy clothing is not recommended in Cambodian temples asit is considered disrespectful to the Buddha. It is best to wear long-sleeved tops and full-length skirts or trouserswhen visiting any religious site.

Dress conservatively when visiting the Angkor Wat temple complex. Avoid clothing that is too revealing, shorts, miniskirts, collarless vests, or T-shirts with religious themes.

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Waterproof Sun-protective Clothing for Daily Travel

Cambodia is a tropical country that experiences only two seasons: dry and rainy. Cambodia has a long rainy season that stretches from May to October,so it's best to carry an umbrella. However, if you are visiting outdoor attractions such as Angkor Wat, where you cannot avoid climbing steps, you should wear rainproof clothing.

Waterproof and anti-ultraviolet clothing is a wise choice for tropical countries. They dry quickly and are light to wear.

Colorful Clothing for Photography

In Cambodia, Angkor Wat is a must-visit site for travelers. Most of the ruins are gray in hue. Therefore, if you want a beautiful picture with excellent color contrast, wear colorful clothing that will stand out against the gray backdrop.

Local-Style Clothing for Visitors

Wearing clothing similar to what locals wear is the safest way to dress when visiting other countries. Cotton and linen trousers are good, safe options. As most countries in Southeast Asia tend to be hot and humid, cotton and linen clothes are comfortable to wear. Loose trousers in light colors are recommended.

If you don't have the right clothes appropriate for traveling in Cambodia, visit the local market and buy a few light cotton skirts or pants. The local clothes will work best for the dry and hot weather of Angkor Wat. Women can carry a shawl for the cold mornings and evenings and for sun protection during the day.

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Dress for Special Occasions

If luck favors, you can attend a Cambodian ceremony such as a wedding or a banquet. Make sure that you are appropriately dressed according to the Cambodian dress code for the occasion.

Khmer people are warm and hospitable, and they might invite you to a wedding even though you're not acquainted with the bride and groom. In the past, the bride and groom would usually wear traditional Cambodian clothing on their wedding day. However, with the influence of western culture, Cambodians have shifted to modern formal clothing for weddings, with women donning white wedding dresses.

Guests usually wear semi-formal clothes. Girls wear traditional Khmer dresses, but skirts are considered appropriate and fashionable. Men typically wear formal shirts.

Read more about traditional Khmer clothing on our website.

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