The Cambodian water festival, also known as Bon Om Touk, marks the start of the Cambodian fishing season and originates back to the reign of King Jayavarman whose Navy celebrated in order to keep the God of the river happy to supply a plentiful crop of rice and many fish.
The traditional boat races races involve the whole community and villagers from afar will bring their boats painted brightly, with large eyes on the prows as a pre-caution to ward off evil spirits.
The boats, 60 oarsman strong, compete throughout the weekend and it's the final on the last day that is worth seeing as the teams frantically paddle and chart there way to first place position.
Accommodation during the Water Festival in Phnom Penh
If you are looking for accommodation in Phnom Penh during the Water Festival, it is strongly recommended to book accommodation well in advance as the most popular places along the riverside will be booked solid.
The boat races are free of charge to watch and even though the riverside is within easy reach from most accommodation providers, some roads will be closed off which makes some delays very possible when traveling by a car or tuk-tuk. Therefore, we have selected a few properties that we believe are very conveniently located, offer good value for money and are well within walking distance to the heart of the action during the water festival..
Looking for somewhere to go stay for the Water Festival? It must be a hotel on the riverside in Phnom Penh?