What’s On in December: The Best Siem Reap Events in December 2017

The Best Siem Reap Events in December 2017

The holiday season is in full bloom this month! Welcome to December’s edition of our monthly events roundup. Each month, we feature the latest and best Siem Reap events in our magazine. So check back regularly or even better, like our Facebook page to get the latest updates for upcoming events in town!

As usual, we start with listing this month’s public holiday:

Sunday, December 10 is International Human Rights Day, an official public holiday in Cambodia. This date marks the anniversary of the presentation of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights in 1948, adopted and proclaimed on that day by the General Assembly of the United Nations, at the Palais de Chaillot in Paris, France.

Siem Reap is looking bright as it plans to end the year with a huge bang! Two major annual events will kick off the month: the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon and the Angkor Photo Festival, celebrating their 22nd and 13th edition respectively! This, in combination with lots of activities to celebrate Christmas, means that the month will be bursting with social happenings. And though we can’t list them all, here are our top picks to help you out!

December 1 – Full Moon Party @ Hard Rock Café Angkor

Full Moon Party @ Hard Rock Café Angkor

The Hard Rock Café in Siem Reap opens December with a resounding bang in the form of the 1st real Full Moon Party! Energetic rock band X-Rays together with in-house performers, Band@Work will make sure that party revelers will live it up. Completing the array of festivities are Thai fire performers from Phuket who are ready to heat things up all through the night. Table bookings can be sent to leakhena@hrccambodia.com or by calling +855 93 565 654.

Where: Hard Rock Café Angkor
When: December 1, Friday, 7PM onwards
Cost: Free Admission (with special offers on Tuborg Beers and bucket drinks)
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/508602926177648/

December 1 – 2: ManulifeMOVE Fitness Fair

ManulifeMOVE Fitness Fair

Manulife Cambodia, being the major sponsor of the Angkor International Half Marathon wants race participants and tourists alike to get in the mood and get fit prior to the major race with the ManulifeMOVE Fitness Fair! This is a packed 2-day event that will be full of fun physical and social activities for everyone! Beginning 3 PM on Friday, there will be performances provided by the Hard Rock Café, workshops and shows by the famous Phare Circus, Aerobics, Zumba, Yoga sessions by United Yoga, Soccer Net Games by Decathlon and many more! Manulife is also giving away free prizes to those who will take photos of an “I LOVE ANGKOR WAT” sign and post it in Facebook or Instagram using hashtag #RunDifferent and will be raffling an Apple Watch and other special gifts to marathoners who will just need to present their race bib.

Where: Behind Angkor National Museum
When: December 1, Friday 3:00 PM – 7:00 PM & December 2, Saturday 9:00 AM – 7:00 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1757961297831328/

December 1 – 3: Eat Pasta Run Faster

hard rock cafe angkor - eat pasta run faster

Running in the Angkor Wat International Half Marathon on Sunday? Hard Rock Café has you covered again with their promo Eat Pasta Run Faster focusing on your pre-marathon carb-loading needs! This eat-all-you-can feast includes Italian chef specials: Spaghetti Aglio Olio, Spaghetti Pomodoro, Fusilli Boscaiola, Fusilli Vegetariani, Penne 4 Formaggi, and Rigatoni Allo Scalogno. Bookings can be made through leakhena@hrccambodia.com or +855 93 565 654/63 963 964.

Where: Hard Rock Café Angkor
When: December 1 – 3, Friday 11AM to Sunday 2PM
Cost: All-you-can-eat Pasta at USD 13.20 per person, healthy drinks options at USD 5.50
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/316664675482090/

December 1 – 3: Marathoner Meet-Up & Free Coconuts

Feel like socializing with fellow runners or scouting the competition? Either motive, ARTillery will have healthy eats the entire marathon weekend, while Angkor Marathon participants get to enjoy a FREE Energy Bliss Ball and fresh coconut water.

Where: ARTillery Café
When: December 1 – 3, Friday to Sunday, 7:30AM – 9:00PM
Cost: Free for Angkor Marathon Runners
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1782822191788993/

December 2: Angkor Bike4Kids 2017

2017 marks the 12th anniversary of this worthwhile bike ride. Angkor Bike4Kids is a fun bicycle ride as well as a race that tours around the ancient temples of Angkor! It is open to all ages and consists of distances, 17 km (fun ride), 37 km (mountain bike ride) and 117 km (road bike ride). The event is an effort of Humanity for Children and Women Organization, Union Youth Federation of Siem Reap and Khmer Beverages Co. to support the project, “My Own Hand” which aims to help children living with their parents who are in various prisons in Cambodia. Additionally, the donations received will be used to purchase 50 bikes each for the less fortunate children in the Siem Reap and Takeo Provinces.

No bike? Participants may rent one at the race expo site. It’s fun, it’s cultural and it’s charitable! There are approximately 700 bikers each year and now is your chance to join in and beat that number and who knows… possibly race for that gold! For more details, contact Active Sport at 086 628788 / 077627791 or activesportevent@gmail.com.

Where: Elephant Terrace, Angkor Thom Temple, Siem Reap
When: December 2 Saturday, Event Start: 5:00 AM
Cost: Foreigners: All distances – USD 65 for adults, USD 20 for children. Cambodian Locals: All distances: USD 20, USD 5 for children. International volunteers (with valid documents): USD 20.
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/905779379576814/

December 2: Rosy Guesthouse Christmas Fair 2017

Rosy Guesthouse Christmas Fair 2017

The ever-popular Christmas Fair at Rosy Guesthouse is back for its third outing where you can grab Christmas items such as stockings, decorations and hand illustrated cards. 14 sellers are confirmed to join and will be peddling beautiful local hand-made crafts such as jewelry, wooden sculptures, dream catchers, quilted throws and cushion covers, traditional Khmer masks, denim products, upcycled plastic bag and inner tube products and much much more. For snacks, an Austrian baker will be onsite and will bring Christmas goodies while mulled wine will be available for adults and warm cocoa for the children. Happy Christmas shopping!

Where: Rosy Guesthouse
When: December 2, Saturday 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM
Cost: Free Admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1939163919737435/

December 2: Teachers and Expats Event on Board the Queen Tara

A cheerful gathering for teachers and expats to get together and have some holiday drinks and fun while cruising the Tonle Sap Lake until sunset. It’s a fun-filled event and a great way to interact with the community before heading out to meet family and friends for the Christmas holidays. Tickets can be purchased from Rosy’s Guesthouse, The Local and Golden Gecko Hotel and the package includes the cruise, unlimited beer, spirits, cocktails, wine, soft drinks and food buffet.

Where: Tonle Sap River (Cruise), Pick up points: Rosy’s Guesthouse, The Local and Golden Gecko Hotel
When: December 2, Saturday 4:00 PM
Cost: USD 25 per person
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/165427747385279/

December 2: Miserable Man Live at Bugs Café

Miserable Man Live at Bugs Café

He describes himself as “just a skinny white man with a big black heart.” Miserable Man is a one man band project that started in a small island in Indonesia. Feeling Jamaican inside, he likes to blend pop with ska, reggae and roots to form a really unique sound not to be missed! Truly a character and though he describes himself as truly miserable, all he wants to do is cheer you up with his pop steady soulful music. Catch him perform his original claim to fame, a reggaed version of Coldplay’s hit “Fix You” as well as “Miserablized” songs from The Smiths, Tracy Chapman, Pink Floyd, Bruce Springsteen, George Michael, Elton John, Radiohead, Travis and Snow Patrol while also promoting his new EP, Songs for Ex Lovers. It is definitely NOT going to be a miserable night.

Where: Bugs Café
When: December 2, Saturday 8:00PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/181265049119475/

December 3: Angkor Wat International Half Marathon 2017

Angkor Wat International Half Marathon 2017

Cambodia’s premier running event is back for its 22nd year and the organizers expect that the total number of participants to get close to or even surpass the 10,000 mark! The Angkor Wat International Half Marathon is not just a physically fun activity but a charitable run organized by Cambodia Events Organizer (CEO) to raise funds for the victims of antipersonnel mines in Cambodia. Still a persistent and dangerous threat in this country. As such, people with artificial ligaments and in wheelchairs are encouraged to join this race. Additionally, the proceeds will be used for relevant programs such as for the education and prevention of HIV/AIDS and to support various Children’s hospitals such as the Angkor Children Hospital and Kantha Bopha Children Hospital. The different race categories will feature: Wheel Chair – 21 KM, Half Marathon – 21 KM, Road Race – 10 KM, Artificial Leg/Arm – 10 KM and a Family Run – 3 KM. Fees include a running singlet as well as a finisher’s medal.

Important Update: The committee has made an urgent change to the Start and Finish line due to the National Praying Ceremony happening at Angkor Wat on December 3. The race will now begin and conclude in the Bayon Temple or Angkor Thom.

Where: Race Proper: Bayon Temple / Angkor Thom. Race Kit Collection: Sokha Siem Reap, November 30 – December 1: 9:00 AM – 6:00 PM. December 2: 9:00 AM – 8:00 PM
When: December 3, Sunday 5:30 AM
Cost: Registration closed
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/460307167639946/

December 4: Ocean in Motion – short film feature

ocean in motion film festival

The Siem Reap Ocean In Motion Film Festival will excite, inspire and entertain, with a variety of short and medium length movies about oceans from around the world, helping to increase awareness about the value of our waters. The festival is brought to you by Ocean Recovery Alliance, a Hong Kong based NGO which focuses on creative and innovative solutions to improve the health of our oceans.

Where: The Republic
When: December 4, Monday 5:30 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/311368146029645/

December 5: Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops

Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops

Southeast Asia’s longest running and premier photography event is back for its 13th year! The Angkor Photo Festival & Workshops is definitely an event not to miss as visitors will get to see some great works by experts and seasoned photographers from around the world. Although slated to start earlier, December 3 & 4 will be dedicated to the workshops while December 5 is when the event kicks into high gear beginning with the annual exhibitions and projections. There will also be interactive afternoon sessions and talks and even free portfolio reviews for amateur photographers! This year is special as it will have a revamped format that focuses on education and that highlights its great alumni. For more details, visit our featured article about the upcoming Angkor Photo Festival.

Where: Various locations: The Republic Bar & Kitchen, The Village Café, The Borthers, Bambu Stage, One Eleven Gallery
When: December 5 – 12, Tuesday to Tuesday
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/1995830690698519/

December 10: Christmas Rummage Sale

Christmas Rummage Sale

With Christmas right around the corner, The Little Red Fox Bar & Cafe & Lub d Hostel are here to give you a helping hand with your holiday shopping through their Christmas Rummage Sale! It’s a community gathering of businesses with locally made, sourced and ethically-inspired products. The line-up of stalls include Trunkh., Rehash Trash, Shop676, In My Name, Eric Raisina Couture House, Mademoiselle Thyda, Sokhom Keo, Ammo, Georges Rhumerie, and Saarti. In between rummaging, you may enjoy poolside cocktails, live music and café specials the entire day. Bargains and unique items are to be found, so make sure you reserve some time for this wonderful retail opportunity!

Where: The Little Red Fox Bar & Cafe at Lub d
When: December 10, Sunday 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/146920869262346/

December 15: Grand Opening of Tavoos Garden and Add More Colors Launch

Seeking a venue for inspiration, wellness, relaxation and gatherings? Look no further than Tavoos Garden! It is a place with a zen garden and restaurant that focuses on health, arts, yoga, medical Qigong and overall wellness. It will be having its grand opening on December 15 and will also launch Add More Colors, a night filled with live music and on-site painting. If that’s not enough, they will also serve complementary drinks and food and you may even have the chance to win prizes!

Where: Tavoos Garden
When: December 15, Friday 6:00 PM – 10:00 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/472425509818226/

December 17: Community Eco Fair

Go green on December 17 with the monthly Community Eco Fair, which has moved to a new venue, The Republic. Recycle unwanted materials; shop for ethical, fair trade crafts and healthy, organic produce; and get creative with numerous workshops from participating local and environment-friendly organizations around town. A new addition this month is the clothing swap – recycle your unwanted threads, send them to a new home, and exchange for a new outfit in time for Christmas! The Community Eco Fair is brought to you by Rehash Trash & Plastic Free Cambodia.

Where: The Republic
When: December 17, Sunday 12 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/217228788819783/

December 22: Facing the Future Exhibition Opening

Facing the Future: Exhibition Opening

From the artist: Clive Aspin

This small exhibition is my offering to the two million Cambodians who perished under the Khmer Rouge. And they are a reminder that genocide is not unique to Cambodia. My own country, New Zealand, like other settler societies, has been witness to terrible atrocities with the slaughter of tens of thousands of Maori, the indigenous people of New Zealand.

The paintings are derived from photos of some of the estimated 17,000 people (including one New Zealander, Kerry Havill) who were tortured and killed at Tuol Sleng, in Phnom Penh.

Where: The Republic
When: December 22, Friday 6 PM
Cost: Free admission
More info: https://www.facebook.com/events/314132852417058/

Organizing an Event in Siem Reap?

Feel free to let us know, so that we can consider including it in this or the upcoming article for January 2018. Get in touch through the contact form or send us a PM on our Facebook page.

Were you looking for the typical Christmas dinners and New Year’s brunches in this round-up? No worries, we will have them covered in a separate article. Stay tuned!