Pchum Ben is the biggest religious festival for Cambodian Buddhists, with the festival lasting 15 days of the tenth month in the Khmer calendar. Mom, one of our superstar Guest Assistants at Jaya House River Park, Siem Reap, was a Buddhist monk for 9 years before joining Team Jaya, and we sat down with him to find our what Pchum Ben means to him... "To me, one thing that is really special about Pchum Ben is that the whole community comes together. At this time of year, the monks have been working very hard for three months during Vassa, the Buddhist lent, and are not leaving the pagoda during this period. During the 15-day Pchum Ben festival, the local people make offerings for their ancestor’s ghosts who have not yet healed, they also make offerings of food and other items to the monks. In my time as a monk we were given a lot of offerings everyday during Pchum Ben and of course it is too much just for us monks, so all of the extra food we sent to the hospital for the sick people. Now that I am no longer a monk, I still really look forward to Pchum Ben! I will go to my homeland and make an offering to my father, and then me and my father will do kind actions for others. It’s important to be kind and practice mindfulness. I will also invite monks from the local pagoda to my family home to give them offerings." From everyone at @jayahousehotels we wish everyone a very happy and safe Pchum Ben festival. 🙏
Part 3: After getting to know some of the locals who guided our activities at the villa, it was time for the wine to be poured and local musicians arrived to play beautiful Cambodian music as we took our seats for dinner. The chefs took all of my allergies and food restrictions very seriously (they had asked in advance), but were still able to serve me authentic Khmer cuisine dishes. The set menu featured multiple courses and 9 dishes of some of the best food we had on our whole trip. After dinner, all the lights were turned out so the stars could come out to play while musicians serenaded us under the night sky. You can imagine that we did not want the night to end. // If you’re looking for a one-of-a-king, unique dining experience in Cambodia, look into dining with @dinebeyond. If you find yourselves in Siem Reap, a night at @villachandara_sr should be at the top of your Must List. .
PS this experience was NOT sponsored. This was something we did on our own and genuinely loved it so much that I wanted to share it in its entirety with you all. A full recap is coming soon to the blog.
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