There's only one thing I regretted not to do during my first trip in Cambodia: see the Phare Circus show -I was obviously to busy running with the Gods! So when we planned our second trip to Siem Reap, it was my priority. I've heard so much about that spectacular performance, I couldn't wait to see it. Not only it was a fantastic experience to live, but buying our tickets also contributes to the education of talented young Cambodian. And believe me, when you'll see them on stage, you'll definitely want to participate to help them being (even more) awesome!
The show lasts for an hour. It's vibrant, edgy, alternative, creative -pretty much the Cambodian equivalent of the Cirque du Soleil.
that crazy night in a cambodian circus
After a day scrambling ruins and temples in the sticky heat, we hop on a tuk tuk for whole different kind of adventure. In the middle of nowhere, 30 minutes from Siem Reap, our driver stops. Here we are. We are welcomed by smiling and cheerful people -the atmosphere is enticing. The shows starts in an hour, we have just enough time for some shopping and -most important- food! There's a lovely little garden with cool food trucks offering all kind of treats, from sandwiches to local street food, gelato and pop corn. With this arty yet festive vibe, we cannot wait to get in and see what awaits behind the curtain...
Time to get in! At the entrance, we are offered a bamboo fan to keep cool during the show -how thoughtful! Lucky us, we've got the best seats, front row! But the room is so intimate, even those in the back have a great view of the scene. The good thing with being in the first row is that you might actually be part of the show...
The show opens with live music. It's all very slow and mysterious -the acrobats arrive, we don't know what to expect... Then the atmosphere gets wilder and wilder, to later make us feel we're no longer watching a show, but partying with a bunch of crazy eccentric friends!
The show has been going for about fourty minutes. It's awesome. Suddenly my heart heats up: Noah is awake! He's been sleeping in his baby carrier for the past hour, and now he starts to look everywhere, wondering whether he wants to cry or not. Of course, he decides to start babbling right when the music stops and the show is all quiet... One of the acrobats spots him right away. In the middle of his performance, he stops everything and run towards us, watches Noah and whispers "Babyyy". He'll later jump to seat next to us and cuddle him -still in the middle of the show-. That was hilarious!
This is just my personal anecdote, but I could also talk about that guy who got a big hug from one of the performers in the midst of the show. It's very spontaneous and, above all, it's all about the FUN. Be ready to get surprised! I won't spoil it too much but performancewise : WOW! These guys are amazing.
One thing we loved is how approachable the artists are. Like us, they're just here to have a good time. And at the end of the show, the team stretches on the scene in front of us, then they take the time to meet the audience -and they're even nuts enough to accept a thousand selfies with the crowd.
Circus Phare is a great thing to do when traveling with kids in Cambodia. The girls enjoyed it (11 and 13 years old), Noah obviously loved it (being the center of attention is sooo his thing!) and we did too. Everything is distinctly Cambodian: the performers obviously, but also the music, dance, costumes, instruments, setting, themes, stories. It gives a great insight of the local culture.
Phare the cambodian circus : talented acrobats need you!
You need to know Phare The Cambodian Circus is no ordinary circus. It's a school, changing life of young performers. Several generations of artists have graduated through Phare's campus, and have gone to perform in international shows. With their personal stories often hard, they make their work and talent triumph against the odds. Plus behind the art performance, there's always a striking social message. It's incredible to see how they transports you into a story with no words at all.
All profits are reinvested into the Phare campus. Not only your tickets, but also if you eat at the Phare restaurant or buy anything from the souvenirs shop -I dare you to resist, they've got gorgeous handicrafts in there.
Phare the cambodian circus - useful infos
- Tickets from 18US$ for adult and 10$ for kids, free for Noah because he's awesome (and also because he was 4 months old at that time)
- The circus is situated in the western outskirts of Siem Reap, about 15 minutes tuk tuk ride
- Showtimes every night, it lasts around 1 hour
- You can book your tickets online : Book now
- No animal are used in any performance - crazy acrobats only!
- Family friendly
- All proceeds are reinvested into the Phare campus