While travellers are often careful about dressing in places such as the Middle East, Cambodia is a destination where many travellers feel more relaxed about what they wear. However, as the very well publicised case of the “naked bike riders” showed, Cambodia is actually a place where I would recommend you dress a little more conservatively.
So here are my tips:
What to wear in Siem Reap town, Cambodia
The town of Siem Reap is heavily touristed, so people tend to be a little more laid-back about what they wear. Nonetheless, I would still recommend wearing something more on the conservative side, especially if you are planning on going further out or visiting an NGO. Floaty dresses, long skirts and t-shirts for the ladies are conservative and cool, and for guys, shorts below the knee with t-shirts are a safest.
What to wear to temples such as Angkor Wat
These sites are very significant to the Khmer people, and have special religious significance. Therefore, this is a place to be really careful with how you dress. Make sure that your shoulders and knees are covered. Avoid anything short, tight or low-cut. I have known people to be ejected from Angkor Wat for showing their shoulders – so please be careful!
What to wear to the Royal Palace in Phnom Penh
Like Angkor Wat, a dress code is enforced here. Make sure your knees and shoulders are covered.
What to wear in Sihanoukville
Sihanoukville is a beach town packed with tourists, so I would say it is even more relaxed than Siem Reap. You can probably get away with wearing most things here, but since I prefer to be on the safe side, I wore a 1 piece bathing suit with a sarong when not actually in the water.