Siem Reap

Body, Soul: Circus and serenity in Siem Reap

Sanctuary and healing in Siem Reap

Young relaxed woman having a facial massage at the spa.
Credit: BraunS/Getty Images

Body: Fantastic four hands

Seeing Siem Reap’s temple ruins is an awe-inspiring, but often also exhausting, experience. After a day of touring, Lemongrass Gardens can get to work on sore feet, aching muscles and overstimulated minds. The spa is known for its Twin Touch Khmer massage, which involves two therapists who work on the body in mind-melting, four-handed symmetrical choreography. There are also facials, scrubs and the recently added Kiddie Khmer Massage for the little ones. You’ll feel dusted down, literally, and ­re-energised.

Phare, The Cambodian Circusno credit

Soul: Run away with the circus

Whether performing in their circus tent or in front of a beautifully lit temple, Phare, The Cambodian Circus keeps audiences spellbound as they tell Cambodian folktales through acrobatics, dance, live music and acting. But each show also represents the young performers’ own odds-defying success stories: they are a clutch of the 1,700 disadvantaged youths attending Phare Ponleu Selpak school, an NGO providing public education and arts training for free. Catching a show is a captivating way to support the organisation.

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