Photo: Within the grounds of the Royal Palace.

Cambodia forum

Anyone been to an Apsara dinner dance show in Siem Reap

Posted by lennybruce on 31/7/2008 at 16:42

Want to see one of these shows on my next trip back in Sept. Unfortunately I can't go when the annual sound and light show is held at Angkor Wat itself so I figured I would try one of the many dinner dance shows on offer.

Has anyone been to one? Which one? Was it nice or tacky?

Thanks for the info!

#1 lennybruce has been a member since 6/7/2008. Location: Netherlands. Posts: 38
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Posted by zaoyi on 3/8/2008 at 01:41

yup been to thr. I couldn't appreciate the dance and the dinner was average. Would not recommend it, too touristy.

#2 zaoyi has been a member since 3/8/2008. Posts: 1


Posted by Ramblergirl on 3/8/2008 at 06:29

Yes, we have been to one as well. I liked the dances, very colourful and pretty. The dancers looked like "working" i.e. not really enjoying themselves in dancing. They let the audience come to the stage and be photographed with them. The venue was a big restaurant, long tables, no service, expensive drinks, only tourists. The food was OK, at least three buffet tables with food from different Asian countries.
As soon as the performance had finished, the people left, there was nothing to keep us there. I dont remember the name of the restaurant, but it doesn't matter, they are all the same. If you dont go, you wont miss anything. As Zaoyi said, too touristy.

#3 Ramblergirl has been a member since 8/7/2008. Posts: 17

Posted by lennybruce on 3/8/2008 at 17:28

Sounds unanimous. What a shame. But you have saved me an evening and a few bucks.

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Posted by srsdj on 4/8/2008 at 10:32

The place we went to was probably the same place described by post #3. Was it touristy? Yes. Was it worth seeing? Yes. It would be a pity to travel all that way and not experience an Apsara show.

#5 srsdj has been a member since 30/10/2007. Posts: 8

Posted by lennybruce on 4/8/2008 at 16:17

Aha, so it is not unanimous.... thnks srsdj for a dissenting opinion...

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Posted by liquefiedstars on 4/8/2008 at 19:05

We went to the show upstairs at Temple Club. It's a fantastic restaurant and bar in itself and the free Aspara dance show didn't hurt. I personally enjoyed it - it's not something I could just sit there and watch but it was a good backdrop for dinner. The dancers were high professional (although yes, a little bored).

Was it touristy? I guess so. It's in a western joint amongst a whole strip of western joints situated in what is essentially travellers central. But I thought it was good value :) If nothing else, you can have a great dinner there.

#7 liquefiedstars has been a member since 25/4/2008. Posts: 15

Posted by lennybruce on 5/8/2008 at 00:22

Thnks liquifiedstars for the specific restaurant tip! Btw, your nick has got great imagery in it. Nice.

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Posted by liquefiedstars on 5/8/2008 at 13:29

Thanks lennybruce. You're welcome :)

#9 liquefiedstars has been a member since 25/4/2008. Posts: 15

Posted by silverwool on 9/8/2008 at 20:01

I went to one in Pokambor Avenue a few years ago. It was fine but very touristy. However, we are all tourists! At the end of the show the dancers stood on stage looking very bored while loads of people got up to be photographed with them. Meal was an all you can eat buffet from memory. (Suspect its the place Ramblergirl was at)

Another option is the shadow puppet show at La Noria guesthouse. Nice meal and show. I think it cost us about $14 per head including a drink or two.

#10 silverwool has been a member since 8/7/2007. Posts: 7

Posted by steveatkins on 20/8/2008 at 06:36

Unfortunately as Siem Reap is a pure tourist town, all the Apsara shows are touristy, there is no getting away from it. As for the dancers looking bored, that is the style, they are not supposed to show emotion. I have been to 10 plus Apsara shows in various different locations around the country and the emotionless expression is always the same. Perhaps try to see a show performed by children, they are not so good at controlling their expressions and you can see they are enjoying it. Also some shows have some 'village' dances and these are more expression-ful. Saying all that, as you are in Cambodia you really should see at least one Apsara dance shom...

#11 steveatkins has been a member since 15/6/2007. Posts: 33


Posted by Yann on 2/5/2014 at 01:53

Old topic but I would like to share my experience as I recently went to 2 apsara dinner shows in Siem Reap, the Temple one and Smile of Angkor .

The Temple show in pub street and is free, you just need to have dinner there and you will have the opportunity to see this beautiful traditional dance.

The Smile of Angkor show is more... let's say professional. I went there on the advise of my guide, but I still checked out their website and it was a good idea. The guide asked $38 include buffet-dinner, I got the ticket for $25 without dinner. I have to say that I am not disappointed: they advertise on the fact that the dancers belong to royal Khmer ballet and I saw a big difference between the 2 performances... More, the modern stage and lights really enhance the show.
You will also see other performances such as traditional boxing. Still a bit pricy but I don't regret.

You can check it out here: http://www.smileofangkor.info

#12 Yann has been a member since 2/5/2014. Posts: 1

Posted by LeonardCohen1 on 2/5/2014 at 03:55

Siam Niramit in Bangkok is very good. Really professional and well done.

#13 LeonardCohen1 has been a member since 24/7/2012. Posts: 2,148
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Posted by AbigailatPenhandInk on 2/5/2014 at 06:51 TF writer

If you're heading to Phnom Penh as well as Siem Reap, I'd recommend the Cambodian Living Arts performances at The National Museum. There's a choice of three shows, including a dance performance that includes folk dances and tribal routines. They take a break during the rainy season, but well worth a visit if you're here at the right time. More information here in the Phnom Penh section.

#14 AbigailatPenhandInk has been a member since 9/11/2010. Location: United Kingdom. Posts: 179
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