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No more Selfies with Monks at Angkor Wat, Cambodia!

9:38 PM

About time!

There's a time and place for everything, but in our selfie-obsessed culture, it can be tempting and easy to forget about the bigger picture when you have such a "unique" experience, you just have to capture a quick photo for likes.

Just as you would need to be properly covered out of respect for a holy site (such as when visiting The Vatican or Notre Dame de Paris), the Apsara National Authority has finally released a courtesy conduct standard for visitors
It's just etiquette. 
From telegraph.co.uk

Keep in mind that this is after years and years of people "partying" on the ancient temple grounds, stealing items, wearing down artifacts which have survived since the 1100s, etc. It's sad that the time has finally come for the actual need of enforcing what should be common sense and respectful behavior, but hopefully this encourages people to think more about their personal habits and ask themselves if what they're doing is actually helping or hurting someone else.

In short:

  • Don't smoke
  • Don't wear revealing clothing 
    • (you don't want the sun to beat down on your skin, anyway!)
  • Don't give money or candy to children 
    • (It only encourages them to beg instead of stay in school, and it's also unhealthy. Out of the list, this one is probably the hardest to do because they're so cute and you want to help, but stay strong! You won't help them by encouraging them to skip school to get temporary money or the child's version of crack, and it also encourages a culture for people to USE the cute kids as a scapegoat for something else since it works.)
    • (Just let them be. If they ask you for a photo, that's different, but please don't bombard them forcibly. They dedicated their lives to Buddhism and forgo lust, generally technology or driving, etc. They're at Angkor Wat for spiritual reasons, not for your selfie)
    • (This should be obvious. I mean, it's an ANCIENT temple. It's amazing in and of itself, and the fact that it's still standing after all of these CENTURIES AND the genocide makes it the 8th World Wonder!)
  • Don't touch the carvings, sit on fragile structures, and don't enter restricted areas 
    • (Again, should be obvious)
Just because it doesn't look Western doesn't mean it's not a sacred, religious site! Please be respectful.

Angkor Wat is Cambodia's pride and joy, a definite national treasure and our current world's connection to our past. 

After the Kingdom of Cambodia risked extinction from being nearly wiped out because of the fairly recent genocide, Cambodia has rebuilt. It's a beautiful place to visit, and Khmer people are known to be kind, polite, and passive after everything they've been through. However, it seems this kindness has been interpreted as weakness and people have taken advantage of the peaceful nature of the Cambodian people. It's a given that some may not like the new "rules" with the code of conduct, but really, it's all common sense and for decorum. People shouldn't have to be told "these are the rules" for them to want to behave in a respectful manner, but hey, each their own.

I'm proud of my people for standing up for themselves & doing what is in the best interest of preserving such a valuable, ancient landmark.

It's just logical, when you think about what 1.67 million foreign visitors (within the 1st 10 months of 2015) could do to the soil, ancient stone structures, etc., by just stomping around and playing on ancient temple grounds.

Angkor Wat is a UNESCO World Heritage Site.

To visit: $20/day, $40/3 days, or $60/week
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