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“It's been over-hyped on TA”

Phare, The Cambodian Circus
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Phare: The Cambodian Circus Show in Siem Reap
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Recommended length of visit: 2-3 hours
Owner description: Phare, The Cambodian Circus "Amazing vibe & energy, transforming the lives of Cambodian youth" Experience Siem Reap's most unique, authentic top rated (TripAdvisor & Lonely Planet) evening entertainment. More than just a circus, Phare, the Cambodian Circus performers use theater, music, dance and modern circus arts to tell uniquely Cambodian stories; historical, folk and modern. The young circus artists will astonish you with their energy, emotion, enthusiasm and talent. Phare artists are students and graduates from Phare Ponleu Selpak's vocational training centre in Battambang. The association was formed in 1994 by 9 young men coming home from a refugee camp after the Khmer Rouge regime. They were greatly helped during that time by an art teacher using drawing classes as therapy and wanted to share this new skill among the poor, socially deprived and troubled youngsters in Battambang. They founded an art school and public school followed to offer free education. A music school and theatre school were next and finally, for the kids who wanted more, the circus school. Today more than 1,200 pupils attend the public school daily and 500 attend the alternative schools. Phare Ponleu Selpak also has extensive outreach programs, trying to help with the problems highlighted in their own tales. Phare The Cambodian Circus offers these students and graduates somewhere to hone their skills and a place to earn a decent wage. Money that will take them out of poverty and give them self-respect and freedom.
Useful Information: Bathroom facilities, Food available for purchase, Activities for young children, Activities for older children
Reviewed 12 December 2013 via mobile

I want to support the Performing Arts, especially in Cambodia, but I didn't find the performance amazing. Good, yes. But I think the reviews on TA placed my expectations too high. It's an impressive performance for non professionals and I think it's great way to spend an hour. But it's a small venue with minimal props and just a little frighteningly risky acrobats. If you decide to go, find a seat early in the front centre for the best view.

Thank AngloTexan74
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Craig D, Director of Sales at Phare, The Cambodian Circus, responded to this reviewResponded 15 December 2013

Dear AngloTexan74,

Thank you for writing to share your thoughts on our performance. Your feedback is greatly appreciated.

We are extremely honored and humbled by so many superlative reviews. Although the production level may be less elaborate, guests are clearly moved by the talent, energy, enthusiasm and emotion the young performers put into it, which is especially impressive when their challenging backgrounds are known. The ticket price is also much lower than more elaborate, higher production level circus theaters. The smaller venue (capacity 350) allows guests not only to witness the performance, but also experience it.

You are absolutely correct about front-center seating offering the best view. These can be pre-reserved by booking Seat A.

Thank you again for your feedback. We are always looking for ways to improve the guest experience,


Craig Dodge
Director of Sales

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This response is the subjective opinion of the management representative and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Write a ReviewReviews (8,098)
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6,719 - 6,723 of 8,101 reviews

Reviewed 11 December 2013

Wow wow wow!!! Our group of 25 (19 high school students) went to the Chills show on Saturday night and what a fantastic experience. We booked the best seats in the house and it was definitely worth it - the kids loved their little surprise gifts. All the students raved about the show and loved the fact that they could have their photos taken afterwards with the stars. A worthwhile NGO to support and a very unique Cambodian experience. We will be back next year! Awkoon Thom Thom.

Thank Kaelar
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Whatever you do go and support this worthwhile effort, but not just because it is an excellent cause, but also because it is one of the best nights entertainment you are likely to come across. Infectious fun with astounding acrobatics - do yourself a favour, get the next tuk-tuk to take you there.

Thank RostrevorMichael
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 10 December 2013

Street kids from Battambang perform in a thrilling and professional way thanks to years of work through a French NGO. The program changes frequently and now you can see them in Siem Reap as well as Battambang. You can go early for dinner and be sure to check out the artwork available in the lobby.

Thank Betsywilliams
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC
Reviewed 9 December 2013

I went into the show thinking it was going to be a nice way to support a cause, but didn't really expect much... I don't want to over-build expectations, but this really WOWed me.

The cast is really talented, between their acrobatics, musical abilities, and humor. Everyone involved seems genuinely passionate about what they are accomplishing. I left with a huge smile on my face, and everyone else did, as well.

The entry is $15, which makes it one of the pricier attractions around, but the organization appears to be using the money in a very worthwhile fashion. They have a donation box at the end of the show, as well, and I happily gave again - I was that impressed (and this is coming from a pretty frugal guy!).

Bottom line: If you're in Siem Reap (or Battambang, though I can't speak on that one first-hand), this is one of the best ways to spend your time there. Don't miss it!

Thank Tee610
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC

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