- Explore the ancient ruins of Angkor by bicycle
- Climb Mt. Kulen and swim under a waterfall
- Go out on the town in Siem Reap
- Learn how to cook traditional Khmer delicacies in a local village
|Day 1||Arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia|
|Day 2||Discover Angkor's secret trails by bike|
|Day 3||Hike up the holy Mt. Kulen|
|Day 4||Visit a village, learn to farm and cook Khmer-style|
Day 1: Arrive in Siem Reap, Cambodia
Arrive in Siem Reap, where you'll meet your guide at the airport. After a quick 20-minute drive to your hotel in town, take the evening to explore all this bustling city has to offer. Wander through the colorful night market, sample Cambodian cuisine from street vendors and local restaurants, indulge in a foot massage, or check out Siem Reap's funky art galleries. Ready for more? Explore a few of the local bars, or take on the lively nightlife of Pub Street and beyond
Day 2: Discover Angkor's Secret Trails by Bike
Discover Cambodia's majestic, UNESCO-protected ancient city of Angkor by bicycle. Built to simulate Mount Meru, the home of Hindu gods, Angkor was the capital of the medieval Khmer Empire and was once the largest city in the world. The sprawling stone complex is full of symmetry, intricate detail, and religious symbolism, and features hundreds of surviving temples and the remnants of a sophisticated canal system. The 21.7-mile (35 km) bike ride will take you through the jungle on dirt paths, encountering the magnificent temple ruins of Ta Prohm and Bayon. Cycle through the 1,000-year-old Victory Gate at Angkor Thom and continue on to the Terrace of the Elephants. Following lunch, explore the iconic Angkor Wat temple.
In the afternoon learn about the famous rodents at the Apopo Visitor Centre. Landmines left over from three decades of war are still a problem for farmers and local people in the Cambodian countryside. Whilst the use of humans with metal detectors and mine detecting dogs have made a major impact, there is still plenty to do. Following the success of using large ‘hero rats’ in Angola and Mozambique they have also been used in Cambodia since 2015. Not weighing enough to trigger a landmine when walked across, the rats are smart enough to smell the explosive and give a warning note to their handler. The mines can then be isolated and removed. At the Apopo Visitor Centre take a short tour to learn about their work with a short demonstration by a mine detecting ‘hero rat’.
This evening enjoy some modern Khmer theatre at the Cambodian Circus of professional artists performed by Phare Ponleu Selpak. More in the style of Cirque du Soleil than a traditional European circus, you'll be amazed by the show of modern Cambodian tales told through dance, acrobatics, aerial acts and music. The program originates from a project set up in refugee camps to encourage young people to express themselves through art. Today, the Phare circus is slowly becoming famous around the world and is a great example of a responsible tourism success story.
Chat with a local specialist who can help organize your trip.
Day 3: Hike Mt. Kulen and Swim Under a Waterfall
This morning drive to Phnom Kulen, 48km from Siem Reap. ‘Phnom’ means mountain or hill in Khmer and this mountain is considered the most sacred of all in Cambodia. This is the place where Jayavarman II proclaimed himself King and led to the start of the Khmer empire. You'll start with some easy trekking up the mountain, visiting a local pagoda with a natural spring on the way up to the top. Be prepared to take in spectacular views as you make your way along this little known route. At Phnom Kulen stop to see stone carvings in the riverbed, visit a large reclining Buddha statue and take a rest or refreshing bath at a waterfall. We will take a picnic lunch box which you can enjoy near the river. After the hike, you'll return to Siem Reap, arriving late afternoon.
Trekking time: 60-90 minutes.
Day 4: Learn to Farm and Cook Like a Local
This morning it is time for you to try preparing some Khmer food with your own hands. After being picked up at your hotel, you'll make a stop at the Old Market in Siem Reap where the chef will show you different Cambodian vegetables, herbs, spices and other ingredients while explaining how they are used in traditional Cambodian cooking. After the market, you'll head a few kilometres outside of town to learn how to cook Cambodian cuisine at a micro-farm where you can enjoy picking your own fresh ingredients from the garden. The first step is a hands-on demonstration of how to make Khmer rice noodles. After preparing a four course meal with many of the ingredients you chose from the garden, you'll sit down to enjoy the ‘fruits of your labour’ before returning to town.
The afternoon is at leisure before heading to the airport for your departing flight.