Cambodia with a splash
Get your Buddha on and experience one of Cambodia’s most refreshing celebrations with Chefs Run Wild’s Chad Klyne.
If you’re lucky enough to be in Southeast Asia in April, you won’t want to miss Buddha’s birthday — a three-day festival celebrated throughout Myanmar, Thailand, Laos and Cambodia. We just happened to be in Cambodia for the celebrations and had an absolute blast!
It’s basically a water and powder festival (baby powder to be exact) where children and adults of all ages chuck water balloons and handfuls of powder in your face — our first introduction to the festivities was in the capital, Phnom Penh. While riding in a tuk tuk we found ourselves amidst an ambush of about 5 kids all wielding water balloons and we were their prime targets.
We felt like sitting ducks as we slowly cruised past them and, for some reason, it seemed like every one of their missiles hit me dead on! Clayton and Lyndon managed to duck out of the way, while I received a blow to the head, another to my rib cage and yet another to my shoulder. Now these are not just the regular run-of-the -mill water balloons, but small plastic bags filled with water. They need a lot more force before they can pop and when that force is directed at your head, it’s not the nicest feeling in the world!
We found another group of kids who were nice enough to douse us with buckets of water instead of plastic water missiles, so we decided to partake in on the fun! After all, it was Buddha’s birthday and I can join in if I want to.
After giving the little tikes a taste of their own medicine we started throwing water bombs and buckets at poor unsuspecting passers-by. It brought back fond memories of hurling crab apples and snowballs at cars when we were younger. We were like kids again and didn’t want the moment to end.
I love Asia. The people there are so relaxed and hospitable. Where else in the world could you go and play with a random group of kids and not have to answer to the police?