Celebrate New Years Eve in Phnom Penh, Cambodia in a total contrasting way!

I wish you all a wonderful a happy New Year and an amazing start into 2017!!! I hope you had a fantastic NYE celebration no matter where in the world you are! We celebrated NYE at the Mekong/Tonal Sap River in Phnom Penh, Cambodia. At first we were not even sure if they even celebrated NYE – but they did!! Though very different from what I am used to…

Celebrating New Year in Phnom Penh


The whole day long nothing happend along the city and the river. It was business as usual… But then as it became darker the locals started tyo come out and to gather along the river….It feklt more like a huge public gathering with all the locals rather than celebrating New Years as I am used to from Germany or even Australia.

The restaurants were all pretty empty except for the westerners. The Cambodians sat with family and friends on large blankets on the floors with lots of food and drinks along the river or by the Royal Palace…


Mekong/Tonal Sap River in Phnom Penh

Unlike the Sydney Harbour Bridge where the locals gather in the pubs, clubs and even on boats with super loud music and already intoxicated people on the road at 6pm here in Phnom Penh the locals just walk along the river, buy from Hawker food stands and wait patiently to watch the fire works….


Some of the locals even arranged for lanterns to be flown into the air….



At midnight  on New Years Even in Phnom Penh, Cambodia

I was expecting for people going crazy, singing, dancing and laughing….but it was rather quiet!!! No countdown, no singing, no party…. We even almost missed “Midnight” if it were not for the fireworks that went up into the air because no one did a count down or was bubbling excited…Nope, they just sat there and chatted away and stopped only with  a few cheers when the fireworks went up…

After everyone finished watching the fire works they decided to go straight home and so  there was a huge grid lock on the streets with lots and lots of motorbikes and Tuk Tuks…



Phnom Penh’s Royal Palace at night on New Years Eve

Always beautiful to see is the Royal Palace! But this time you had a hard time crossing the streets to get to the Royal Palace… Anyway, still a sight though 🙂



Conclusion about celebrating New Years Eve in Phnom Penh

It was a very different and most certainly much more quiet NYE which we really appreciated. So if you like huge parties on NYE with lots and lots of people Phnom Penh is probably not the best place to celebrate. The Fireworks were also quite basic after experiencing fireworks in Sydney or in Hamburg… But still enough to mark the new start into the next year 🙂

With that I wish you an amazing start into an incredible 2017 !!!


Ready to plan your holiday for the next year?

Explore Cambodia and it’s untouched beauty as well as cultures. Get tips on finding cheap flight tickets and book great deals on Skyscanner.com

Get great advice on how to find budget hotel rooms as well as compare great hotel deals in Phnom Penh between Booking.com/Phnom Penh and Agoda.com/Phnom Penh



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