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Cambodia is primarily a Buddhist country and you should follow certain customs out of courtesy and respect for the religious practices. Visitors should remove their shoes before entering a modern temple if it contains a Buddha image. It is not necessary to observe this rule at the ruins of Angkor, as the temples are not actively used today. It is quite common to see monks around the ancient temples and they often like to practice their English with foreigners. A female, however, should never have any physical contact with a monk.

  Respect the temples and keep in mind that they were once sacred places of worship and are still considered hallowed sanctuaries by Cambodians. As such, do not climb on stone images (not even for a photograph) and be particularly careful not to touch the head of a figure as this is considered the most sacred part of the body. Avoid touching any person's or child's head for similar reasons. It is also considered offensive to point a finger at anyone or at any religious image. The Western gesture is replaced by indicating with the whole hand up-turned.

Edit by: DougW
East Timor
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