The Chinese New Year officially begins on January 25, and festivities to welcome in the year of the rat can be found all over Siem Reap. The rat, the first animal in the Chinese zodiac, represents wealth, and is said to bring a quick thinking wit and a contented, peaceful life, to those born in this auspicious year. Family gatherings are given great importance on the eve of the new year. A Reunion dinner typically features special dishes and decorations that display symbols of wishes for prosperity and happiness.

The city’s Chinese community, expats and tourists alike can celebrate with colourful cultural and culinary activities. We have a selection of Siem Reap’s special events listed here, each one sure to see in the year of the rat in style.

January 25 – February 8 : Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea Set

Celebrate with a classic, limited edition Chinese New Year Afternoon Tea Set. Experience the tea culture with a twist and indulge the senses with Chinese New Year inspired sweet and savoury selections. Try pork Spring Rolls, quail dumplings and cherry blossom macaroons!

  • Where: Lobby Lounge, Le Meridien Angkor
  • When: Daily, 25th January to 8th February, 2 – 5pm
  • Cost: $23 net per set for two people
  • More Info: Facebook

This centrally located, colonial style hotel wishes everyone Gon Xi Fa Cai with a special promotional Chinese New Year Package for two. Enjoy a two night stay in a superior room, breakfast for two every day, and a free upgrade to a deluxe room upon availability. A one way airport pick up is also included, along with a welcome drink, fruit basket and a Chinese set menu in L’Escale for each person. Guests will receive a “Red Envelope” containing a 15% discount voucher, valid on all food and beverages during your stay.

  • Where: Victoria Angkor Resort & Spa
  • When: Valid for stays between 20th January – 8th February (book before 6th February)
  • Cost: $265 per couple
  • More Info: Facebook

Experience a tempting Chinese New Year buffet, complete with a huge Prosperity Toss, or Yusheng, teeming with appealing flavours and textures, and drizzled with an exquisite dressing.

  • Where: Lok Lak Restaurant, Courtyard by Marriott Siem Reap
  • When: January 25th, 6.30 – 9.30pm
  • Cost: $25++ per person
  • More Info: Facebook

In celebration of Lunar New Year, store windows will transform into a fun, modern twist on a labyrinth, depicting the words ‘happiness’ and ‘rat’ in Chinese characters. The store will host range of exciting activities enabling customers to experience traditional Lunar New Year celebrations, including a colourful Lion Dance and live music performances. Promotions and exclusive offers.

*customers can seek out DFS exclusive products with promotions and exclusive offers, including feature products from Tiffany & Co, Clinique, Tom Ford, and Moncler. Pay with Union Pay cards for extra discounts. Don’t forget your boarding pass!

Where: T Galleria by DFS Angkor
When: daily until February 16th
More Info: Website

Clare Lawrence is a long-time expat, originally from England, with six years in the UAE under her belt as well as over two years here in Siem Reap. She has written on expat life, saving money, holidaying with children and budget travel for a number of magazines and websites, including