Happy New Year, Cambodia-Style

Choul Chnam, the Khmer New Year, celebrates the beginning of the Buddhist religion. For three days in mid-April, thousands of Cambodians head for the Angkor temples to celebrate, picnic, and sight-see. Learn more about the holiday and how it’s celebrated.

Chaul Chnam Thmey: Happy New Year in Cambodia

In many places around the world, December is a month filled with holiday celebration. In Cambodia, a predominantly Buddhist nation, the New Year is celebrated in April (right in the middle of the hot season) and is the most important spiritual and social event of the year. Author Tom Vater discusses how the holiday is celebrated.

Encountering the Khmer Smile in Angkor Wat

Tom Vater believes a “trip of a lifetime” need not be a trip to the end of the world, but it does perhaps need to be a trip that will linger in the memory long after one has returned home. For him, the very first time he visited Angkor Wat was such a trip, and he shares the moment that made him fall in love with Cambodia.

Planning a Trip to Cambodia: Where and When to Go

The temples around Angkor are Southeast Asia’s greatest architectural gems bar none. The magnificent ruins of the Khmer Empire, located predominantly in the northwest of the country, are reason enough to visit Cambodia.

Exploring Angkor Wat

True marvels to behold, the temple ruins of Angkor have put Cambodia on the map and attract more than two million foreign visitors a year. Add the bustling markets and lively bars in the capital Phnom Penh, the quiet streets of Battambang, and the only just recently accessible forest temples away from the main highways, and a journey to Angkor Wat is an adventure, an experience, a moment in time.

Moon Angkor Wat

A group of young monks, their robes a luminous orange, cross the causeway. A stone’s throw away, rice paddies and golden temple roofs of Angkor shimmer in the morning sun. Monkeys swing from the trees and elephants stand in the shade nearby, waiting for passengers. This is the trip of a lifetime. It will leave […]

Moon Cambodia

Author, journalist, screenwriter, and researcher Tom Vater leads you on an adventure through Cambodia, from the bustling markets in the capital Phnom Penh to the almost deserted tropical beaches around Sihanoukville and the lush jungles of Mondulkiri. Vater’s insider knowledge guides readers to the temple ruins of Angkor, traces of French colonial architecture, and Cambodia’s […]