Just got this question from a friend and as in every thing or place in life yes it can be dangerous it can also be completely awesome it’s first and foremost up to you – let me elaborate.
Warning ⚠️ Anyone offended by straight talk and reality can stop reading now.
Here is how I see it – mainly is it depends on your behavior, appearance and where you set your foot.
Behavior – the big “my ego comes first” attitude that most westerners have nowadays – you may want to tone that down a few notches or leave it all at home because it will just get you bad service and absolutely no smiles and if you also manage to get drunk and/or out of order on top of that I can pretty much guarantee that you wake up with no money or valuables and your are lucky if you are in one piece close to or in your hotel when you do. Don’t be an asshole if you don’t want to be treated like one. Also a good one is for say you did get food that you didn’t order be polite, smile and tell them that (or try you may like it) do not start to scream and shout and make a scene – it’s not cool.
Side story – sat beside a real asshat with his wife and two daughters yesterday from Holland in an Indian restaurant that had awesome food and service and the “man” in the family started shouting loudly that he was for sure not going to pay for one of the plates – when this charade was over a totally devastated waitress came out to us almost on her knees apologizing to us for the scene – then We needed to smooth it over and say it’s ok over and over again – Hope this Asshat can read and finds this blog.
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Cambodian people in general is very friendly and the only time I have seen a Barang (foreigner) get into trouble is when they totally and utterly have disrespect a Cambodian man or woman doesn’t matter that is not a fancy look.
And if you see smiling waiving kids – wave back and smile or start smiling and wave yourself and see the reaction – it’s awesome – waving at foreigners is actually something that they get to learn in school as well in life.
Be nice to children and let them be children not all of them are fortunate enough to have an easy life.
One more thing on that – IF you see a dispute or argument NEVER interfere or I’ll read about you in the news tomorrow.
Appearance – this is also a common sense one – while you are enjoying Cambodia and are being amazed how wonderful and cheap everything is remember the reason why things are inexpensive – many Cambodian people are very poor compared to you so keep that in mind when dressing up with bling bling – tone it down because they already know you come with money so don’t put a pink neon ATM sign on your forehead to further enhance your chances to get into problems.
Side note – Temples and such places – wear appropriate clothing no showing shoulders no shorts and if you even get in with inappropriate clothes you will get some very unfriendly looks and maybe more – Respect their culture zero joke here.
Where you set your foot – for me this is not only for Cambodia it’s wherever I go – don’t go down alleyways that are remote and dark because they are usually not empty whether it’s an angry dog pack or someone that hopefully just wants your money and not you life.
What I just wrote I could have used two words for – Common sense. But even that means different things to different people.
Remember that you are a welcomed guest in their country just learn the boundaries and you will be fine – I have a trick I use – I smile and I ask politely – If you aren’t already give smiling a try I ensure you it’s not painful at all – it can be extremely powerful to be nice sometimes…
We have been traveling since 31 December 2018 and have our home base in Phuket Thailand.
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