After a hard day of touring the several magnificent temples at the Angkor Archaeological Park, all one can think of is a few drinks and a hearty meal. Perhaps a massage too. Koulen Restaurant in Siem Reap provides all three. What’s more, one gets to watch a traditional Khmer dance show while sipping a drink and tucking into some delicious food from the huge buffet. Dinner service starts at 6.00 PM and the show starts at 7.30 PM. One can continue eating and drinking during the show so practically there are over two hours to go through the elaborate buffet. It is better to go early. Finish eating before the show starts and then enjoy the show. The dance show and the ‘all you can eat dinner’ cost 12 USD per person for adults, and 6 USD for kids. Toddlers up to three years go free. Soft drinks cost extra from 2 USD for a coke to 4 USD for a large bottle of beer. The food includes vegetarian food, Khmer food, Chinese food, western food, and Khmer desserts and fresh fruits – pineapple, papaya, & dragon fruit. There is a choice of both vegetarian and non-vegetarian snacks too.
Traditional Khmer Dances Including Apsara Dance
The show begins with a traditional Khmer music performance which sets the mood for the rest to follow. There are a total of 6-7 acts that include dance / drama / comedy and even a romantic act. The current dance performances according to the Koulen website are on the following themes:
1. Gum Lacquer Pounding
2. Bamboo Clappers
3. Cardamom Picking
4. Tep Monorom
5. Sovann Maccha
6. Peacock of Pailin
7. Apsara Dance
The Apsara dance comes somewhere in the middle of the show. I went there mainly for the Apsara dance but all the performances were very entertaining and gracefully done. The best effort put in by the musicians in the background and the stage actors was clearly evident. Kudos to Koulen. At the end of the show, the Apsara dancers and other actors wait at the stage for about 10 minutes for the guests to get their pictures taken with the artists. Can one expect more for a mere 12 US dollars.
Koulen Restaurant has a massage service too starting at 5 USD an hour. If one gets there an hour before the buffet starts, spending that time getting a massage would not be a bad idea.
Koulen Restaurant Location and Timings
Koulen Restaurant is located on Sivatha Road opposite Lucky Mall towards the National Road 6 end. Its a short walk from KFC. The restaurant opens daily at 11.00am and closes at 10.00pm.
Pictures of the Buffet and the Show
Koulen accepts reservations on phone.
50, Street Sivatha,
Opp Lucky Mall Near National Road No. 6
Siem Reap, Cambodia
Phone: (855) 78 630 090, 92 630 090