Making A Splash At Cambodia’s Water Festival

Bon Om Touk, otherwise known as the Cambodian Water Festival, is one of the highlights of the year for many Cambodians, an exuberant event that’s timed to celebrate the end of the monsoon season and the start of the cooler season. This year the festival will be celebrated on the 26th – 28th November.

Many provincial towns celebrate with dragon boat races along the rivers where locals line the banks and cheer on their favourite teams. These races symbolize the heroic victory of the ancient Khmers over their adversaries on the Tonle Sap River. While the largest event is in the capital city of Phnom Penh, perhaps the most visitor-friendly experience takes place in the temple town of Siem Reap, where locals and tourists alike gather to raise a glass and welcome the changing season. A stroll among the pop-up, pedestrian friendly markets that spring up along the riverbanks, stopping off to try a few exotic snacks and drinks, is an unforgettably atmospheric experience.

A key feature of the festivities is when people make a wish in the evening,  by lighting a candle on a small tray  and setting it on the river to float away, taking with it the worries of the past year and bringing luck for the months ahead. This is a truly moving, gentle ceremony which is open to one and all.  

For more information and bookings, get in touch with our reservation team in Cambodia at:
[email protected]

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