06 December 2016

 

Amazing things to do in
Siem Reap

Siem Reap

Sights and sounds of Siem Reap

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Siem Reap Cooking Class
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Siem Reap Cooking Class

Reap benefits of a cooking class

You are picked up from your hotel and taken to the rural location of Treak Village, around a 10 minute drive from Siem Reap City. This is predominately a farming village where life revolves around the seasons and family. Life there is fairly simple and while Siem Reap City is rapidly changing, this visit gives you a chance to see the true Cambodian way of life.

The cooking class is in an outdoor bamboo pavilion, surrounded by banana trees, bamboo and a fish pond. Take a short walk in the village to visit a local family and garden to see the ingredients growing. Learn about food superstition and beliefs. The cooking classes are very hands on and interactive and each person has an individual cooking station. Meals are then eaten in a lovely pavilion perched over a fish pond.

fr £28pp

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Floating Village Tour
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Floating Village Tour

Life on the lake

The Tonle Sap is called the ‘great lake’ and during the rainy season it can more than double in size. It is also one of the world’s richest sources of freshwater fish. On this tour you drive to Chung Khneas village and cruise along a canal, past floating villages, schools, restaurants and even a hospital. See fishing nets being mended, children swimming, floating pigpens and even crocodile enclosures.

First stop is at the Gecko Environment Centre, which aims to educate both the local community and visitors on the ecological importance of the Tonle Sap Lake and the threats it faces. Then continue through a section of mangroves and out onto the massive lake where you stop at a floating fish and crocodile farm for great photos before returning to your hotel. The tour lasts around three hours.

fr £42pp

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Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour
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Siem Reap Countryside Cycle Tour

Pedal power

Cycle quiet back trails through the picturesque and friendly Cambodian countryside on this fun tour which is great for all the family. Beyond the temples, it’s an easy ride through the Siem Reap countryside on quiet trails through rice fields and small villages with lots of stops to learn about daily village life in Cambodia and to enjoy some delicious local snacks.

Along the way you will see palm wine and sugar production, possibly basket weaving, rice farming and all sorts of rural activities. This is a real back roads route with lots of unsealed and rough village roads that will show you a very different side of Siem Reap away from the glitz and glamous of the wonderful resort hotels.

fr £44pp

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Angkor Walking Tour
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Angkor Walking Tour

Walk into history

You are met at your hotel at 8.00 am by a guide and taken for a tuk-tuk (motorised trolley) trip to monumental Angkor Thom city. At the height of its greatness, Angkor Thom had a population of more than one million people and was larger than the city of London. Today, the massive city walls, 10 miles long and surrounded by a wide moat, are remarkably intact and form the basis of your day of walking.

You approach the city wall's western gate along a bumpy dirt track. From this rambling western entrance begin a gentle walk into a less-visited section of Angkor Thom city visiting Prasat Top, the ruins of the King's Palace, and the beautiful Baphuon. End the morning at the famous Bayon, then return to town for lunch. In the afternoon set out again to walk around the most southern part of Angkor Thom.

fr £71pp

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Private Angkor Tour
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Private Angkor Tour

Day at the temples

Leave your hotel early and stop at the Angkor National Museum, then spend the day exploring the awesome temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat is the world’s largest sacred building and an architectural masterpiece. Built in the 12th century the temple represents Khmer civilisation at its grandest. You also visit the southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by 54 stone figures and the fortified city of Angkor Thom.

At the Bayon you see its beautifully crafted central towers, covered in more than 200 enormous faces, then explore the famous Terrace of the Leper King, and the Terrace of Elephants. After lunch and a rest break set out for the recently restored Preah Khan temple, known as the Temple of the Sacred Sword. Then at the end of the day visit the jungle-enveloped atmospheric Ta Prohm temple.

fr £71pp

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Boeng Mealea Temple Tour
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Boeng Mealea Temple Tour

Wat a contrast!

On this tour you visit the most interesting temple outside Angkor Thom city. Leave your hotel at 8.00 am and begin the two hour drive through scenic rural Cambodia to Boeng Mealea temple. En route stop at Dom Deak town for a wander through a typical village market before arriving at King Suryavarman II's eleventh century Boeng Mealea temple - a prototype for the more famous Angkor Wat.

This temple stands almost forgotten in jungle and getting to the site is quite an adventure in itself. Isolated during Cambodia's civil war, Boeng Mealea was under the control of the Khmer Rouge for decades but has since been 'de-mined' and it is now safe to visit. The atmosphere here is eerie but a welcome contrast to the more visited temples closer to Angkor Wat. End your stay at this special site with a picnic lunch.

fr £74pp

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Phnom Kulen Mountain Adventure Tour
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Phnom Kulen Mountain Adventure Tour

Hit the heights

Leave your hotel in Siem Reap for Phnom Kulen, regarded as the birthplace of the Khmer empire. Drive for 40 miles through pretty countryside and at the summit of Phnom Kulen mountain is a 16th century Buddhist monastery (Phra Ang Tho) and a short climb up a stone staircase leads you to a huge reclining Buddha where you have great views across the countryside.

Around the base of the temple, monks and worshippers burn incense and leave offerings of fruit. You walk along winding jungle paths and see traditional Khmer healers plying their trade and selling Buddhist icons. Next take a short drive to the 'River of 1,000 Lingas' to see the hundreds of carvings in the sandstone riverbed. Follow the river down to a two tier waterfall and stop for lunch and a swim.

fr £109pp

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Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples
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Private Tour of Kampong Khleang & Roulos Temples

Cruise Tonle and take in temples

Leave your hotel in Siem Reap for the one hour journey to the world's second largest freshwater lake, magnificent Tonle Sap. Here board a boat and head onto the lake, passing the village of Kampong Khleang and viewing daily life on the water. This village is a mix of high stilt houses, built above the highest water level, and floating houses. Cruise along and see the unique houses on stilts, and the daily life of the village.

Your boat will meander slowly through the village and grassland canals, allowing you to catch glimpses of flora and fauna and see a truly beautiful ecosystem, before emerging onto the Tonle Sap lake itself. Once back on dry land you drive back towards Siem Reap to the Roulos group of temples where you have time to explore before a picnic lunch. Then you are driven back to your hotel.

fr £114pp

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Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour
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Koh Ker Jungle Explorer Day Tour

Jungle's hidden secret

On this fascinating tour you visit Koh Ker, former 10th century capital of the Angkorian empire. Long abandoned to the forests of Cambodia, the ruins here were some of the most inaccessible and remote in the country until completion of a new road in 2004. After a journey of three hours through typical Cambodian countryside arrive at the Koh Ker city ruins.

Begin your discovery by passing through a 'gorupa' gateway, flanked by atmospheric sanctuaries and walk along a naga (serpent) lined causeway to Prasat Krahorm. The Koh Ker centrepiece is Prasat Thom, a huge seven-level sandstone pyramid. Climb to the top on a series of wooden ladders and take in the panoramic jungle views. After lunch and a rest break, discover outlying temples with your guide.

fr £122pp

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Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour
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Pedals and Paddles, Cycling and Kayak Tour

Bikes and boats

This is a great day's combination of cycling and kayaking. First pedal north to one of two great irrigation reservoirs from the Angkor period, the West Baray and ride along the wall of this impressive man-made lake. Then visit a village, typical of those surrounding Siem Reap, where life is still simple and based on agriculture. Walk around and meet the people before enjoying a tasty lunch and chilling out in a hammock.

Then take a kayak trip past the floating villages on Tonle Sap Lake. After exploring the area and some of the mangrove forest, you set out for the open lake where the sheer size of this body of water becomes apparent. As you float along and the sun begins to set your guide will explain why this lake is so vital to Cambodia's survival.

fr £153pp

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Angkor from the Air
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Angkor from the Air

The temples of Angkor represent 600 years (802-1432) of Khmer civilisation - one of Asia's greatest Kingdoms. Depart your hotel at 8.30 am, and spend the morning exploring the awesome temples of Angkor. Angkor Wat is the world's largest sacred building and an architectural masterpiece. Built in the 12th century the temple took 30 years to build and represents Khmer civilisation at its grandest. We also visit the southern Gate of Angkor Thom, flanked by a row of 54 stone figures on each side - gods to the left and demons to the right - and the fortified city of Angkor Thom. At 'The Bayon' (12th century) we see beautifully crafted central towers covered in over 200 enormous and mysterious faces, then explore the famous Terrace of the Leper King, and the Elephant Terrace. After lunch and a break, we set out to the jungle-enveloped Ta Prohm, one of the most atmospheric of all temples in Angkor. Once home to 2,740 monks, Ta Prohm today looks much as it did in the early 1850s, when French explorer Henri Mouhot 'red

fr £319pp

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Private Bird Watching Tour
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Private Bird Watching Tour

Strictly for the birds

You are picked up from your hotel at 6am for the trip to Ang Trapaeng Thmor - a large Angkorian reservoir rebuilt by the Khmer Rouge and still used today to irrigate the rice paddy to the South. Breakfast will be provided and you may stop for some bird watching on the way. After two hours or more you arrive at the Forestry Administration Headquarters for a briefing by the guides before heading to the flooded fields.

This area is home to a great diversity of waterbirds and is one of the best places in Cambodia to go birdwatching, as you can always see something unexpected among the many waterbirds. In 2002 it was declared a reserve for the Sarus Crane and you can see up to 350 of these majestic birds as they forage in fields around the reservoir. Then visit a village to view traditional silk weaving before having a Khmer lunch.

fr £336pp

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Flights to
Siem Reap

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Siem Reap are from
£958 (inc tax)

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Siem Reap

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Siem Reap Holiday offers

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