Although the Cambodians traditionally celebrate the Khmer New Year in April, it doesn’t mean that you can’t paint the town red on the Western New Year in this country. New Year’s Eve in Cambodia is full of fireworks, dancing, and amazing food. The capital city of Phnom Penh and the gateway to Angkor that is, Siem Reap are the best places to celebrate the incoming New Year in Cambodia.Here are various places you can visit to celebrate the new year in Cambodia.
Celebrating the New Year in Phnom Penh
Phnom Penh is known as the Pearl of Cambodia. Where better than the capital city to celebrate new year's eve in Cambodia!! The city is home to some amazing bars, hotels, and a beautiful riverside for a memorable new year's celebration.
Sisowath’s Quay and the Mekong Riverside
Phnom Penh has two marvellous riversides along the Tonle Sap river (Sisowath's Quay) and the Mekong riverside. Sisowath's Quay has a series of impressive cafes and bars and the Foreign Correspondent's Club (FCC). You can spend the night of new year's eve at FCC with drinks on the rooftop bar, and the city's skyline over the horizon. Or, you can simply stay and walk on the riverside, eat and drink at any cafe that pleases you as you watch the fireworks at midnight.
The Mekong Riverside isn't one to be undone (you can visit them both in one night, they have a connecting pass). Here, you can find several French cafes and hordes of tourists flocking to various events. You can also stay at a hotel on the riverside (book in advance) and spend your new year's eve night with a gorgeous view from your room.
Hotels and Bars in Sihanoukville
Bars like Pontoon and Heart of Darkness have happy hours, various cuisine, and live bands you can dance to all night long. Further, Street 308 (Bassac Lane) has a series of crazy bars to visit if you want to party your way to the new year.
At the Raffles Hotel Le Royal, the event is called the 'Kingdom of Wonder Gala Dinner', where there is a performance by the Royal Ballet of Cambodia. They have a poolside party along with various food stations and live music at the Elephant Bar.
Sofitel's event offers a variety of music for your enjoyment. They have a show by an opera singer along with 60s pop music in Khmer and English. They also host a gala dinner in the Phokeethra Grand Ballroom and an impressive cocktail menu.
Celebrating the New Year in Siem ReapIf you wish to party like it’s the 1980s then Siem Reap is the place for you.
Pub Street in Siem Reap
The Pub Street of the temple town is sparkling at night. This street is the hub of parties in Siem Reap. It has plenty of bars with reasonably-priced beer and good food, and on New Year's eve, the entire street is decorated with fun and tourists. Every bar has rocking DJs and countdowns at midnight. Some popular places you can go to are Café Latino, The Red Piano, and Cambodian BBQ.
Hotels all over town have New Year packages. With an extensive list of food and cocktails, you can enjoy a fantastic New Year's Eve at hotels like Raffles Grand Hotel D'Angkor, FCC Angkor, Sofitel, Le Meridien, etc. You can also go to the Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap, which has a rooftop bar with a panoramic view of the city. It's the perfect place to be on New Year's Eve for an elegant affair.
Celebrating the New Year in Sihanoukville
Serendipity Beach in Sihanoukville is an excellent place to spend New Year’s Eve. You can spend the day on any of their beaches and islands, which are secluded and have minimal visitors.
On the other side of town, a whole bunch of casinos and bars await to host visitors to party and gamble. The city has fewer tourists and visitors, so you can be sure of having plenty of fun without dealing with a large crowd. Nevertheless, it is not as safe as it used to be. So, while you’re having a fun time, take care of your belongings and your whereabouts.
While it may seem that celebrating a new year in Cambodia might not be as grand as neighbouring Thailand, the country does have a lot of heart. Let us know your favourite experience of new year's eve in Cambodia down in the comments below!