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How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

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Adelaide, Australia
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36 posts
8 reviews
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How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

Hi. Last time I was there I had a couple of problems with people in public places accosting me and trying to sell me things, and not always taking no for an answer.

Now I realise that respect is a big deal in Khmer culture, so I don't want to be rude to them. But how can I get the message across?

For instance, would it be too disrespectful to just ignore them, not look them in the eye, and walk away?

Geelong, Australia
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1. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

Hi, I just said Ot Day Aw Coon or just Ot Day which means No Thank you and worked a treat. Hope this helps. Lizzy

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2. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

Thanks lizzy, that,s usefull to know. Don,t be rude towards the people, Cambodia is a poor country, they just want to support there families. I have had hawkers come to me from all over India, and I never see it as hassle as a way of life. A little kindless goes a long way. One memory that springs to me while in India, a little stall wanted me to buy a pineapple, I did, nt want it but brought it, as money just a few pence to me. When I was sitting on my hotel balcony, over looking this shack where a family lived, I shouted to the man, and throwed him the pineapple which he ate with his family. That day made three sets of people happy, myself, the stall holder and the family. All for a few pence :))

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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3. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

As poster #1 said, just say "ot'aye akun" and keep on walking, do not engage them in further conversation and they will move onto the next clueless tourist.

You may want to ask a local how to pronounce the above before you start trying though, because if you don't say it right they might just laugh and keep hassling you ;)

Phnom Penh, Cambodia
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338 posts
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4. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

Similar to the other posters. Smile, but don't stop and say No Thank you firmly (I find English or Khmer works, so long as you're firm but friendly).

If you want to take it a step further try "Ot drow-gaar". It literally means "I don't need it" and is a little less abrupt than 'no' or 'I don't want it'. It tends to prevent any further objections and will often elicit a smile and a laugh, works equally well with tuk-tuks and motos.

siem reap
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5. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

almost every temple you go to will have numerous hawkers or sales people asking you to buy there items.

many they are young childern that do half day selling items and half day at school,

they are very very good at direct sales people and dont take no for an answer .they have learnt that some tourist just need to be asked many many times for a yes to come out hehe

a few facts about the set up is the small stalls are owned by somebody and all the sales people work out of,rent needs to be paid,there is a small rope in front of each stall ,if the sellers pass this rope they need to pay the police extra money,so the people at the very entry to the temples are paying for this position.these will be the most aggressive or persistant.they (the sellers) cant enter the temples with you so just keep walking:)

i have many friends that are sellers at different temples,they are young people living within the park,close to the place of work,because the items they sell are almost all the same,tee shirts thicklets,scaffs , cloths ect,the selling is very poor,the stalls need to support maybe 12 people or a few families so not so easy.

they speak ok simple english together with chinese,thai,and many others:) just smile and say no and walk on,however if you go and look at a few stalls there its cheaper to buy than the markets due to lower rents ,the biggest problem is the swarm of childern around all yelling at you to buy there produces,this drives some tourist away from there stalls, if you come from a country where hawkers or direct sellers are common than its a game and can be quite fun,but if you come from a country where its not common anymore,than it maybe harder for you.

big smile and and just say no thank you:)

New York City, New...
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6. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

Alot them sell books. I usually say I already have it ,which I did. At that point they leave me alone. One young man, spoke pretty good english. We had a great exchange. Although I didn't buy anything, someone esle was interest it. I told them he was selling his books cheaper than I got mine for in the market. He was very thankful. In general saying no thank you works and just walk fast.

7. Re: How to respectfully deal with all hawkers?

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