The 8th annual River Festival will take over Siem Reap for two days of vibrant entertainment, expected to draw visitors from across Cambodia and beyond.

From March 16-18, the town will pulse with art performances, exhibitions and exciting sporting events including cycling, running, boat racing, boxing and golf.

The Ministry of Tourism and local authorities expect a high turnout for this major event, as spokesperson Top Sopheak indicated on February 18.

He said the festival will cater to diverse interests with a wide range of planned activities.

“We anticipate a higher turnout of both local and international visitors compared to previous years. The annual festival not only attracts tourists but also serves as a platform to encourage public engagement in sustainable river resource development and promote tourism diversification by introducing new events along Cambodia’s riverside provinces,” he said.

Siem Reap provincial deputy governor Samkol Sochetra stated that the provincial administration has consulted with relevant departments, units and members of the private sector to enhance the attractiveness of the event.

He said the River Festival is set for an exciting revamp. Initiatives will blend education, engagement and entertainment, promoting environmental awareness and cultural immersion.

He noted that visitors can expect fish exhibits, shoreline tree planting, community boat tours, Kun Khmer boxing, sustainable fish cuisine demos and an eco-art competition.

“Given our limited timeframe, I anticipate valuable insights from our discussions to enhance the festival’s uniqueness and appeal. We’re currently finalising the agenda for review by the provincial governor and the ministry,” he said.

He confirmed that the exercise park near the Royal Residence and along the Siem Reap River will be the hub of activity for the event. Organisers are also considering expanding entertainment venues to locations along the banks of the Tonle Sap Lake. 

Prime Minister Hun Manet and his wife Pich Chanmony will preside over the official opening ceremony of the 8th River Festival on March 16.