During last year’s global lockdowns, Siem Reap took the opportunity to renovate many of its ageing small roads and lights. Last October, the city underwent a massive upgrade in the city’s infrastructure by widening main roads, updating new pipes, and reconstructing parks. Meanwhile, many people living in Cambodia have been vaccinated to 81 percent inoculation rate around by November —just in time to reopen to tourism.
Siem Reap is planning a low-key event in mid-April to celebrate the Khmer New Year. Although the list of the attractions and activities have yet been to be arranged for the Siem Reap Songkran 2022, hotels and attractions are preparing themselves to receive visitors.
So get ready to enjoy the Songkran festivities again! Whether you are a visitor from another country or front the city, here are 6 things to check out while in Siem Reap.
● Dine-in Luxury with Malis
Overlooking the Siem Reap River, visitors can treat themselves to a magical evening of reliving the Angkorian times while dining within the beautiful Angkor Wat-inspired Malis Restaurant. Surrounded by the mystical garden and water pond, this restaurant features the best Cambodian cuisine and ambience. Famous for highlighting the food that royalty dine on, this is the perfect place to capture the essence of Siem Reap. Be sure to try the iconic Fish Amok and the Bang Kang river lobster, which is marinated in the Khmer flavors of prahok and chilli paste, wrapped in foil for an intense flavour and grilled until golden.
Located on Pokambor Avenue, reservations can be made at firstname.lastname@example.org or call +855(0)15 824 888.
● A Bold Palate at Pou Restaurant and Bar
For the courageous foodies, head over to Pou Restaurant and Bar between Wat Damnak pagoda and the old market. There, chef Pou (uncle) Mork Mengly, is renowned for his take on fusion Siem Reap’s street food. He just has released his latest a la cart menu, and every dish listed looks TASTY! Ranging from a flavorful Chicken Curry to the more daring dish of Jungle Beef with Red Tree Ants, to the delightful Angkor Wat Temple Desert; there is a dish for everyone. In addition to the various cuisine, there are experimental cocktails and beehives for any adventurous diner looking to excite their tastebuds.
● Family Time at ICF Wake Park
For Families looking to do more than temple hopping for Khmer New Years, stop by
ICF Wake Park. There’s water fun for the whole family as you climb, bounce and slide your way through Adventure Island. The park includes the wakeboarding area, a climbing wall for adults and children, a man-made beach with an inflatables jungle for kids, as well as a bar and restaurant. The beautiful park is open on April 14th – 17th, from 11 am to 9 pm with a live cooking station from 7 pm to 9 pm.
● Strolling at Chocolate Garden
Anyone looking to check local artisans, handicrafts, and vintage collectables; may find themselves strolling along Chocolate road towards the Chocolate Garden during the weekend in Siem Reap. Popular among the locals and visitors for their hot drinks and freshly made pastries, the cafe also hosts weekend markets for over a dozen vendors selling local crafts and antiques from 8 am to 4 pm every Saturday to Sunday. The concept started as a way to support local products and creative individuals with small startups has now blossomed to a beloved area. They also have a small library if anyone is tired of walking.
● Connect with Nature at The Kulen Elephant Forest
Visitors looking to commune with nature can do so by getting to know a herd of elephants. The half-day tour is available for small group interaction with the animals at a community-run forest reserve in the Kulen Mountains, about an hour’s drive from the city. Here, visitors can walk with the elephants down a nature trail, then feed them bananas and sugarcane stalks. Later, you can follow the elephants to a nearby pond and watch them play. These formerly captive elephants were once used to give tourist rides at the Angkor Archaeological Park, are now retired and are raising funds for various conservation projects.
● Relax at Sokkhak
Located in the old market area, one of the most recommended places to soothe your aches and weariness is Sokkhak Spa. Their namesake means ‘harmony’ in Khmer, offering massages and spa treatments by gentle professional therapists in a tranquil environment.
Written by Sotheavy Nou