Cambodia is a country steeped in history, tradition, and clothing, which urges tourists to try dressing like the locals, and how to wear Cambodia traditional dress becomes an interesting activity. Knowing the essential information about the traditional dresses in Cambodia will aid you in wearing the right outfits for the fantastic photos and joyful experiences.
#1: How to wear Krama in Cambodia
Wearing Krama (the checked scarf), you can get the stylish photographs when traveling to both rural and urban Cambodia. This is the signature fabric in the country; people can wear it around the neck or wrap it around the head (just like the countryside farmers). In fact, Krama is multi-use in Cambodia, not only for dressing but also for making the baby’s hammock, carrying small objects in, wiping away sweat in the hot days, etc.
Nowadays, Krama becomes a “fashionable” item that tourists in Cambodia would like to wear while photographing. The modern Krama comes in various sizes, quality, and colors that fit the international demands. You can easily buy a Krama in the local shops and night markets. Then, take it easy to use it as a scarf or the turban. Just use your gut feeling for fashion and mix-match the outfit with Krama in Cambodia!
#2: How to wear Sampot in Cambodia
As a national garment of Cambodia, Sampot could be dated back to the Funan era. It refers to the large piece of cloth (often measuring 9-feet long and 3-feet wide) wrapped around the lower part of the body. The garment can be draped in various ways according to the occasions. If you have seen the “sarong” of Thailand, then you might feel the similarity; however, each garment has the unique specialty. Sampot in Cambodia can be grouped into two major types: Sampot Chang Kben and Sampot Tep Apsara.
- Sampot Chang Kben: This garment is used for day-to-day wear, resembling the trousers instead of a skirt or “sarong”, and measuring over 9-feet long and 3-feet wide. The dressing is to wrap the cloth around the waist and pull away from the body. Then, draw a knot between the legs and kept in place by using a metallic belt. You can meet Khmer women wearing this Sampot at Angkor Wat. So, visitors can try wearing this popular kind of Sampot and record the cultural moments.
- Sampot Tep Apsara: This kind of Sampot is no longer worn in daily Cambodia but could only be seen in the Apsara performances served in Phnom Penh and Siem Reap. And for the ways, it’s tied at the waist and kept up by a golden belt.
Besides, there stand out several variations of Sampot such as Sampot Phamnuong (textile fabric with 52 colors), Sampot Hol (influenced by the India textile with more than 200 patterns), etc. Regardless of the modern fashion winds, with more other garments which are easier to buy and dress, most of the Khmers still love wearing the comfortable Sampot – their traditional costume.
#3: How to wear Av Pak in Cambodia
Av Pak (means “embroidered shirt”) is a blouse for women in Cambodia. This garment is made from cotton, with intricate hand-painted figures and embroidered with silk and gold thread. It is the elaborate gold-thread around the parts of the blouse that makes it aesthetic and eye-catching. Ak Pak in Cambodia is often mixed with the Sampot, creating the perfect formal outfit worn by Khmer women during the special events. In particular, Ak Pak is always teamed with Sampot Hol, as the modern classical suit of the Khmers today.
Try dressing like the Khmers when you travel to Cambodia, and the experience should be exciting, beautiful, and memorable indeed.