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Water Festival

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Bon Om Touk

It is the second-largest ceremony after Cambodian New Year. It is an exciting celebration that occurs once a year in Cambodia. Bon Om Touk, also known as the Cambodian Water Festival, celebrates the reversal of the Tonle Sap River. The Tonle Sap River reverses twice a year, lining up with Cambodia’s rainy and dry seasons. When the water from the Mekong River flows into the Tonle Sap River, large lake forms. This takes up a vast amount of land and the lake usually quadruple his area. When the river reverses, however, there are silt deposits that enrich the soil for farming and the fish are abundant. This phenomenon happened only in Cambodia!

A unique 3 days dish!

A special dish for the holidays that one can indulge in is Ambok. Ambok is a roasted rice dish with coconut & banana. This typically lasts 3 days, with each night illuminated by light-filled longboats along the river. There is also a lot of spirituality within these 3 days, where people pray for a year of good crops & rice harvest.

Top 3 activities to do over the Water Festival

We highly recommend during this amazing festival to visit the countryside, the Tonle Sap area and try of course the Ambok. You will see some unusual activities that few tourists can enjoy in their life. This is definitely a time to go beyond Angkor Wat temples and discover the Khmer Way of life.

Date of the festivities

Bon Om Touk occurs on different dates each year, depending on the natural state of the water reversal. This year, the holiday will take place from October 30th till November 1st. When visiting Cambodia for the Water Festival, you can see many festivities including racing traditional longboats (also known as dragon boats), traditional dance & music performances, and of course, join in with eating & drinking classic Cambodian dishes.

Tour over this festive time

If you are on holiday in Cambodia during the Water Festival, you should definitely look at our of our 3 Tours we propose. The Tonle Sap discover tour is a perfect choice to understand the importance of the water in Siem Reap and how Cambodian people live with this resource. While the countryside tour will show you farmers and Khmer family in their day to day life. Then no better time to try our acclaimed After Dark Food Tour to taste and understand our food culture.


Photo by Pou Neang on Unsplash

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