Happy Pchum Ben Day Festival

Also called Ancestor’s’ Day, Pchum Ben is, according to legend, a time where spirits of deceased relatives and ancestors walk the earth. Running for 15 days, usually towards the end of September or October, the fifteenth day of the tenth month of the Khmer Calendar marks one of the most traditional and colourful festivals in Cambodia with people dressing up in traditional clothing to visit their local pagodas with food and offerings and pay respect to their ancestors.

Pchum Ben can also be translated to ‘gathering together to make offerings’, and that’s exactly what families do when they visit the pagodas.

Enjoy your wonderful family reunion!

Related Blog

Kampot, a charming riverside town in southern Cambodia, offers a blend of natural beauty, historical sites, and cultural experiences. Here are some things to do in Kampot:

  1. Explore Bokor National Park: Take a trip to Bokor Mountain, where you can explore the national park’s lush rainforest, visit the old French hill station, and see the abandoned buildings, including the Bokor Palace Hotel.
  2. Cruise along the Kampot River: Enjoy a leisurely boat cruise along the scenic Kampot River. You can take a sunset cruise or opt for a daytime excursion, which often includes stops at riverside villages and opportunities for swimming or kayaking.
  3. Visit Kampot Pepper Farms: Kampot is renowned for its high-quality pepper. Visit one of the local pepper farms to learn about the cultivation process and sample some of the world-famous Kampot pepper.
  4. Explore Kampot Town: Wander around Kampot’s picturesque streets lined with colonial-era buildings, boutique shops, and art galleries. Don’t miss the Old Market, where you can sample local snacks and shop for souvenirs.
  5. Take a Kampot Pepper Farm Tour: Go on a guided tour of one of the pepper farms in the area to learn about the cultivation process of Kampot pepper, which is renowned for its unique flavor and aroma.
  6. Visit Salt Fields: Take a trip to the nearby salt fields, where you can observe the traditional method of salt production and learn about the importance of salt in Cambodian cuisine and culture.
  7. Explore Kep: Kep, famous for its seafood and relaxed atmosphere, is just a short drive away from Kampot. Visit the Kep Crab Market, relax on the beach, or hike up to Kep National Park for panoramic views of the coastline.
  8. Try Water Sports: Rent a kayak or paddleboard and explore the serene waters of the Kampot River. You can also try your hand at windsurfing or kiteboarding if you’re feeling adventurous.
  9. Visit Phnom Chhnork Cave: Explore the ancient Phnom Chhnork Cave, which features a Hindu temple dating back to the 7th century. The cave is located a short drive from Kampot and offers stunning views of the surrounding countryside.
  10. Sample Local Cuisine: Don’t leave Kampot without trying some of the local delicacies, such as fish amok, crab with Kampot pepper, or grilled squid. There are plenty of restaurants and street food stalls where you can taste authentic Cambodian dishes.

The Water Festival this year falls on November 7-9. But with Cambodia set to host the ASEAN summit and related meetings in the same week this month, the festival are not being celebrated in Phnom Penh, though some provinces have been holding celebrations since October.

Known locally as Bon Om Touk, the festival takes place in late October or early November to mark the end of the monsoon season as well as the change in flow of the Tonle Sap River.

The second day of the festival aligns with the date of the full moon on the Khmer lunar calendar month of Katdoek (or Kartika in Sanskrit), which is said to be when the long-cycle rice crop is ready for harvest.

The festival usually features dragon longboat races on its first day. Royal boat races have been held in Cambodia since at least the time of King Jayavarman VII to celebrate the victory of the Khmer navy over Cham invaders from the Champa kingdom in a large boat battle on the Tonle Sap Lake.

During the Longvek period of the 16th and 17th centuries, King Ang Chan I appointed Ponhea Yat as the “earth-guardian” in Kampuchea Krom’s Bassac district and he organised the navy into three groups to defend the region from invasion by the Da Viet kingdom under ruler Mac Dang Dung.

The installation of the new seahorse statue in Kampot province is indeed a wonderful addition to the beauty and charm of Kampot City. Not only does it enhance the aesthetic appeal of the area, but it also serves as a symbol of the region’s rich marine biodiversity and cultural heritage.

For tourists, the seahorse statue offers a unique photo opportunity and a memorable landmark to visit during their exploration of Kampot. Its presence highlights the importance of marine conservation and serves as a reminder of the need to protect and preserve the natural environment, including the fascinating sea creatures that inhabit it.

Moreover, the seahorse statue can play a role in raising awareness about the conservation of seahorses and other marine species among locals and visitors alike. By drawing attention to these captivating animals, it encourages people to learn more about them and to contribute to efforts aimed at their protection.

Overall, the new seahorse statue adds to the allure of Kampot City while promoting environmental stewardship and appreciation for the wonders of marine life. It serves as a beacon of conservation and a testament to the beauty and importance of our oceans and seas.

Khmer New Year, also known as “Choul Chnam Thmey,” meaning entering the new year, is a national holiday hosted by Cambodians annually. It is the season when Cambodians have free time from harvesting rice and other agricultural commodities. The event is Cambodia’s largest event and lasts three days, on the 13th, 14th, or 15th of April (in a specific year, it could be on the 14th to 16th of April).

Cambodian New Year is celebrated just like other Asian New Year Festivals that blend history with religious practices, emphasizing and commemorating the seniors and ancestors. While there are merriments with traditional meals and beverages, the three days are packed with Buddhist compliance centered on performing gratitude, sending offerings to deceased family members, and contributing to those in need. The following preparations are exclusively made for the Khmer New Year.

We are thrilled to introduce Sokchea Angkor Hotel, our sister property located in the enchanting city of Siem Reap. Just as Sokchea Kampot Hotel strives to provide exceptional hospitality and comfort in Kampot, Sokchea Angkor Hotel offers the same level of excellence in the heart of Siem Reap.

Retreat to our elegant rooms and suites, meticulously designed to offer the utmost comfort and relaxation for our guests. Experience the perfect blend of modern amenities and traditional Khmer charm in every corner of our hotel. Conveniently situated in close proximity to the majestic temples of Angkor, Sokchea Angkor Hotel provides easy access to this UNESCO World Heritage Site about 7 kilometers away, allowing you to explore its ancient wonders at your leisure.

At Sokchea Angkor Hotel, our dedicated team is committed to providing personalized service and ensuring that every aspect of your stay exceeds your expectations. From the moment you arrive, you’ll be greeted with genuine Cambodian hospitality and warmth.

Our onsite restaurant, where you can savor an array of delectable Khmer and international dishes prepared by our talented chefs. Whether you’re craving traditional flavors or international favorites, our restaurant offers something for every taste.

Unwind by the poolside oasis, pamper yourself with a rejuvenating spa treatment, or embark on guided tours to explore the cultural and natural wonders of Siem Reap and its surrounding areas.

Whether you’re visiting Siem Reap to marvel at the temples of Angkor or to immerse yourself in the city’s vibrant culture and nightlife, Sokchea Angkor Hotel provides the perfect home away from home for your Cambodian adventure. Contact us now to reserve your room and embark on an unforgettable journey in Siem Reap!

Kampot pepper (Khmer: ម្រេចកំពត, mrech Kampot; French: poivre de Kampot) is a highly regarded black pepper cultivar grown in Cambodia’s Kampot Province. Historically known as Indochinese pepper during the French protectorate era, it derives its modern name from its cultivation region.

Certified as a geographical indication (GI) product in Cambodia since 2010 and in the European Union since 2016, this status ensures that only pepper from Kampot and Kep provinces can be labeled “Kampot Pepper,” preserving its quality and authenticity.

There are two primary varieties:

  1. Small Leaf Variety (កំចាយ, kamchay)
  2. Big Leaf Variety (lampong or belantoeung)

In 2016, Cambodia produced 11,819 tonnes of black pepper, with Kampot contributing significantly, although most production came from Tbong Khmum. Vietnam, in comparison, is the largest global producer with 155,000 tons in 2014.

The rise in market prices for pepper has led to new plantations in Cambodia, raising concerns about deforestation due to large-scale farming.

Kampot pepper’s distinctive flavor and high quality make it a prized ingredient worldwide. Its rich history, spanning centuries of cultivation, along with strict GI standards, ensure its status as a symbol of Cambodian agricultural excellence and heritage.