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Siem Reap Province Prepares for Spectacular Water Festival Celebrations

by Surya Narayan
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Siem Reap province in Cambodia is gearing up to host an array of exciting entertainment programs to welcome both national and international visitors during the upcoming Water Festival, one of the country’s most significant celebrations. The event is scheduled to take place from November 26th to November 28th, with Siem Reap starting its festivities one day earlier, running until October 29th.

According to Ngov Sengkak, the Director of the Siem Reap Provincial Department of Tourism, this cultural province is all set to offer a fantastic experience to festival-goers. The celebrations will encompass a range of traditional and contemporary activities that showcase Cambodia’s rich culture and heritage.

One of the highlights of the festival is boat racing, a traditional competition that captivates both participants and spectators. As boats glide down the Siem Reap river, visitors can witness the skill and determination of the rowers as they vie for victory. The illuminated floating boats, adorned with vibrant decorations and lights, will add a touch of magic to the nighttime festivities.

Moon salutations and pounded rice eating are also on the menu, allowing visitors to partake in ancient customs and rituals that hold deep cultural significance. These activities provide an opportunity to engage with the local culture and traditions.

The Siem Reap provincial administration is collaborating with the Union of Youth Federations of Cambodia and the private sector to organize a diverse range of additional activities. These include boat tours, water markets, exhibitions, concerts, and even Khmer boxing, which promises to be a thrilling experience for sports enthusiasts.

In preparation for the influx of tourists, key tourism destinations in the province are fully equipped to provide an unforgettable experience to all visitors. The provincial authorities have also issued a directive to tourism service providers to ensure that they maintain high-quality service standards and refrain from increasing their fees, ensuring affordability for all.

It’s worth noting that Siem Reap has been steadily recovering from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. In the first nine months of 2023, around 71 percent of the total 1,165 tourism businesses in the province have successfully reopened their operations, a positive sign of the region’s resilience and readiness to welcome visitors once more.

The Water Festival is a cherished tradition in Cambodia, and Siem Reap province is determined to make this year’s celebrations extraordinary. With its mix of traditional customs and contemporary entertainment, the festival promises to be a delightful experience for all, making it a must-visit destination for travelers from around the world. Don’t miss the chance to immerse yourself in Cambodian culture and revel in the festive spirit during this special occasion in Siem Reap.

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