Phare Circus | A Mesmerizing Entertainment in Cambodia

Phare Cambodian circus

Phare – the Cambodian Circus

Phare – the Cambodian circus, is a unique and captivating form of entertainment that combines traditional Khmer arts with modern circus techniques. The Cambodian circus was founded in 2013 by a group of Cambodian artists with the aim of promoting Cambodian culture and providing employment opportunities for young people in the arts. Since its inception, the circus has become a popular attraction for tourists and locals alike and has received critical acclaim from audiences around the world.

Phare the Cambodian circus

Suggested information

Opening time:

– The early evening show around: 6:00 to 6:30 PM
– The late evening show around: 8:00 to 8:30 PM

Suggested duration: 1 hour and 30 minutes to 3 hours

Address: Phare, The Cambodian Circus, Cambodian Circus Ring Road, Sok San Road, Siem Reap, Kingdom of Cambodia.

However, it is recommended to always best to check the circus’s website or contact them directly to confirm the exact opening time for a specific show or date, prices as it may vary depending on the season or any special events or promotions that may be taking place.

The Phare Cambodian Circus: History and Evolution

Phare - the Cambodian circus

The history of the Cambodian circus dates back to the early 1980s when a group of Cambodian refugees in a Thai refugee camp formed a traveling troupe called Phare Ponleu Selpak (PPS), which means “the brightness of art”.

The group performed traditional Khmer art forms, such as music, dance, and theater, as a way to preserve their culture and to provide a source of income for the performers. Over time, the group began to incorporate elements of circus arts into their performances, such as acrobatics and juggling. In 2013, PPS partnered with Canadian circus company Cirque du Soleil to create the Cambodian circus, Phare, which combines traditional Khmer art forms with modern circus techniques. The new circus was designed to showcase the talent and creativity of Cambodian artists while providing a sustainable livelihood for the performers. The circus has since become a popular attraction in Cambodia and has toured internationally, receiving critical acclaim for its unique blend of traditional and modern art forms.

Performances of Phare Circus

The Phare Cambodian Circus offers several different shows, each with its own unique theme and storyline.


Eclipse (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

This is one of the most popular shows which tells the story of a young boy who dreams of becoming an artist, but is hindered by poverty and the war-torn environment around him. The show combines acrobatics, dance, and theater to create a powerful and emotional experience for the audience.


sokha (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

Another popular show is called “Sokha,” which tells the story of a young woman who is forced to flee her village during the Khmer Rouge regime. The show features breathtaking acrobatic performances and traditional Khmer music to transport the audience to another time and place.

Khmer Metal

Khmer Metal (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

Khmer Metal is a popular show performed by Phare, The Cambodian Circus. It is a high-energy performance that combines traditional Cambodian music with rock music and circus skills. The show tells the story of a young Cambodian man named Pich, who loves heavy metal music and dreams of starting a band. However, his strict and conservative family disapproves of his music and wants him to follow a more traditional path.

White Gold

white gold (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

It tells the story of the history of salt mining in Cambodia and its impact on the local communities. The show explores the challenges faced by the Cambodian people who worked in the salt fields, enduring long hours, harsh conditions, and meager pay.


Chills (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

This is a thrilling and spooky performance by Phare, The Cambodian Circus that is perfect for Halloween. The show features ghost stories from Cambodian folklore, and the performers use their incredible acrobatic skills and aerial acts to bring these spooky tales to life.

Same Same But Different

Same Same But Different (Photo_ Phare Cambodian Circus)

This is a lively and colorful show performed by Phare, The Cambodian Circus that celebrates the diversity of Cambodian culture. The performance combines traditional Cambodian dance, music, and circus acts to showcase the unique traditions of different regions of Cambodia.


cambodian circus Putho

This is a moving and inspiring show performed by Phare, The Cambodian Circus. The performance tells the story of a young Cambodian boy named Putho, who dreams of becoming a monk. The show explores Putho’s journey as he faces challenges and obstacles on his path to enlightenment.

Impact on the Community

Battambang students performing on unicycle at a local festival (Photo courtesy of Phare Ponleu Selpak)

The Cambodian Circus not only provides entertainment to audiences but also has a significant impact on the local community. The organization offers free training to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, providing them with valuable skills in the arts and the opportunity to perform in front of audiences. The training program includes not only circus skills but also life skills such as teamwork, discipline, and self-confidence. In addition, the organization has a strong commitment to sustainability and the environment. The circus runs entirely on solar power and uses recycled materials in its performances and facilities. The organization also partners with local NGOs to promote environmental awareness and education in the community.

Impact on Cambodian Society

Students performing acrobatics at a local festival in Battambang. (Photo courtesy of Phare Ponleu Selpak)

The Cambodian circus has had a significant impact on the country’s society since its inception. It has provided an alternative form of entertainment for Cambodians, who previously had limited options. It has also created employment opportunities for many performers and crew members, contributing to the local economy. In addition, the circus has helped to promote Cambodian culture and heritage to a global audience, increasing awareness and appreciation for the country’s rich history and traditions.

Future of the Cambodian Circus

The future of the Cambodian circus looks promising, with continued growth and success in both local and international markets. The circus has gained a loyal following and continues to attract new audiences with its unique blend of acrobatics, dance, and storytelling. The company has also expanded its reach by launching training programs and creating partnerships with other organizations to promote arts education and cultural exchange. As the circus continues to evolve and innovate, it is sure to remain a beloved and influential part of Cambodia’s cultural landscape.

Phare the Cambodian circus

The Cambodian circus is a truly unique and unforgettable entertainment experience that showcases the rich culture and history of Cambodia. From the incredible performances by the talented artists to the stunning visuals and music, the Cambodian circus offers a one-of-a-kind show that is sure to leave a lasting impression on anyone who sees it. Not only is the Cambodian circus a spectacular display of talent and artistry, but it also helps to support and empower the local community. By providing training and employment opportunities to young people from disadvantaged backgrounds, the circus is helping to build a brighter future for Cambodia.

If you are looking for a truly unforgettable experience during your Cambodia tour, be sure to check out the Cambodian circus. With its combination of stunning visuals, mesmerizing performances, and inspiring message of hope and empowerment, it is a show that should not be missed.