Lasting three full days in mid-April (13 - 16 April), Khmer New Year is, arguably, the most popular festival and national holiday in Cambodia. Khmer New Year, or Chol Chnam Thmey as it is called in Khmer, coincides with the end of the harvesting season so farmers celebrate the New Year with their families and enjoy some relaxation before the rainy season starts again.
Shadow Puppetry is a traditional art form also performed during Khmer New Year
People travel from near and far to meet with their families, visiting the temples and celebrations are widespread all over the country. Streets are often packed with people enjoying some time with their friends and families and you will also see traditional games and dances.
The throwing of water is also a notable feature this special time of year and, although it has been limited in the main tourist areas, it's still widespread in the countryside and rural areas.
Accommodation in Siem Reap and travelling during Khmer New Year
In terms of accommodation and travelling around the country, Khmer New Year is, one of the busiest periods of the year in Cambodia, with both buses and local hotels and guesthouses filling up early. So it is usually a good idea to book both tickets and accommodation in advance. If you are looking for accommodation in Siem Reap during Khmer New Year, you might want to check out these fine properties that offer good value and special Khmer New Year packages.
Sokha Angkor Resort
Conveniently located in the centre of Siem Reap with walking distance to the Old Market, Sokha Angkor Resort offers a range of tastefully decorated rooms and suites. Additionally, you will find an outside salt water swimming pool, its signature Jasmine Spa to loosen up tense muscles and a variety of fine in-house dining options
Borei Angkor Resort and Spa
With a range of exquisite rooms and suites, Borei Angkor Resort and Spa. Fresh fruit juices and other drinks can be enjoyed at the lobby bar in the main building or the pool bar surrounded by a tropical garden. The Borei Restaurant offers a variety of traditional Khmer dishes as well as international fare and guests can opt to eat in the air-conditioned restaurant or al fresco on the pool terrace with live traditional music.
Angkor Palace Resort and Spa
Located in an 11-hectare landscaped garden, Angkor Palace, or simply 'The Palace', is a retreat where you can get away from the hustle bustle of the Siem Reap town centre. You will feel the essence of total relaxation whether you like being pampered at the Spa, lounge by the pool or finish the night with a long refreshing drink in the in-house lounge.
Allson Angkor Paradise Hotel
Allson Angkor Paradise Hotel offers a high standard of all-day dining, refreshments and a la carte menus featuring local Khmer and continental cuisine. Pamper yourself to a sip at The Paradise Bar located conveniently in the hotel lobby. It is an ideal corner to catch up on the day with friends or for business, after work cocktail and late evening rendezvous with music entertainment.
Soria Moria Boutique Hotel
Soria Moria Boutique Hotel is centrally located in the popular Wat Bo Area and offers a combined experience of traditional Khmer hospitality and Scandinavian sophistication. The spacious air-conditioned rooms all have complimentary wi-fi access, cable TV, mini bar and complimentary water. The en-suite bathroom has a large bathtub with shower and locally produced amenities.
My Home Tropical Garden Villa
Located a 5-minute walk from the hustle bustle of Siem Reap's Old Market area, My Home Tropical Garden villa is locally owned and operated and offers 'hotel standards at guesthouse prices' - in other words, an excellent choice for those travelling on a tight budget. The newly-buildt swimming pool and traditional Khmer massage treatments can also be arranged to relieve sore limbs after exploring the temples.
See also: Top 10 Things to Do in Siem Reap