Cambodia Travel Guide

Nov 14, 2008

Millions of People

Right, the Water Festival is over. It's really an exciting event, but having had my restaurant on the riverside for more than four years and thus having been in the middle of all the action during previous Water Festivals, I this year decided to just stay clear of all festivities. Well, as much as possible anyway, because even Street 240, the new location of the restaurant, was crowded.

A Cambodian walking for a longer distance than, say, 100 meters is a very rare sight. Except..., except during the Water Festival. Hundreds of thousands of people are walking for miles and miles. Not that there's any other possibility, but knowing the mentality of the Khmers I would expect them to just walk the shortest distance to the water front, sit there for hours and then walk the shortest distance back. Not so, they are walking up and down to no particular destination. Maybe there's a secret agreement among the Khmers: "OK, we know we are usually too lazy to walk for more than 100 meters, so let's have a huge excercise, once a year. Collectively. So that the rest of the year we can say: Hold on, I've done my bit already, I've walked for miles, back in November!"

Did I say hundreds of thousands of people? Estimates are the Water Festival this year was visited by no less than 4 million people!

Now, is this a colourful sight or not? Don't let you be put off by my remarks above. You should definitely see it, at least once in your lifetime.



  • Well, I'm glad it wasn't that crowdy here in Siem Reap, although we had our own little show upon Siem Reap river. But nothing compared to what was going on in the capital. Maybe next year you will join us here, Frits...

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at November 15, 2008 at 1:37 AM  

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