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Siem Reap Is Back! Khmer New Year 2.0

For the last week I have felt like that bloke who dies on Dallas, then woke up and the death and shit were all a dream, and the reason? Life, or something resembling life has returned to Siem Reap.

For the last 5 months of my existence here the city has mostly resembled a ghost town, but the people are nw back in droves!

Khmer New Year 2.0

You have to admire a country that are able to not only cancel new year, but basically move it to three months later, but hey that is what the Cambodians have done.

To read about celebrating actual Khmer New Year click here.

Basically the festivities of April were curtailed and moved to August, the reason? Coronavirus, what else? And whilst it may have seemed harsh at the time as I live in a Covid-19 free country where everything is still open, I look at places like the UK and the USA and have to surmise that the Cambodians have obviously done things right.

So when is Khmer New Year 2020?

Right now, but with weekends essentially from August 15th-23rd which has meant that people from all over Cambodia, both local and barang clamoring to get to Siem Reap.

Siem Reap is now busy…..

I’ve previously posted photos of an empty Angkor Watt, but alas those days have now passed and whilst not back to its former glory is again packing in the tourists.

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There’s also even traffic jams and traffic in general, something previously missing (although no traffic is hardly a bad thing), but in general nice to see life.

Pub Street Siem Reap is back

During the early days of coronavirus in Siem Reap most bars were closed and this included most of Pub Street, with the fine exception of places like Cozy Bar amongst others. As time has gone by things have slowly been opening again, but Pub Street, which tends to get very busy had not.

Well now it is open and it is buzzing, although apparently last night (August 17th) the police closed it due to overcrowding. Whether this will be ongoing, or not we are yet to see, but at least I got to sample the legend that is Angkor What? Bar. Always the culture vulture…..

Street fooding in Siem Reap

Down by the river is always amazing for street food, but right now it is positively booming and when you finish on pub street makes the perfect place for late drinks and great street eats in Siem Reap.

To read an in depth analysis on food in Siem Reap click here.

And the best live music in Siem Reap goes to….

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So you have Harbour Tavern have different bands on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but the best nightly music comes from the now reopened Hard Rock Cafe. From Tuesday to Sunday they have the best Filipino band in Siem Reap belting out the tunes, and fun fact they even let me sing (video included).

Of course Cambodia essentially remains closed to tourism from outside of the country, so whilst this tourism boost is very welcome it will also be over pretty much as soon as it started…..

Who knows what the future holds, but for now at least the party is back in Siem Reap

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Bun Mam – Vietnamese Noodle Soup