July 4, 2017

Cambodia’s Culture & Custom

Custom and cultures
  • Meeting people The official greeting in Cambodia is Sompeah( putting your hands together like praying and making a bit bow). Social hierarchy determines where you place your hands like bowing the statues of Buddha your hand are above the head, for the kings hands are at the forehead, Monks , parents and teacher the hands are at the nose , older person like brother or sister hands place at the mouth and younger people hand touch at chin.Khmer people are friendly and outgoing plus talking with complete stranger. Don’t be surprised if locals ask you to join the meal, once you pass by.First meeting, some distance should be kept with members of the opposite sex, there is no touching or handshake. But with same sex touching may occur like handshake or shoulder touch. In Buddhist culture, the top of the head is considered as secret, don’t touch someone head, event kids!Golden rule for asking question: don’t ask the question that you wouldn’t want to answer yourself. Sometime, you can make joke by Saying “my age is sweet 16, actually, you’re like 60!”, once you asked you and you don’t want to give answer.Taking a photo, when making new friend, is great idea in Cambodia. Locals will be happy to hear your Khmer language, try to speak out some words like, Jom reap sou( Hello), Orkun( thank), Leah hi( bye bye!),…§  Restaurant Typically, Khmer shared food with each other. Dishes divided in to 5 main group: Soup, Fried, krill, Steam and Noodle. Cambodian cuisines representative include Amok (fish, chicken,vegetable..) which serve in Coconut or banana leaves, Khmer Curry is amazing (red or green curry).Basically, we figure out that, Westerners, seem to take forever to order what they want. This can be a bit frustrating for small local restaurants since they rely on a quick turnover to business. Try your best to speed your choice!In the cities, Chopsticks or spoon and fork are offered to eat with while in the countryside your choice maybe a spoon and fork or your hand. Knife is almost disappeared on the table as it consider as a tool of death. Tourist cities, menus included photo, however, outside of the city will be your own or look someone around!Cambodians eat a range of vegetables including various green plants and leave as well some insects such Red ant and ages are cooked in soup while grasshoppers and tarantulas are also local specialty.In larger cities like Siem Reap , Phnom Pehn , Shihanouk village ,battambong, there are available foreign foods( i.e., international Branded  Restaurants..) for different budgeting.Usually, bill will be paid after eating, just make a gesture of signing a bill, the server will come to calculate your bill. Basically, Tipping is a gratuity while salaries are low, this tip gives to the server who give the change after paid.§  Market In the market, bargaining is the culture of selling and buying. Don’t be shy about asking prices, it can be the double what you should pay. Smarter buyer, check the prices more than one shop. The best way to deal with bagianing is walking away, then vendor will chase you back, then you get the best deal!Basically, in tourist cities, particular, Siem Reap everything you can pay in US dolars while there plenty of ATM in the city where you can withdraw in Khmer riels (4000riels=1$) and US dolars. Beside large hotels to exclusive shops, Credit cards are not accepted.If you truly want local souvenir, check out the textiles which is hand woven with a rough weave since worker are the ladies. If the materials looking at are smooth and without flaws, it has possibility was imported from China. An excellent gift in Cambodia is Kroma, a traditional –multi-functional uses scarf. It can be made of cotton, linen and silk.If you looking for an antique to your country, just make you buy from a good and reputable shop and certificated by the Ministry of Fine Art. From Black market, you can be likely arrested.§  Accommodations There is a wide range of accommodation in Cambodia, from five-star hotels to the simplest of lodgings. Many visitors choose to stay in locals business run by locals which they can support more local economic.  Go online and check it out!The low season in Cambodia is from May to September when the weather is rainy, hot and humid. So, almost business tourism-related is cheaper which High Season from November –March is the best weather (16 degree at night , 23 at day) but hotel facility is also higher price.§  Buddhist temple 85% of Khmer people are Buddhist, everywhere in this country, you can see Buddhist temples where the monks live. Buddhist monks here basically, wear yello-rope and shave hair.Entering Buddhist temple, you got to take of your hat, shoes off when entering the pagoda or clamping the praying place.§   medical care In Cambodia if locals become ill, they will go to pharmacy rather than to hospital since its much cheaper. Usually, Pharmacists are viewed as paramedics based on symptoms. Here, you don’t really need prescription to purchase medicines, just make detail on your symptoms and carefully to get the right medication.Only in larger hospital or pharmacies have staff who can speak English. In general, doctors are educated and can speak English and French. There are International Hospital in big, the cost is not cheap!If you would like to try traditional medication or herb, its possible in the market, it is better to get assistant from locals because they know better.There is more strict policy on unlicensed pharmacies from government§  Safety and problem If you plan to stay in Cambodia long period, its  a good idea to have local phone provider and getting number of local emergency such police ,ambulance and fire department.  Siem reap ranked as the safest city in Cambodia ,however, corruption is still remain between civil people government work since they get lower paid.Woman can travel alone while in Phnom Pehn , we have to pay more attention while walking alone at night.Pick pocket maybe occur at late at night, particular, once you walk around in dark area. In Siem Reap, can be happen around 1-4:00 am once people got drunk nearby Pub Street!