No, you can’t wear your tanktop at Angkor Wat

20140601-204214-74534565.jpgGoing to Southeast Asia? My latest article for the spring 2016 issue of Canadian Traveller magazine details some need to know etiquette tips for Angkor Wat and other areas of this predominantly Buddhist region.

Do you know:

  • … what to do — and not do — with your hands and feet?
  • … how to interact with a monk?
  • … what to be aware of with other people’s heads (such as those of the cute kids here)?
  • … how to observe the Buddhist alms giving ceremony — tak batlet kids be kids. Cambodia. More tips Johanna Read — a highlight of visiting Luang Prabang, Laos?
  • … what to wear, despite the heat, at Cambodia’s Angkor Wat?

It’s on newsstands now, but you can read my latest article, What do you mean, I can’t wear my tanktop at Angkor Wat? right here.

When you travel, you need to adapt to the place you’re in. None of us ever want to offend our hosts, but sometimes we do so unwittingly. In places that are different than home, we don’t always know all the etiquette rules about what is acceptable and what isn’t.

My article gives some easy to remember tips so you’ll make no faux pas in Southeast Asia.

Making an effort to fit in is a key part of responsible tourism. There’s lots of benefits, for example:

  • you make the citizens of your host country more likely to welcome you;
  • you reduce the risks of changing the local culture and economy for the worse;
  • you stand out less as a tourist, so are less likely to be charged tourist prices or be a victim of street crime;
  • plus, it just makes everything nicer for everyone!

What are your tips for visiting Southeast Asia?


10 responses to “No, you can’t wear your tanktop at Angkor Wat

  1. Yes, there definitely needs to be more responsible tourism! I think we should be very careful visiting places that offer elephant rides or hugging tigers. Those places are often rife with animal abuse, not to say there aren’t good places to visit! We just need to do more research!

    Liked by 1 person

      • Exactly. They think it is just a tourist attraction and forget that for many people it is a holy place. Same for the tak bat ceremony in Luang Prabang, Laos — it’s a religious practice, not a tourist attraction. I’ve said to people “would you do that in your church at home?”.


        Liked by 1 person

      • well said . People take pictures of Cremations in India and I am amazed at the total lack of thought for those who are mourning the death of their loved ones.


      • Wow – I’ve not seen that …. I think it is just an awareness issue … Many people just don’t realize that even though a religious practice is taking place outdoors, it doesn’t mean it is any less sacred. I’m hoping that by sharing this information people can become more aware and therefore more respectful.


        Liked by 1 person

      • yes well posted. thank you. I feel for most it is a Zoo and then comment on pictures in their drawing rooms in Europe and USA.


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