On an unforgettable adventure that’s equal-parts ‘Indiana Jones’ and ‘David Attenborough’, step into the wonderfully mysterious world of the Khmer Empire. Explore the jungle-clad ruins Angkor and Preah Vihear, then venture off the beaten path to observe exotic wildlife. This tour was designed specifically to satisfy the needs of aspiring explorers.
Step back in time while exploring the jungle-clad ruins of the Khmer Empire in the ancient city of Angkor.
Take part in an enriching ‘day in the life of’ experience while meeting friendly locals in the little-visited village of Ta Brak.
Witness critically endangered species and other exotic wildlife at the pristine Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary
Jungle Wildlife And Temples - 8 Days / 7 Nights
Upon arrival to Siem Reap, our guide and driver will be waiting to provide transport to the hotel for check in. After settling in to the hotel, begin an afternoon exploration of Angkor Wat by local remork (similar to a ‘tuk tuk’).
Built in the 12th century, Angkor Wat was constructed to symbolise Mount Meru, a sacred mountain in both Hinduism and Buddhism, considered to be the centre of everything. The temple itself is covered with stone carvings and has more than 2,000 apsara dancers decorating the temple. Angkor Wat is so revered by the nation that Cambodia is the only flag in the world with a building on it.
After exploring the Angkor Wat complex, enjoy dinner at Marum Restaurant. Set in a delightful wooden house with a spacious garden, Marum offers a winning mix of creative local dishes. Visits not only provide an incredible dining experience, but also help to build a new life for the students in training there! Part of the Tree Alliance Group of vocational training restaurants, they provide entry into the hospitality industry for local street kids and disadvantaged youths.
Overnight in Siem Reap
Experience the temples of Angkor in a different way today with a guided Angkor cycling tour, accompanied by a customised remork for backup and assistance.
Begin the day with a hotel pick up, departing to the outskirts of town. After a debriefing and bicycle fitting from our staff, set off into the Angkor Park to Ta Prohm. Ta Prohm is unique in that it has been left largely as it was found: overgrown by jungle trees and vines, with many parts of the temple crumbling to the ground.
Continue cycling to the ancient city of Angkor Thom, the last capital of the Great Khmer Empire. The city is famous for its impressive stone-carved southgate and 8-metre tall wall drawing a perfect square around its perimeter. Enter the city and cycle to the exact centre where the Bayon Temple is located. This 12th century masterpiece is a study in grandeur with its 54 face-carved towers.
From here, leave the bicycles behind and head for Kbal Spean, one of the earliest Hindu pilgrimage sites in Cambodia. Enjoy a deluxe picnic lunch before taking a short 3 km round trek up the hill through dense jungle. During the rainy season, it is possible to enjoy a refreshing bath in the nearby waterfall.
The next stop is the “gem” of the Angkor area, the pretty temple of Banteay Srei. Also known as the “Citadel of the Women,” this site remains the best-preserved temple in Cambodia, displaying fine examples of classical Khmer art.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
Today experience an incredible tour to learn about life in a typical Cambodian village. Meet friendly locals and discover traditional village customs and cultures.
There will be an early morning pick up from the guide for the ride to Ta Brak Village, 25 minutes out of town. A western-packed breakfast from the hotel will be taken and, on arrival, will be enjoyed during a shared breakfast with a local family. While eating breakfast together, learn all about life for them in their quiet village.
After breakfast, take a 30 minute ox cart ride to the local market for an introductory tour to Cambodian vegetables, herbs, fruits and other local produce. Continue 1km by foot through the picturesque countryside village, stopping off to meet the local community along the way. Depending on the season, activities within the village always change.
End the morning at the local pagoda where a special water blessing by Buddhist monks await.
Return to Siem Reap town and spend the afternoon at leisure, relaxing at the hotel or taking part in an optional tour:
Option: Spa treatment
Be pampered at the stylish and modern Bodia Spa and enjoy an aromatherapy oil massage.
Option: Quad-Bike Adventure
Enjoy four-wheeling through the countryside of Siem Reap on this quad bike adventure. The guided ride explores local villages and helps display everyday life in rural Cambodia. In addition to meeting and chatting with the locals, one of the highlights of the tour is the sunset in the rice fields.
Option: Horseback-Riding at Happy Ranch
Head to the Happy Ranch outside of Siem Reap, the only western-style horse ranch in Cambodia. After getting acquainted with purebred Cambodian horses, enjoy a countryside trot. During the 2-hour trail ride, explore regions far beyond the tourist trail, including the rarely visited Wat Atvea.
After a relaxing afternoon, begin a Vespa tour of Siem Reap. The ride heads out of the tourist areas and explores the bustling Pub Street with its delicious street food, a local grill stand, and various nightlife entertainment spots. Top of the eclectic experience with a sampling of the local spirit: rice wine infused with herbs and spices!
After receiving a unique souvenir, transport will be provided back to the hotel.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast, take the 3-4 hour drive northwards from Siem Reap to Preah Vihear Province. On the way stop for a short visit to Trapaeng Prasat Temple, which offers an excellent view of the Preah Vihear Mountain.
Upon arrival, check in to the hotel and enjoy lunch before travelling to visit Preah Vihear Temple.
Reaching the foot of Preah Vihear, it is necessary to transfer into the back of a pickup truck (operated by the local community) for the climb up the spectacularly steep mountain road.
Finally reaching the temple, the journey is rewarded with fabulous views over Cambodia’s and Thailand’s fertile plains. The sanctuary is perched on the edge of the cliffs with amazing views over the seemingly endless Cambodian jungle to the south. The temple is not yet restored but has spectacular carvings and lintels which are almost as splendid as those at Banteay Srei. The spectacular location paired with a unique temple design are the reason UNESCO enlisted Preah Vihear as a World Heritage Site.
Overnight in Preah Vihear.
After a leisurely morning, transport will be provided to the iconic ecotourism lodge at Tmatboey, an isolated village located in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary in the Northern Plains of Cambodia. It is the site of a unique community ecotourism project established by the Ministry of Environment and the Wildlife Conservation Society’s Cambodia Program.
Tmatboey is world famous for the work done in the area for the conservation of one of the world’s most endangered mega avifauna species The Giant Ibis – Cambodia’s national bird. There are less than 150 left in the world and this is one of the most important habitats.
After arriving, enjoy a greeting by the community and spend the afternoon and early evening on wildlife and birding treks seeking the critically endangered Giant and White Shouldered Ibis, as well as other remarkable animals. For those interested, there are some remarkable night trips to see a range of owls.
Dinner tonight is home cooked by the community in the open ‘restaurant’, before sleeping in simple but comfortable twin, ensuite lodge rooms with mosquito nets, fans, western bathrooms and hot water.
Overnight in Tmatboey.
Early morning is one of the best times to spot birds and wildlife. After an early wakeup call, depart on a wildlife walk at 05:30. Pre-walk snacks and coffee/tea will be available with a full breakfast on return.
For those who’d prefer to not leave so early, there is also an excellent hidden site where it’s possible to quietly sit and watch a wide variety of forest birds and small mammals come into feed.
After breakfast, depart for the two-hour transfer to the remote and stunning community ecolodge at Prey Veng Village, deep in the Kulen Promtep Wildlife Sanctuary. The lodge is on the banks of a 12th century baray (Khmer-style artificial lake typically square-shaped) 3km in diameter, which is essential to both the community and the wildlife of the area. This site is particularly stunning during ‘Green Season’ (July-November), when oxcarts are used as the primary mode of transportation.
Just 300m from the lodge, across paddy fields where the wildlife-friendly, fair trade organic Ibis Rice is grown, is a huge 10th century temple. It’s almost completely unvisited by outsiders and rich in bird and butterfly life.
Upon arrival, enjoy a delicious home-cooked Khmer lunch and a bit of time to settle in before the afternoon’s activities: a visit to the temple while spotting local wildlife, and an evening walk around the baray for more wildlife spotting.
Walking with the local guide provides excellent insight into the community life – checking fishing traps, learning about rubber tapping or rice production. There is also the opportunity to take boats onto the baray, cycle forest tracks or to visit the nearby village and community forest.
As the sun sets, enjoy sundowners on the platform built out onto the baray, watching as the wildlife and buffalo come in for evening feeding. Afterwards, enjoy a home-cooked meal or BBQ and sleep in the twin-roomed, ensuite lodge rooms with mosquito nets, fans, western bathrooms and hot/cold running water.
Overnight in Prey Veng.
As the best time for wildlife viewing is early morning, depart for an early wildlife and nature walk around the baray at 05:30. Alternatively, relax at the nearby viewing platform.
Breakfast will be on return from the morning walk before leaving at around 10:00 for a short transfer to Koh Ker.
Koh Ker is a stunning, unique pyramidal temple built in 931AD, strikingly reminiscent of the structures built by the Central American Maya. Not only is the appearance unique but its history is also remarkable as well.
Start by exploring the remote, dry and semi-evergreen forest to discover the nature, wildlife, birds and incredible butterflies who live there. Additionally, explore the temple ruins before enjoying lunch at the main Koh Ker temple - Prasat Thom.
In the early afternoon, head back towards Siem Reap and pay a visit to the beautiful Beng Mealea Temple. Arrive back at the hotel around 17:30.
Overnight in Siem Reap.
After breakfast at the hotel, transport will be provided to the airport for the onward flight.
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