Logo of Phnom Penh Post newspaper Phnom Penh Post - King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

Content image - Phnom Penh Post
King Norodom Sihamoni presides over the lighting of the lantern barges at the opening of this year's Water Festival on Sunday. Hong Menea

King Sihamoni presides over opening of Water Festival

King Norodom Sihamoni presided over the lighting of the lantern barges, representing the many ministries, in front of the Royal Palace on Sunday as the first day of the annual Water Festival celebrations went smoothly.

Bun Veasna, an official at the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals, told The Post on Sunday that the first day of the festival had gone smoothly.

Government leaders including Prime Minister Hun Sen, Senate President Say Chhum, President of the National Assembly Heng Samrin and Minister of Interior Sar Kheng attended the event with the King.

“The first boat racing event went smoothly like every year. We finished the first round in the morning, and finished the second in the afternoon,” Veasna said.

National Police said they had deployed nearly 20,000 police officers in Phnom Penh to provide security at the festival, which ends on Tuesday.

On his Facebook page, Prime Minister Hun Sen said Cambodians were enjoying the festival with big smiles on their faces. He said security forces were safeguarding the participants as well as the boat crews.

“Besides enjoying the boat racing on the river, people can shop at many stalls. May I wish all our compatriots happiness and good luck,” Hun Sen wrote.

Festival goer Sok Chea said he was enjoying himself as it was one of the biggest events of the year. He said he never misses it.

“There are fewer people here today compared to the first day of the Water Festival last year. But I think there will be more people tomorrow,” Chea said.

Daun Ley from Phnom Penh said she appreciated the security arrangements that had enabled her to enjoy the festival without fear.

“Along the streets, it is very safe because there is security taking care of us. I have no concerns and I am enjoying myself,” Ley said.

Boat racing on the Tonle Sap river on Sunday.

MOST VIEWED

  • Cambodia to waive quarantine requirements Nov 15, no PCR test required

    Prime Minister Hun Sen has decided to lift all quarantine requirements for fully vaccinated travellers and visitors – both Cambodians and foreign nationals – effective from November 15 onward. In a special message addressed to officials and relevant authorities on November 14, Hun Sen said this policy will enable

  • PM: No more quarantine for vaccinated travellers

    Cambodia is lifting all quarantine requirements for vaccinated inbound travellers entering Cambodia by air, waterway or land border checkpoints effective from November 15. Travellers will be required to take a rapid antigen test on arrival rather than waiting for the results of the lengthier polymerase chain

  • No payment required for travellers taking rapid Covid tests on arrival

    Ministry of Health officials said there would be no payment required for the rapid Covid-19 tests given to travellers who arrive in Cambodia from November 15 onwards after the quarantine requirement is lifted for fully vaccinated people. Health ministry spokeswoman Or Vandine told The Post on

  • General’s gun smuggling ring busted

    The Military Police sent six military officers to court on November 22 to face prosecution for possession of 105 illegal rifles and arms smuggling, while investigators say they are still hunting down additional accomplices. Sao Sokha, deputy commander of the Royal Cambodian Armed Forces and commander of

  • More Cambodians studying in US

    The number of Cambodian students studying at US colleges and universities in 2020-21 increased by 14.3 per cent over the previous year despite the Covid-19 pandemic, according to a recent US government report. The 2021 Open Doors report on International Educational Exchange showed that 848 Cambodian students studied

  • Cambodia, Thailand to discuss border reopening

    Cambodian authorities from provinces along the Cambodia-Thailand border will meet with Thai counterparts to discuss reopening border checkpoints to facilitate travel, transfer of products and cross-border trade between the two countries. Banteay Meanchey provincial deputy governor Ly Sary said on November 22 that the provincial administration