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January 3, 2020
A Guide for Backpackers in Cambodia
Taing Rinith / Khmer Times Share:
There are many travel agencies in Cambodia, which offer great tour packages, allowing passengers to enjoy the iconic features of travelling in the Kingdom. However, many adventurous travelers are coming to this country as backpackers, adopting a form of low-cost, independent travel. If you are one of them, this is a guide from Taing Rinith which guarantees an enjoyable and safe trip.
Cost of living
Cambodia’s cost of living is very low, which makes it one of the most attractive destinations for backpacking. You can get a meal for as little as $1 from the street food carts which usually sell steamed white rice alongside one side dish, fried noodles or meat buns. They can be found almost everywhere in the country. Regarding accommodations, you can rent a hostel room, equipped with a ceiling fan and a bathroom, for around $10. The cheaper alternative is to rent a bed at the local dorms for around $2.
Cambodians do not have the habit of hitchhiking, so you should not stick out your thumb on the street for a chance of a ride-along. The cheapest means of transportation is motor taxi (known as motordup). Motordup drivers would usually wave at you if you are walking on the street and most know enough English to give you the price or to bargain. But there are also public buses, tuk-tuk and auto rickshaw for you to commute with.
Have an offline map
You cannot always depend on Google Maps in Cambodia since your phone may not have internet connection or poor GPS in some places across the country. Instead, download an offline map or buy a traditional map before starting your journey. If you don’t speak the local language, get a handbook ready so that you can find directions or ask the locals for help.
Learn a bit of the language
Several essential Khmer phrases will not only earn you heaps of laughs and smiles, but also help steer down prices – something that comes in handy if you’re planning on sticking around for a while. Knowing simple phrases such as: how are you? (sok sabay chea te), how much (tlai puman)? and basic numbers will enhance every experience.
Making friends in Cambodia is easy. The majority of guesthouses have communal areas and bars where you’ll find other backpackers hanging out. Travelling together is a good idea because you can help one another and it is also more fun.
What you must not do
This may sound funny, but you have to remember this – many Western tourists previously got in trouble for exposing their bare bodies in public here. In the best scenarios, they were let off with just a warning by the authorities, but things could go awry real fast. Many were arrested and deported for public indecency at Angkor Wat, Cambodia’s top tourist spot and religious temple in Siem Reap. It is always a good idea to dress properly.
Theravada Buddhism is the official religion of Cambodia. The Buddhist monks are highly respected within the society. They cannot be physically touched by women so female tourists should take note.
Women should never touch a monk or hand anything to them; even the monk’s mother may not hug her son while he is a monk.
If a monk is seated, you should also sit but at some point lower. Monks are prohibited from eating after noon so you have to be respectful and not do so around them during that time.
To Cambodians, a person’s head is his or her highest and most sacred part of the body. So you cannot touch it, even to ruffle a kid’s hair in a joking manner.
On the contrary, the feet are considered the dirtiest and least sacred, so you have to be cautious about how you move or place yours. Always take off your shoes before entering a Cambodian house.You should avoid handing people things or eating with your left hand because business and eating are typically conducted with the right hand only.
https://www.khmertimeskh.com/50676391/a ... n-cambodia
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