There are several factors to keep in mind when planning your Indochina travel. What to wear in Cambodia is not an exception which is related to cultural elements, climate and activities you are planning to do.
Factors affect what to wear in Cambodia
Cultural element – Buddhism rules
Buddhism is the main religion of the country with 97% of population followers. Buddhism plays an important role in the daily lives of Cambodian, thus, people are very modest and gentle. As a result, modest dress is the rule in Cambodia, particularly for women. Even though Cambodians are very open to tourism industry, you should be aware of cultural elements and socially accepted norms to wear in an appropriate way.
Some people carry with them cute shorts or tank top when travelling around the world and also wear them in Cambodia and some people ending wearing these clothes when seeing others do, but my advice is NOT. Cambodia is a conservative country and people are too polite to comment but they will consider it as a way of disrespect their culture. The best advice is to look at what people are wearing and cover as much as possible.
When travelling to Cambodia, it is important to bear in mind that the weather will be hot no matter what time of the year. Between March and June is the hottest time of the year and it is coolest in January, although it is still in high 20 degrees. So remember to wear clothes which are airy and breathy such as clothes made of natural fabrics e.g line, cotton and silk.
From April to October, it can be hot and wet with lot of rain, so always remember to carry lightweight raincoat with you.
Cambodia is not only famous for temples, pagodas and palaces but there are lot of more things you could do in this beautiful country. Either spending time trekking in jungle in the north east or relaxing on the beach at Koh Rong island or Sihanouk Village would be another exciting experience to do as well. If you are going to do a trek in the jungle, you should wear long – sleeved clothes and strong mosquito repellent. Also, good walking shoes and leeches short is a must. If you are coming to the beach, swimming suite and bikini of course would be on your packing list. Still, it is highly recommended to cover your skin by sarong or dress when you are on sand.
General styles wearing tips
Clothing tips for women in Cambodia
It is difficult and you should think twice what to where when visiting Cambodia. Due to that you want to respect the culture to dress appropriately but still want to be comfortable as much as possible when touring outside, a suitable choice of clothes will make you feel happy to enjoy the whole day trip.
If you are going to visiting religious places or worship places, definitely your legs and your shoulders must be covered whatever you wear. So what is most suitable? Skirt or jeans? T-shirt or a long sleeve shirt? My advice is that you should wear a long loose pants with a T- shirt. It is also suitable if you are also going on tour by car, by tuk tuk or by bike. If you are still like to wear a dress, make sure to have a long scarf to cover your knees and legs when you are walking steps for the view and seeing more of the temple.
Clothes for men in Cambodia
Local men in Cambodia typically wear collared, short sleeved shirt and long pants. Even though, wearing shorts and T-shirt is find for travelers, still, covering your shoulder and knees when entering temples and pagodas is what you should do. Avoid short shorts, tank top, tight stretch/yoga pants or other clothing that is too revealing.
What footwear to wear in Cambodia
Depending on what activities, you could choose the most suitable shoes for you. Most of people will spend there time touring in temple, pagodas and palaces of Cambodia, thus a sandals is the most suitable one as it not only safe but also easy to take out when you are entering a religious sites. A pair of trekking sandals can be a good options if you are going on a jungle trip too. Still, I believe a good walking pair of shoes is the most suitable choice in this case.
Other things to pack
- As Cambodia is really hot country, you should always carry sunscreen with you. Besides, sun hat and sun glasses is top things not to forget.
- When you go out for tour activities, you often found the toilet unclean because of so many people in and out every day. Also, you should take your own little first aid kit such as anti bacterial hand-wash.
- If you are staying in basic accommodation, bring a sleeping bag, mosquito net and your own toilet paper.
- Bring/Buy big bottle of water not only for drinking but also use for brush your teeth as tap water is really unsafe for your stomach.
- As it is expected to rain a lot from April to October, remember to carry a light rain jacket when you are outside.
- Combine your bag with a handy backpack that will carry your daytime essentials during your Cambodia tour packages.
Some suggested Cambodia tours for your reference:
In conclusion, for the question what to wear in Cambodia, you should bring long, light, loose and cool clothes. Not only these clothes are good for weather but also appropriate for visiting Cambodia temples. Do not bring too much as you can buy good and cheap clothes in Cambodia, plus, laundry is quite reasonable at price here.
Van Do – Travel Specialist