Cambodian Water Festival in Siem Reap

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We didn’t plan on coming to Cambodia for the Water Festival. In fact, we had no idea that Cambodia had more national holidays than any other country in the world.

We do this a lot actually…go to places without knowing if there is a holiday happening. We used to check for special events or holidays in advance of going somewhere during our first year traveling and then realized that it made no difference to our plans or anything knowing this.

Water Festival

If you want to know what the water festival is you can look it up HERE like I did.   Its a short and quick explanation of what the festival is all about.

Anywho, I’m not a festival girl. I don’t like crowds either. I didn’t go to festivals in the states so I’m not about to seek them out in other countries.

I heard that 4 million people were expected in Phnom Penh. So glad we didn’t go back there.

This was just a small amount of garbage being collected from one spot on the river. Can you imagine what Phnom Penh looks like right now?

Also, this is where one local woman lives. See that chair near the bush? That’s her chair and stuff. She was out walking with her things the past 3 days during the day.

Call me a party pooper or whatever but I don’t trust crowds. People can get out of control, people crowd and…because I’m tall I get held onto and I don’t like it.

However, I do love walking and eating and it was time for a late lunch so, we decided to walk through the festival area here by the River because a lot of other places we’re closed.

Today is the last day of the festivities in all of Cambodia, not just in Siem Reap.  There have been fireworks each night, twice last night in fact. Once at 5:30 pm when it was still light out and then again at exactly midnight. The night before they were at 6:30 pm. Wonder what time they will shoot off tonight.

We walked over and I put on my mask because the exhaust from the tuk-tuks were a lot today. We bought Sebastian his own mask and he insisted on wearing it too.

The masks really do help with the dust, smokers and exhaust fumes.

Anyway, things were definitely winding down but we got to see local kids having fun throwing balls at a dunk tank and knocking their friends in the water.

This was Sebastian’s favorite thing to watch

Sebastian also LOVED watching the kids sitting on pipes trying to knock each other into the pool of water using boxing gloves. And, the locals were all having a much fun.

I’m looking at the screen, not myself, to see the kids in the background and then to pan to Shibby’s face

Sebastian was whooping and hollering and cheering. Before he saw the kids he was crying because the music was too loud – which it was.

We walked around a little bit before we headed to lunch. Not much else was going on because the real fun and crowds gather at night.

We went for a walk the other morning and there was a tourist passed out on a bench. Shawn had seen him out totally wasted the night before when he went to get some water for us.

Anywho, after about 15 minutes there wasn’t much else going on so we crossed back over the river and headed to lunch.

We wanted salads with Avocado and realized that there was a Hard Rock Cafe around the corner. The salads we’re great and good quality.

Cobb Salad

Later we headed back out to the festival because we were hungry for dessert. Swensons is the big Ice Cream shop here (and all over SE Asia) and we also went to a Pastry Shop called… Paris Bakery Cafe

Anyway, the music was even louder and the crowds were getting bigger.  Time for me to leave.

Overall I’d say that all the locals shut down stores and restaurants the 3rd day so make sure you head down to town to get food and enjoy seeing all the locals having fun.

If you like festivals and having fun then make sure to come to a water festival next year.


14 thoughts on “Cambodian Water Festival in Siem Reap”

  1. I would definitely check out Swenson’s if I was there. I can never say no to ice cream. It looks like it was a fun festival!

  2. Love following you around on your adventures. That boxing dunk tank looked like fun (as a spectator). I’ve got to be in the right mindset for festivals…sometimes they’re overstimulating.

  3. The Cambodian Water Festival in Siem Reap looks like fun, but I don’t like crowds either, so I can relate! Do you have to wear the masks often? Is it hard to get Sebastian to keep his on?

  4. It looks like a fun festival but I am with you when it comes to crowds. I can handle them in small doses : ) By nightfall I would have been done for the day and away from the crowds!

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