Cambodian Living Arts, Wat Bo Pagoda
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Spend a night at the shadow puppet theatre
Cambodian shadow-puppet theatre, known as Sbaek, is performed at a number of venues around Siem Reap, however, the best shows are by Cambodian Living Arts at the beautiful 18th century Wat Bo Pagoda. It's said that this medieval art form dates back to the Khmer Empire era and has barely changed in centuries. The intricate "puppets," which in fact are large, intricately patterned cut-outs made from ox, buffalo or cow hide, are attached to two bamboo rods and represent characters from the Hindu epic narrative The Ramayana. They are maneuvered by the puppeteers behind a back-lit screen in time to the wonderful live music. It's a lot more dramatic and entrancing that it sounds and it's one of my favorite things to do in Siem Reap. Performance days and times change depending on the season so it's best to phone or email to make enquiries and reservations: bookings@cambodianlivingarts.org
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