Water Festival 2016: Two million people expected in Phnom Penh

As preparations for the Water Festival 2016 ramp up, many residents of Phnom Penh are also preparing themselves for the influx of travelers coming from the provinces of Cambodia.

Currently, the expected number of Cambodians travelling to Phnom Penh are at around two million. There are, however, a number of locals and expats who have planned trips going from Phnom Penh to Battambang, Phnom Penh to Siem Reap, or even abroad. Only to escape the crowds that will surely be difficult to get around the city in.

water festival 2016

Water Festival 2016: On going preparations

A quick walk through the city, displays several preparations. In fact, as of tonight, the ministry boats have already been spotted floating and lit up.

  • Concert stages are being set up at the park
  • Booths surrounding the concert stage have been set up around the fountains.
  • Several cleanup drives were done along Riverside.
  • Boats have been prepared and tested.
  • Restaurants are displaying Water Festival 2016 promotions.
  • Grass has been cut and hedges trimmed.
  • Police attentiveness has increased and special vigilance is provided against possible thieves during the festival.

Safety precautions during the Water Festival

Below are some tips for safety during the Water Festival celebrations

  • Traveling at night increases your chances of being a victim, so its best to stay in groups and be vigilant at all times.
  • Pick-pocketing alert. Be aware of your surroundings and be alert when shopping or moving around town.
  • Avoid carrying large sums of money.
  • Avoid keeping all money in a single place.
  • Do not wear expensive jewelry when going around town.
  • Keep all valuables safe inside your bag.
  • It is best to have companions whenever going to somewhere unfamiliar.

For sure, the government is trying their best to keep travelers and locals safe and sound during these times. Nevertheless, a bit of common sense is sure to go a long way.

BookMeBus Water Festival 2016 Promotion

As many people head for Phnom Penh during the Water Festival 2016, BookMeBus would like to offer travelers with a little discount to help you on your journey. Get 10% discount on bus tickets purchased while the promotion lasts during the season.

water festival 2016

Water Festival 2016 Promo

As a token of thanks and a gesture of good will, BookMeBus is offering its loyal customers with a discount coupon. This would enable travelers to travel to Phnom Penh for the Water Festival events, or for travelers going to the countryside.

If you do not have plans for this season, this discount should at least help you reconsider. You might want to go out with friends and family to where the fun is. Or travel to Phnom Penh to completely enjoy the festivities of the Water Festival.

How to Avail of the Discount?

There are two ways that you can avail of the discount:

  1. Visit our website and book as usual. Then redeem the discount using use the Water Festival code: happy-water-festival
  2. Or, you can go directly to this LINK, and make your purchases from the page.

We hope that you enjoy this discount, and have an awesome celebration of the Water Festival in Cambodia.

Water Festival 2016: All about Bon Om Touk

As November goes forward, many people living in Phnom Penh are getting excited for the Water Festival 2016. Known as “Bon Om Touk,” the festival usually occurs yearly, and majority of the festivities happen in Phnom Penh. This, however, does not mean that other towns and provinces does not celebrate it.

Throughout the years, there were instances when the festival was cancelled. However, there are plans that it will surely go on as planned this year.

What is Bon Om Touk about?

For those who do not know what it is about, the Water Festival 2016 lasts for three days. It commemorates the end of the rainy season of Cambodia. It also marks the unique reversal of the flow of the Tonle Sap River.

photo: Tharum Bun

During the festival, there are several events that are held to celebrate. In Phnom Penh, there are several concerts and special events that are held, as the city is teeming with locals and tourists alike. The most attended ones are the boat races and concerts which draw in millions every year.

Water Festival 2016: Traditional Ceremonies

Throughout the course of 3 days, there are also 3 main traditional ceremonies that happen. These are the following:

  • Ak Ambok – This ceremony is named after the rice dish “ambok.” The dish is made out of rice that is fried in the husk and then pounded. It is then mixed with banana and coconut, after the husks are removed.
  • Sampeah Preah Khae – Sampeah Preah Khae is a ceremony that brings tribute to the moon. The ceremony involves praying tribute to the moon and ushering in the next ceremony. Incidentally, this year is known to have the biggest supermoon on Nov 14, 2016.
  • Bandaet Pratip – This ceremony starts at around 7 p.m. with illuminated boats going into the water. Each of the boats signifies a ministry. And this is known to gather crowds to see the different boats.

With the many festivities happening within a week. It is really important to start planning ahead. Whether you are headed for Phnom Penh or going out to the provinces during the Water Festival 2016, it is best to think ahead. For sure, there will be a lot of travelers going around at this time.

Check out our website for bus tickets that are headed from Sihanoukville to Phnom Penh, Siem Reap to Phnom Penh, Kampot to Phnom Penh, and many more.

Ho Chi Minh Fast Facts

Here are some Ho Chi Minh fast facts for those who plan to go on a trip outside Cambodia during the Water Festival. It is known that during the Water Festival, traffic is bad and the city is quite filled with people. As a result, many venture out in search of other places to visit.

Ho Chi Minh is always one of the favorites. It is just a few hours away and easily reachable by bus from Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh. A mere 6 hours and you are away from the cramped streets and taking leisurely walks around the relaxing parks.

ho chi minh fast facts

To complete your plans, here are some Ho Chi Minh fast facts that you might find interesting:

Ho Chi Minh Fast Facts

  1. Ho Chi Minh was originally named “Saigon,” and it is the economic enter of Vietnam.
  2. Yellow traffic light signifies “Drive faster,” as opposed to the usual “Drive slow.”
  3. The Saigon Notre Dame church is one of the iconic landmarks of Ho Chi Minh City. It was built during the 19th century by the French colonists.
  4. To take a leisurely tour around Ho Chi Minh, get on bus route #35. This bus goes through the downtown area, but is not ideal for commuters or those who are in a rush.
  5. Ho Chi Minh City is known for having more than 1 million motorcycles entering the city each day.
  6. The city boasts of having more than 4,000 five-star hotel rooms, and approximately 80 universities.
  7. The most popular destination that Americans visit is the War Remnants Museum.
  8. Ho Chi Minh boasts of having Vietnam’s largest seaport.
  9. It is the most popular tourist destination in Vietnam.
  10. Most airlines pass through Tan Son Nhat airport.

These are just some of the facts that is known about Ho Chi Minh City. To better appreciate the beauty of the city, we suggest to check out Ho Chi Minh for yourself.

Start by booking a trip from Siem Reap to Ho Chi Minh, or Phnom Penh to Ho Chi Minh from our website.

BarCamp Asean 2016 in Phnom Penh: what to expect

While Cambodia has hosted BarCamp Phnom Penh since 2008, this is the first regional un-conference event under the name BarCamp Asean. Its slogan is ‘Growing technology together.’ This means that it’s much about the cross-border collaboration and exchange of knowledge among the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (10 states). Just like any other BarCamp events, the participants contribute the content or the topics. The BarCamp allows anyone to pitch any topic they want to share with participants. The theme of this year’s event is: technology, entrepreneurship, and innovations. According to the organizer, Be Chantra, a little more than 100  topics were already submitted.

Here’s a list of what to expect when you attend this 3-day BarCamp Asean:

  • For those who want to build your own startups, these 4 sessions are for you. Ben Crox will talk about his 10 years of startup experience in Hong Kong. Mike Ducker will share 5 global lessons about tech startups. You will also have a chance to meet the Cambodian Angel Investors. Looking for investment opportunities for your Cambodia-based startup? There is a session for that, too. Meet BookMeBus’s CEO Chea Langda to learn about how to pitch your startup and get invested.
  • While there are so many topics to learn, you can really learn much more by getting to know people. Networking. Be there and willing to listen and share your thoughts. This is what this event so amazing. It’s much more amazing as more participants come from other corners of this East Asia. Investors, geeks, nerds, startup founders, businesspeople, and students will be there. Participants and speakers come from many countries, including Thailand, Vietnam, Singapore, Philippine, Hong Kong, India, and Japan.
  • You might not be there looking for a job. But there is a chance that you’ll get hired from the spot. Or you might meet your potential business partner or future co-founder. Demonstrate your skills and talent by giving a talk.  Don’t be shy. Sharing is caring.
  • The year’s BarCamp Asean will take place from 4-6 November 2016 at Norton University, Phnom Penh, Cambodia. The first day of BarCamp Asean will be solely dedicated to exhibitions as most Cambodian businesses will seize this opportunity to connect and engage with their local consumers.
  • On Twitter? The hashtag for this event is: #BarcampASEAN. You can live tweets or follow the event, too.

Register here to attend BarCamp Asean! Or you want to give a talk?

BookMeBus team will be there! Come and say hello to our team and learn about some new opportunity we’ll be offering at the event! Our booth, number 9, is on the ground floor.

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