Water festival 2019 opens in Cambodia hinh anh 1At the boat race (Photo: VNA)
Phnom Penh (VNA) – Cambodia’s 2019 water festival kicked off on November 10 with a boat race on the river in front of the royal palace being the highlight.

From the early morning, thousands of people flocked to the riverside to watch the race, which attracted 147 boats representing 25 cities and provinces, ministries and agencies on the opening day.

Speaking at the event, Cambodian Prime Minister Samdech Techo Hun Sen asked law enforcement forces to protect and maintain security and order for domestic and foreign visitors during the festival.

Secretary General of the National Committee for Organising National and International Festivals Bun Veasna said over 300 boats will take part in the races this year.

About 4 million domestic and foreign visitors are expected to flock to Phnom Penh during the three-day festival to watch the races, go shopping, and enjoy music concerts and fireworks performances at night.

Coastal tourist destinations such as Preah Sihanouk, Kep, Kampot, Koh Kong, Siem Reap and ecological tourism sites in the northeast are also expected to draw crowds.

Following the opening boat race, a lantern festival and fireworks show were held in the evening.

The festival is celebrated across 25 cities and provinces nationwide./.