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.

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One of my more conservative outfits! I’m on the right.

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.

Always carry a scarf, which is perfect to use to cover yourself if you find yourself feeling a bit underdressed.
Always carry a scarf, which is perfect to use to cover yourself if you find yourself feeling a bit underdressed.

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.

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