For many years visitors have been heading to Siem Reap from every corner of the globe to explore the ancient jungle temples of Angkor Wat, and rightly so, as a UNESCO world heritage site they are truly remarkable; however, we are going to suggest 3 new reasons why Siem Reap should be on your travel radar to ensure that a visit to ‘Temple Town’ provides a variety of enriching experiences on your next visit. 1. Support responsible tourism via Refill Not Landfill Everyone is talking about responsible tourism and trying to find ways to reduce the impact they have on their next trip overseas; this is so important as there is only one planet and we therefore have a collective responsibility to protect it, reducing plastic use is just one way of lessening our impact. Globally, plastic has become a plague on the planet, killing wildlife, choking seas, and filling landfills for centuries to come A pioneering group of travel professionals in Siem Reap have used their passion, influence and creative minds to launch the Refill Not Landfill initiative; they identified a problem (single use plastic bottles) and created a solution (reusable and refillable metal bottles) and their project is proving to be an overwhelming success. The group calculated that this problem sees over 130 million plastic bottles used by tourists visiting Cambodia every year, which equates to 355,000 bottles per day, the vast majority of these bottles find their way to landfill, with the remainder discarded across the countryside and in the sea having a devastating effect on the environment and wildlife. Their solution was to persuade like minded hotel operators, tour agencies and restauranteurs to partner with them in the purchase of reusable metal bottles; these can be distributed to tourists who can refill them (for free) at an ever growing network of locations around Siem Reap and Cambodia; the project has been very well received with new partners coming on board every week and interest from overseas to expand the initiative. 2. Enjoy world class entertainment at ChubMet Music & Arts Festival ChubMet is an entertainment and arts festival that was founded in 2016 by a dedicated team of volunteers with an aim to celebrate Cambodian music and arts in Siem Reap; the festival is funded by commercial sponsorship with the support of local venues and organisations and features both local and international performers. With 2016 being very well received, the festival in 2017 (from February 17th to March 2nd) promises to be even bigger and even better, with 7 events scheduled in venues ranging from hotels and music venues to the Royal Park and a boxing stadium. ChubMet will launch with a street carnival in the increasingly popular Kandal Village area of Siem Reap and culminate with a performance by Grammy award winning soul sensation, Joss Stone, next to the pool of a luxury hotel; this event alone promises to put Siem Reap and ChubMet on the map in the region for delivering world class entertainment. With 5 of the 7 events offering free entry, ChubMet music & art festival will attract local residents, tourists and expats alike to come and experience the widest range of music and arts ever displayed in Siem Reap. 3. Stay at the unique luxury hotel Jaya House River Park With an enviable riverside location, stunning sunset views from the rooftop bar, bespoke artwork adorning the walls and a futuristic swimming pool that just entices you to dive in, you can be assured that a few days at Jaya House River Parkcambo will leave you feeling relaxed and revived. This peaceful oasis offers guests the choice of 36 rooms each with balcony or direct pool access, and when its time to go and explore, both Angkor Wat and Siem Reap town centre are a little over 5 minutes away by tuk tuk; although with the beautifully appointed rooms, a choice of 2 pools, an all day dining restaurant and serene spa you may not want to leave! Whilst you soak up the luxurious surroundings of Jaya House River Park you will be pleased to know that this is a hotel with social conscience as one of its core values; they support 4 different NGOs including the excellent Cambodian Landmine Museum and The Music Art School which allows local people to develop their artist and musical skill. If you’ve never visited Siem Reap before, hopefully our 3 new reasons why Siem Reap should be on your travel radar have persuaded you that a trip to ‘Temple Town’ should be high on your list of travel destinations, whilst if you’ve visited before perhaps it’s time to return and see how things are changing! Paul Eyers is Founder of Vegan Food Quest. If you would like to be a guest blogger on A Luxury Travel Blog in order to raise your profile, please contact us.
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