Angkor Code of Conduct

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Angkor Wat code of conduct video depicts offensive tourist behaviour

A video about Angkor’s new behavioural code has been published telling tourists not to give to beggars, climb temples or take selfies with monks.  

For the preservation and sustainable development of Angkor, please respect and share the Angkor Visitor Code of Conduct. Complying to the code of conduct will not only improves the joy of your visit but also contribute the preservation for Angkor. 

Tourists told not to smoke, give to begging children or take selfies with monks, as plans to open Angkor Wat earlier are announced

The video has been sent to every TV channel in Cambodia.

A new code of conduct for visitors to Angkor Wat has been backed up by the publication of a video designed to show tourists the types of behaviour that are considered unacceptable.

Visitors to the Khmer site, Cambodia’s biggest attraction, will have to abide by new rules that were put in place on posters around the site last month.

The recently published rules ban activities including smoking, giving to begging children and taking selfies with monks.

The guidance came after a worrying trend in foreigners stripping naked at the archaeological site emerged earlier this year.

The Apsara Authority that runs the site and consulted on the posters, has now also produced a video

The video shows a Khmer king, riding through the grounds of the Angkor compex on the back of an elephant. At the same time, modern-day tourists mill about, one of them a blonde woman in high-heels and hot pants. The king notices her and stops his entourage. “No revealing clothes” a caption in English states.

A man in a vest and mirrored sunglasses is then shown taking a drag on a cigarette as a “no smoking” caption appears.

Surveying the land, the king also spots a woman handing cash to a begging child and bows his head in sorrow.

Monks who have just been praying are then stopped by a woman who takes a selfie with them, while another man climbs the side of a temple, others touch and put their feet up on temple reliefs and leave behind litter. All activities are now prohibited.

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Angkor Wat in Cambodia is to open earlier so that more people can see it – but visitors will have to abide by a new code of conduct put in place around the site.

From January 1, the main Khmer temple of Angkor, Angkor Wat, alongside smaller Phnom Bakheng, will be opening two hours earlier, from 5.30am, in order to cater for those wanting to see sunrise from the temples.

In the meantime, a code of conduct has been published on posters outside temples in an attempt to curb the inappropriate behaviour of some of the thousands who already visit each year.

Cambodian monks, tour guides, local authorities and Unesco representatives spent two years discussing the types of behaviour that they would like to see eradicated from the important Khmer site.

The consultation has led to the issuing of a code of conduct for the archaeological site that bans activities including smoking, giving to begging children and taking selfies with monks.

The new guidance came after a worrying trend in foreigners stripping naked at the archaeological site emerged earlier this year.

New common sense rules about keeping clothes on and not touching monuments will be printed out and distributed to hotels and tour guides

Visitors to the site will now see a poster outside each temple asking them not to engage in certain types of disrespectful behaviour, illustrated by pictures of tourists posing sexily in doorways, clambering over loose stones, and hovering over monks with mobile phones.

“These restrictions have been coming ever since Angkor witnessed a succession of flashers last winter,” said Andrew Booth, founder of Cambodia specialist ABOUTAsia Travel (aboutasiatravel.com), “and following the similar incident on Mount Kinabalu in Borneo.”

The Apsara National Authority said its goal is “to harmonise tourist experiences with public safety and respect towards our community”.

Revealing clothes such as shorts and skirts above the knee and tops showing bare shoulders are prohibited, according to the new poster.

Touching, leaning or sitting on temple structures is also strictly prohibited, as is climbing on loose stones. “Giving candy or money to children encourages them not to attend school but to beg,” the poster states. “If you wish to help the children, please consider donating to a recognised charity.”

It suggests that tourists ask a monk’s permission before taking a photograph, as monks are “revered and respected”. “Women should not touch nor stand or sit too close to monks,” it adds.

In a final warning, the poster states: “Any act of looting, breaking or damaging Angkor, or exposing sex organs and nudity in a public area is a crime punishable by law.”

The new rules follow the arrest of three French men who posed naked at Banteay Kdei temple earlier this year and outrage at a Chinese model who posed topless amid the ruins in January.

The poster has been put up outside Angkor’s temples, in four languages.

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Source: The Guardian

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