Inside Vietnam: Cambodia Laos
Apsara dances

Apsara dances

The Angkor era is brought to life in the form of traditional aspara dances, the pinnacle of Cambodian performing arts.

Once outlawed by the Khmer Rouge, Cambodia's emergence as a tourist destination has had a positive effect on the performing arts. Aspara dancing, a classic style dating back to the Angkor era is now flourishing.

As you explore the Angkor ruins, you'll see bas-relief aspara carved into the rocks. It's believed that women performed the dances to invoke deities and spirits, as well as to honour royalty and visitors to the Angkor kingdom. Witnessing an aspara dance display is a great way to spend an evening in Siem Reap.

These days the best Cambodian dancers perform in evening shows in the Angkor Temples. The dancers' intricate movements and elaborate costumes are usually accompanied by a pinpeat orchestra: nine or ten musicians playing wind and percussion instruments including drums and xylophones.

Apsara dances

located in Siem Reap

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Interested in this Experience? It is included in this tour:

  • Scenic splendour, dramatic remnants of ancient empires and thriving modern cultures await on our exploration of the highlights of Laos and Cambodia

    Laos and Cambodia Entwined

    If Vietnam is the colourful and attention-seeking member of the Indochina triumvirate, the people of Laos and Cambodia share a more relaxed approach to life, and the laid-back pace of existence imbues all travels here with a warmth and serenity felt in few other places.

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    Scenic splendour, dramatic remnants of ancient empires and thriving modern cultures await on our exploration of the highlights of Laos and Cambodia

Other suggested Performing Arts

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  • Luang Prabang ballet

    Luang Prabang ballet

    Unlike traditional Western ballet, Lao ballet performances combine striking poses to tell stories about culture and heritage.

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  • Hanoi's water puppets

    Hanoi's water puppets

    The popular water puppet show in Hanoi is famous for bringing traditional storytelling and water puppetry to a modern audience.

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  • Cambodian shadow puppetry

    Cambodian shadow puppetry

    The Cambodian Living Arts organisation is dedicated to preserving traditional performing arts, including music, dance and shadow puppetry.

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  • Traditional minority dance in Mai Chau

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    The Hmong and Thai ethnic groups who reside in the Mai Chau region have a rich tradition of dance, often performed at festivals and celebrations.

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