Cambodia introduces new code of conduct for Angkor Wat visitors

Following two separate incidents earlier this year involving American and French tourists who took selfies of themselves naked, Cambodia is introducing a new code of conduct and dress code for tourists to the UNESCO protected religious site.

Soon, anyone visiting the ancient temples of Angkor Wat will be banned from taking naked photos of themselves at the UNESCO Heritage site. Shorts and skirts above the knee will be banned and bare shoulders will also need to be covered up in sacred places.

Two main incidents hit the headlines earlier this year which involved foreign tourists stripping off for naked photo shoots and spontaneous selfies in the Angkor Archaelogical Park in Siem Reap.

Two American sisters have been fined and deported and banned from Cambodia for four years, while three French tourists were also made to leave the country for a similar offence.

Lindsay Adams and her sister Leslie,both in their early 20’s were arrested in Angkor Wat after they were caught taking nude selfies.  Their actions cost them each a fine of approx £200 and they were put on a bus to Thailand and banned from Cambodia for the next four years.

Angkor Wat, a temple complex, is the largest religious monument in the world.  Its entire site stretches over 400 sq km, including forests and the huge Archaeological Park contains the remains of different capitals of the Khmer Empire, dating from the 9th to 15th centuries.

To protect its intricate beauty and historic and religious importance, UNESCO now safeguards the site.

Authorities say the new dress and code of conduct rules will be distributed in various languages to local tour companies as well as hotels, to get the message across.

“Revealing clothes such as shorts and skirts above the knees and showing bare shoulders are prohibited in sacred places,” the new guidelines say.

Visitors will be banned from touching ancient structures and to also avoid giving money to children begging as it ‘encourages them not to attend school, but to beg’.

The name Angkor Wat means “City of Temples” in Khmer and it is one of the most stunning examples of Khmer Architecture, using sandstone instead of brick or laterite in its construction.

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