PHNOM PENH, Cambodia (AP) — Visitors who dress immodestly will not be allowed to enter Cambodia's famed Angkor temple complex, the agency that oversees the site said Thursday.
Long Kosal, a spokesman for Apsara Authority, which oversees the archaeological complex, said that beginning Aug. 4, local and foreign tourists will be required to wear pants or skirts below the knees and shirts that cover their shoulders. Those not dressed appropriately will be required to change their clothes before being allowed to enter the temple site in northwestern Cambodia.
Long Kosal said the ban was implemented because "Wearing revealing clothes disrespects the temple's sanctity."
He said that his organization had advised tour agencies, hotels and airport officials last December that all foreign visitors should be aware of what type of clothes they should wear when they visit.
Illustrations of what is considered inappropriate clothing and behavior are being posted on the organization's website, an English version of which is still under construction.
Angkor Wat, the spiritual center of the Khmer empire that dominated the region from the 9th to 15th centuries, is Cambodia's biggest tourist attraction, a UNESCO World Heritage site and a symbol of national pride that is emblazoned on the Cambodian flag. About 2.1 million foreign tourists visited last year.
Immodest dress is not the worst breach of modesty the temples have suffered. Early last year there was a small spate of Western tourists who posed naked for snapshots, and those who were caught were fined and deported.