Why Cambodia?

Ancient, alluring, charming

Cambodia is a tiny country with an epic history. The past couple of decades have seen Cambodia emerge from its troubled past to reclaim the title: “Pearl of Asia”. Despite its dark history, visitors to Cambodia will find it to be one of the friendliest, most accommodating travel destinations in the world.

It goes without saying that the centerpiece of any trip to Cambodia is a tour of the magnificent temples of Angkor outside of Siem Reap. Further south, Phnom Penh is a city in flux, undergoing a remarkable makeover in recent years with manicured gardens and new restaurants and cafes sprouting up every day.

Calendar of Event

Start dateEnd dateTitleLocationDescription
7 Jan 20197 Jan 2019Victory DayAll over CambodiaHeld on January 7th, this day celebrates the start of the fall of the Khmer Rouge, when on the same date in 1979, Vietnamese invaders stormed Cambodia. They eventually took back power from the genocidal Pol Pot-led regime on April 17 after four years of brutal reign.It is commemorated with a remembrance parade and service at Independence Monument in Phnom Penh.
19 Feb 201919 Feb 2019Meak Bochea DayAll over CambodiaThis Buddhist festival is celebrated across the region during the full moon of the third Khmer lunar Month (Meak) – this year on January 23rd. It is also referred to as Buddha’s Preachment Commemoration Ceremony.
Meak Bochea celebrations start early, with offerings being given to monks. In the evening, people flock to the temples to listen to preachings, and perform a candle ceremony.
Here, they walk around the temple three times with flowers, incense and a candle. Each circuit represents one of the ideas of Buddhism – Buddha, Dharma and Sangha.
14 Apr 201916 Apr 2019Khmer New Year Day (Choul Chhnam Khmer)All over CambodiaThis is one of the largest celebrations in Cambodia. The annual celebration falls on either April 13th or 14th and spans three days to mark the safe collection of the harvest and the welcoming of the rainy season.
13 May 201915 May 2019Royal Birthday of the King SihamoniAll over CambodiaA two-day holiday is held every year to mark the birthday of King Norodom Sihamoni on May 14th, who took over the throne on October 29th 2004. Many businesses and homes will put up his picture to mark the day.
20 May 201920 May 2019Day of RemembranceAll over CambodiaEarlier this year, an additional public holiday was added to Cambodia’s calendar in the form of the Day of Remembrance on May 20th. This marks the start of the mass killings by the Khmer Rouge regime on May 20, 1976.
22 May 201922 May 2019Royal Ploughing DayAll over CambodiaThis annual event – Pithi Chrat Preah Neanng Korl – harks back to tradition and is considered an ancient royal rite. As well as officially marking the start of the rice growing season, it was seen as a way to forecast the weather and determine the harvest ahead.
18 Jun 201918 Jun 2019Royal Birthday of the King Mother Monineath SihanoukAll over Cambodia
27 Sep 201929 Sep 2019Pchum Ben DayAll over CambodiaKind of the Cambodian equivalent to Halloween, this is another major religious celebration across the country, so expect a similar evacuation of urban centres, business closures and increase in prices to Khmer New Year.
Also called Ancestors’ Day, this is a time when Cambodians believe the last seven generations of deceased relatives who are unable to pass onto their next life come back to roam Earth.
15 Oct 201915 Oct 2019Commemoration Day of King Norodom SihanoukAll over CambodiaWhen King Norodom Sihanouk died on October 15th 2012, shockwaves rippled across the country at the loss of the former King, who abdicated in 2004 and passed on the crown to his son. The country went into 100 days of mourning and the loss is still marked today with a public holiday.
23 Oct 201923 Oct 2019Paris Peace Agreement DayAll over CambodiaOctober 23rd marks the day that the Paris Peace Accords were signed in 1991, signifying the official end of decades of conflict. It also led to the deployment of the first post-Cold War peace-keeping mission, the United Nations Transitional Authority in Cambodia (UNTAC).
09 Nov 201909 Nov 2019Independence DayAll over CambodiaA public holiday to celebrate the Independence of Cambodia as a free country.
10 Nov 201912 Nov 2019Water Festival and Moon Festival and Boat RacingAll over CambodiaAnother hugely celebrated holiday is the Water Festival or Bon Om Touk, which runs across three days and varies depending on the lunar calendar. The festival marks the reversal of flow between the Mekong and Tonle Sap rivers – an anomaly unique to the country.
During rainy season, the Tonle Sap River swells due to the heavy volume of rain, pushing water into the Tonle Sap Lake, which then expands up to 10 times its size. Water Festival marks the end of the rainy season, when the flow switches directions.
It is also a way for Cambodians to thank the rivers – the country’s lifeblood – for providing them with water for fertile farming land and fishing.

Cambodia Highlights

  • Tour the ancient, spectacular temple ruins at Angkor
  • Relax on the beaches of the south
  • Take a stroll along Phnom Penh’s active esplanade
  • Visit the impressive Royal Palace
  • Learn about Cambodia’s terrible past at Tuol Sleng Genocide Museum
  • Partake in traditional Apsara dancing
  • Visit floating fishing villages on Tonle Sap Lake Southeast Asia’s largest freshwater lake
  • Savor Cambodia’s signature dish, Amok in a coconut
  • Take a city tour in a tuk tuk
  • Enjoy Cambodia’s boutique and sophisticated restaurant and shopping scene

Contact Cambodia


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t. +84 (0)4 3972 4899
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