Here are some handy notes and tips...

  • Our students will tell you this as well - please, please, please, do not shell-out any money for the sake of charity..... The beggars, street-kids and landmine victims are well organized businesses - their rag-clothes and dirty faces may tear at your heart, but just remember you will not be changing their lives - only helping them reach their budget for the day (and they make plenty already!!). 

  • On greeting, the best way is to cup your hands in-front of your chest and say hello. ‘Hello’ in Khmer is ‘chom reap suor' or 'sous dey’ (informal), but if you say hello in English of course everyone will understand.

  • When saying goodbye, again cupping your hands and saying goodbye and thank you is most acceptable. Goodbye in Khmer is 'leah seun hai' and thank you is 'awkhun'.

 

  • When you enter homes or pagodas, you will need to remove your shoes – for that reason slip-ons/sandals/thongs/crocs will be most convenient and practical (all very acceptable footwear for daytime or night-time).

 

  • When sitting on the floor in homes or pagodas, feet should be to your side or sit cross-legged as it’s considered impolite to sit with your legs straight and pointing at someone.

 

  • It's always warm – shorts are perfectly acceptable. T-shirts are best, otherwise short-sleeve shirts – singlets are OK for tourists but not recommended for the NGO. You can wear any of the above at the temples and the pagodas – although we would recommend to have your shoulders covered at the pagodas (no singlets) – out of respect more than anything else.

 

  • Tipping is much appreciated throughout Cambodia, but in moderation - $1 at the max….. Keep in mind MOST people in Cambodia live on $1 a day – so  $1 is a lot of money. Cambodia's currency is the Riel, but US Dollars are accpeted everywhere.  1 USD is equivalent to approximately 4000 KHR.

  • If you want to do something for any of our students if they spend the day with you, perhaps take them to lunch – it will cost you very little – maybe $2-5 each….. This would be very appreciated by them and it will also give them a chance to practice their English….

 

  • If you want to take something for kids in an orphanage, perhaps take some small snacks - our student-managers can assist with this and can take you to the market where the locals shop. You can find everything there from clothing to hardware – the food areas may be a little on the nose, but fascinating to see and very few tourists even know this market exists….. There you can find some large packs of snacks the kids like – our student-managers can point you in the right direction. Alternatively – if you go to the market on your way to the orphanage in the morning you can buy the kids a whole stalk of bananas (that’s the whole branch – 96 bananas!!) – for about $5……!!!

  • You may take photos of our students – just let them know you'd like some photos and they'll be more than happy to pose.... At the homes and the orphanage, just ask if it’s OK to take photos – that’s more for being polite, as they very rarely say no……

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Siem Reap, Cambodia

  • Melbourne, Australia

© 2020 by Cambodia Rural Students Trust