I have heard that they are forbidden to touch women and they will even go as far as avoiding to stand next to them on a bus.
Can I talk to a monk?
What am I allowed to do?
In regard to talking, it really depends on the monk, and what kind of precepts (vows) they have taken. At worst, you will get one who has taken a vow of silence...and you won't get an answer back! Do not be afraid to approach a monk to talk to them - you wont be violating any of their precepts - only a monk is able to violate their vows with their own actions.
In regard to touching, it is true that some of them are forbidden to touch women - so do not be too alarmed if a monk is a little wary of you physically - they just want to remain true to their vows. But don't be too afraid to approach them to talk. almost 8 years ago
I met monks in Cambodia (both male and female monks) and was able to easily chat with them. One of the chaps in Angkor Wat was learning English and took great delight in sitting and talking with us (3 women) one afternoon. We did an impromptu English lesson for him!
Met a female monk (nun?) who had taken a vow of silence but we sat together and ate some simple food, again at Angkhor. Very humbling. almost 8 years ago
In Thailand and Cambodia you should not stand next to monks and don't allow your person to touch their robes. If you see one sitting on a boat or bus don't sit next to him but instead let a man take that seat. Additionally, women should not directly hand objects.
When giving alms in the morning ensure that your arm doesn't touch their giving bowl instead drop the item into the container.
Hope that helps. over 7 years ago