Asia Life

Cambodia to Enforce Stricter Angkor Wat Dress Code

New code of conduct will be enforced starting August 4.

Cambodia to Enforce Stricter Angkor Wat Dress Code
Credit: Wikimedia Commons

Starting August 4, tourists visiting the Angkor Wat temple complex in Cambodia will have to abide by a stricter dress code designed to ensure respect for the UNESCO World Heritage site, a state agency said this week.

Last year, Cambodia’s premier tourism site had been in the spotlight following a series of incidents where tourists were either posing nude or wearing revealing clothing. In response, a so-called code of conduct for tourists was originally issued last December which requests visitors to refrain from wearing revealing shorts and shirts and exposing their bare shoulders. Though that had led to a decline in such incidents, isolated cases had reportedly still persisted.

This week, Apsara Authority, the agency which manages the complex, issued a statement saying that the dress code would be enforced beginning August 4. The statement reportedly included photos of tourists in various forms of clothes at the site, including images of scantily-clad visitors.

“We will not allow them to buy a temple pass if they wear revealing clothes,” the group’s spokesman Long Kosal said according to The Phnom Penh Post. “However, our officials will inform them what they should wear to be able to visit our ancient temples, so they can come back to buy a ticket later after they change their clothes.

“When visitors dress appropriately during their visit to the park, it means they are showing respect to Cambodian sacred temples, culture and Cambodian women’s values,” he added.

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Last year, 2.1 million tourists visited the Angkor Wat complex, according to Apsara Authority, bringing $60 million in ticket sales. It remains one of Asia’s most visited tourism sites.