No Laughing in Cambodia?

May 13, 2010

A sign that has puzzled so many tourists visiting Cambodia may just be lost in translation. Our blogger, Chea Phal explains what can and can't be done in his country.


What does this sign in Tuol Sleng Museum mean?


Whenever I bring visitors to Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum, aka S21, I am frequently asked the meaning of the above sign.

“Does it mean that laughing is prohibited here?” they questioned me. I wonder if anyone can translate it correctly without the Khmer phrase សូមរក្សាភាពស្ងៀមស្ងាត់ (which roughly means “Please do not make noise.” in English) written on the upper part of the sign. As the place is well visited by foreign visitors, I keep asking myself why the person in charge did not care to have the English translation, if they cannot find a more comprehensible sign.


A clearer explanation of what can and can't be done at Angkor Wat

A clearer explanation of what can and can’t be done at Angkor Wat

Photo credit: Chea Phal

Chea Phal also blogs at A Photo Diary