The End Of His Majesty’s Birthday

The last night of celebratory fireworks is upon us which can be seen and heard from the door step of The Velkommen , so here’s a brief history for you of his majesty  King Norodom Sihamoni .

Cambodian King’s Birthday, May 13-15, 2013

Cambodia King’s Birthday is a national holiday of Cambodia to celebrate the anniversary of His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday. The holiday is observed annually on May 13, the actual birth date of King Norodom Sihamony of Cambodia in 1953.

His Majesty King Norodom Sihamoni is the current sovereign of Cambodia who has been serving the country since 29 October 2004. He was born on May 14, 1953, from the King Father Norodom Sihanouk and the Queen Mother Norodom Monineath.

Before ascended the throne as the King of Cambodia to succeed his father, King Norodom Sihamoni was known as a ballet instructor and a cultural ambassador in Europe. People in Cambodia celebrate King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday as a public holiday, just like HM Queen Mother’s Birthday and HM King Father’s Birthday.

During the anniversary of King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday, many government buildings are decorated with small colorful lights and large portraits of the King together with best wishes and congratulatory words for the King. People in Cambodia are also suggested to raise Cambodia national flags in their houses.

King Norodom Sihamoni’s birthday is observed as a public holiday in Cambodia. Thus, most people are granted a day off while schools, government offices, banks, and companies are closed. People use the day to rest and gather with family or have a vacation to some places of interest in Cambodia.

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Here Comes The Rain :)

Although many people will tell you not to visit Phnom Penh during the rainy season, it’s actually not as bad you might think. During the morning hours the sun can be described as nothing less but glorious , reaching  a scorching temperature with  clear blue sky’s , making  it sun cream you should worry about not your umbrella . The monsoon season  offers customers the chance to see some of the greatest natural electrical displays the world has to offer , expect down pours of an evening which rarely  last longer than an hour , cooling the streets of phnom penh to a very comfortable temperature . So why delay The Velkommen Welcomes rainy season with open arms just as its customer’s come and join us for some of the most fascinating weather in the world .

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Khmer New Year BBQ At Velkommen Back Packers!!

Velkommen are very excited to invite you to celebrate khmer new year in a tradition fashion with a BBQ . It will be held from 6pm until 9pm , on April the 14th , 15th and 16th . With hot dogs , skewers , beer and music be sure to head down to Velkommen Backpackers opposite the guest house on street 144 see you soon .

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The Three Day’s Of Khmer New Year

Maha Songkran

Maha Songkran, derived from Sanskrit Maha Sankranti, is the name of the first day of the new year celebration. It is the ending of the year and the beginning of a new one. People dress up and light candles and burn incense sticks at shrines, where the members of each family pay homage to offer thanks for the Buddha’s teachings by bowing, kneeling and prostrating themselves three times before his image. For good luck people wash their face with holy water in the morning, their chests at noon, and their feet in the evening before they go to bed.

Virak Wanabat

Virak Wanabat is the name of the second day of the new year celebration. People contribute charity to the less fortunate by helping the poor, servants, homeless, and low-income families. Families attend a dedication ceremony to their ancestors at the monastery.

T’ngai Leang Saka

T’ngai Leang Saka is the name of the third day of the new year celebration. Buddhists cleanse the Buddha statues and their elders with perfumed water. Bathing the Buddha images is the symbol that water will be needed for all kinds of plants and lives. It is also thought to be a kind deed that will bring longevity, good luck, happiness and prosperity in life. By bathing their grandparents and parents, children can obtain from them best wishes and good advice for the future.

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Power outages in Siem Reap

For anyone on their way to Siem Reap, there is no need to worry. Tourist activities are available as usual, and most of the businesses in town also operating as normal.

In Velkommen Guesthouse Siem Reap we have our own generator, so we haven’t been to badly affected by the power outage in Siem Reap. Our generator give us enought power to run light, fans and internet. The last days electrisity in our street only gone from 6.30pm. to 11pm. so there is only some few hours with out air con.
More information about the situation around town here:

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Live Music: Saturday 16th

The Velkommen Backpackers: will be hosting live music by Ring Tail.
New to Cambodia Ring Tail play classic rock and blues. From David Bowie to rolling stones.
There will also be an open mic section were everyone is welcome.

The Velkommen backpackers just off Phnom penh’s main river front st 144.
Draft beer for $1, house spirits for $1.50, and good pizza for $5.

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The Battambang Circus coming to Siem Reap

Starting from the 8th of February Phare Ponleu Selpak (The Battambang Circus) will have nightly shows in Siem Reap.

The venue will be 400 meter from Velkommen Guesthouse Siem Reap, oposite the Angkor Century Hotel / behind the National Museum and initially it will be open air. The ‘Big Top’ will arrive in around 2 months! Tickets will be $ 15 for adults and $ 8 for kids under 120 cm.

The first OFFICIAL show open to the public will be on the 9th of Feb but keep your eyes peeled for some small promotional performances around Pub Street between now and then.

Please help to support this great organization and a much needed evening entertainment option for locals and visitors.

For more info:

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New pool table in Siem Reap

Here is a photo of our new pool table at Velkommen Guesthouse Siem Reap. It’s already been used a lot by our guests and staff. It’s nice to relax with a game after a long day of temple sightseeing. We have the coldest draft beer in Siem Reap and we will give you some free popcorn with your beers. If your traveling alone our staff will be more than happy to play a game against you. Be warned, they start to be good players.New pool table

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Feed Back From Our Guests.

New Canby ad

Yesterday we had an interesting session with a lot of our female guest’s here. We were interested to learn what they felt make a great guesthouse. The 3 main point that they mentioned was cleanliness, safety and of course the price : )

We spent a bit of time talking about some of their favorite guesthouse that their been to. They all had the 3 qualitys above as well as they created a sense of family. One of the other thing’s that they mention was that most of these had some sort of water feature, pool or a sundeck with a shower and a bar. We were surprised to hear that one of the best ones was basically had  a kiddy pool that had a little waterfall in a manufactured garden setting! Apparently being able to get into the water to cool off was the biggest draw, which makes sense.

We were a little bit surprised that they did not go into detail on the cleanliness, like if the shower stall had a little mold was that a big deal or was just taking care of the basics like clean floors regular room cleaning with change of towels and bedding?

Velkommen Guesthouse has always made it a point to keep our rooms immaculate and is something that our mangers check on a regular basis.  We feel strongly that good value can be archived with attention to details and room and facility cleanliness which is something that we feel is important to our guests comfort.

One of the things that people comment on is that we include in room safes in all room in Siem Reap and for our dorm bed customers we include lockers like you would find at the gym or schools. You can also use your own lock, something that we strongly encourage.

Another issue was safety in transportation.  Do to the competitive nature of the guesthouses in Cambodia and the propensity of the local motodops and tuk tuk drivers to take people to guesthouses that they get paid a large commission, that by the way comes out of your pocket. We have drivers that we use on a regular basis to pick you up and drop you off right at our door  in Siem Reap and Phnon Penh.

So we incorporated some this feed back into our new Canby ad.  We will also add more of this on our Siem Reap Web page


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Angkor Wat time lapse

Check out this Angkor Wat Time Lapse. Our Velkommen Guesthouse Siem Reap is just a short bike ride to the tempel. We rent out bicycles for The White Bicycles who is a local charity. Income from the charity goes to provide drinking water filtration and pump wells in rural villages and student scholarships.

Angkor Wat time lapse

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