carved Apsara dancers at the Angkor Wat
A taste of culture and the arts in every new country I visit is always a part of my itinerary.  To be able to understand its people and communicate with them smoothly, it is essential that one's culture be studied, understood and embraced as well.

A traditional dance is no exemption from understanding the culture that every race and nationality possess.  For Cambodia, the Khmer culture is depicted by the performance of the Apsara dancers.  Even the temples of Angkor Wat displays carvings of their varying images. An Apsara is a female spirit of the clouds and waters in Hindu and Buddhist mythology, youthful and elegant and superb in the art of dancing.

For visitors of Siem Reap, one can witness this traditional Khmer dance of the Apsara at Koulen Restaurant.  Every tuktuk driver knows where it is located, so directions on getting there is never a problem.  Overall experience was not that remarkable, but still, a must-try for every traveler.

Apsara dancer performing at the Koulen Restaurant, Siem Reap, Cambodia

The Interiors

We made our reservations at the Koulen Restaurant through our tuktuk driver.  We visited the place after the mandatory temple visits and before heading back to our hotel to take a rest. Fortunately, we were able to take photos of the restaurant's unique interior with a touch of their exquisite culture before the guests arrive.

the dining hall

hanging lanterns on the ceiling (right) and a religious sculpture/ornament (left)

The dining hall was spacious though it can get crowded depending on the number of guests who are there to witness this performance of the traditional Khmer dance.  I bet this would soon face expansion.

Food and Cost

Food was ordinary like any other catering service. Both local and international cuisine were offered for buffet to suit the varied preference of the guests.  The buffet dinner starts at 6PM and it costs 12 USD per person or 492 pesos (with 41 pesos for a dollar as exchange rate).

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