Water Festival 2022

Today is the first day of the annual three-day Water Festival. It is held in November, at the end of the rainy season, when the Tonle Sap River reverses its flow and starts to empty water out of the Tonle Sap Lake at Siem Reap. There are normally boat races in Phnom Penh with hundreds of boats and tens of thousands of paddlers.

This year, though, the boat races have been canceled because ASEAN is having its annual summit meeting in Phnom Penh and the government decided it would not be wise to try and organize high-level government delegations (President Biden is coming) and a million-plus Water Festival revelers at the same time. We still have the three days off but there are no boat races to watch.