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– Cycling through the countryside, encounters with locals and cookibg class.
– Discover the Great Tonle Sap lake by traditionnal wooden boat.
– Workshop at Eco-Soap NGO & meet the HeroRats !
– Spend a hald day with elephants of the Kulen Elephant park.
– Discover the main archeological sites of Angkor: Angkor Wat, Bayon, Ta Prohm and Banteay Srei
Day 1: SIEM REAP : Arrival – Siem Reap / Countryside & Tonle Sap
On your arrival to Siem Reap, you’ll be greeted by an English-speaking guide that will accompany you on this fun three-day tour of adventures and discoveries. After a quick transfer by vehicle, you will immediately set off to explore the countryside on mountain bikes (child seat and trailer available). Enjoy your ride along the laterite tracks, bordered by coconut and bamboo trees dotting the peaceful countryside of Siem Reap.
At the end of a sandy track, you will discover a true archeological treasure, a pagoda, and its small Angkorian temple!
Keeping up with the beautiful Cambodian architecture, you’ll reach a hamlet hidden in the middle of the rice fields. Stop at the village where you’ll witness the elders still wearing their unique traditional clothes and you’ll get to discover the artisanal basketry traditions.
Your journey continues with a culinary halt. Assisted by a Cambodian chef, you will prepare your lunch. The chef will introduce you to the preparation of typical dishes such as green mango salad, Amok, or even traditional soup.
At noon you will taste the delicious dishes you cooked.
In the afternoon, leave the bikes and take your vehicle to cross the flooded and fertile areas to reach the Tonle Sap Lake, the largest lake in Southeast Asia. There, you’ll embark on a wooden boat to discover the lake and its floating houses in the lakeside village of Metchrey.
Learn the different fishing techniques and observe the unique breeding of crocodiles and fishes.
Enjoy the rest of your ride through the beautiful aquatic life of the region.
Dinner – Free – at your own expense.
Day 2: SIEM REAP / Temples & NGO
Departing in tuk-tuk from your hotel, reach the archaeological site of Angkor in the early morning and discover the great royal city. King Jayavarman VII built a laterite rampart forming a square of 3 kilometers on each side with an outer moat of one hundred meters wide to protect his city from invaders.
After admiring the enigmatic gates of this city, you’ll reach the Bayon, the central temple of this fortified city. At first sight, this mysterious temple appears as a disorder of blackened stones but it’s actually a magnificent tangle of some fifty towers, revealing faces as you come closer.
Walk around the site to explore the endless monuments including the Baphuon, one of the largest restoration projects ever undertaken by France, then the Phimeanakas located in the enclosure of the Royal Palace and finish at the Terrace of the Elephants where the king and his court attended the games and processions.
Then, reach the temple of Ta Prohm, “the ancestor Brahma”, to relish in the magical atmosphere of this temple. It’s an authentic place, partly left in its natural state to preserve the original memory of its discovery by the early explorers who revealed the city of Angkor to the West.
Lunch will be served at a local restaurant on the site.
The afternoon is consecrated to the discovery of two rather astonishing humanitarian organizations.
Discover Eco-Soap, a humanitarian and environmental non-profit organization that works to save, sanitize, and supply leftover soap from manufacturers and hotels for developing countries.
Through this workshop, you will learn about their work and how it meets both ecological and social objectives.
Eco-Soap doesn’t only contribute to the improvement of health and ecological well-being by providing highly cost-effective hygiene products and reduce the waste generated by industry. It also helps the local community, by affording livelihoods and free education to disadvantaged women with no other reliable source of income.
This is the perfect opportunity to learn more about the various ways of reducing waste, poverty, and social disparities.
The second NGO is APOPO.
APOPO is a demining center that uses giant rats, nicknamed “HeroRATs”, trained to detect landmines, helping the team to get rid of the deadly devices and give back safe lands to the communities. Learn with APOPO about the downplayed issue of productive lands being still to this day endangered by explosive remnants of war and their unique process of safe demining.
Enjoy a demonstration video before getting back to your hotel.
Dinner – FREE – at your own expense.
Day 3: SIEM REAP / Elephant Sanctuary – Banteay Srei – Angkor Wat
Breakfast will be served in the village.
In the early morning (7 am), you will be driven to the foothills of Kulen Mountain, where lies the Bos Thom Community Forest, 1100 acres of protected forest, a sanctuary to the last elephants of Angkor.
At a short walking distance is the community base, where the group will receive instructions about the contact with some of the last captive elephants of the country and why, more than ever, the protection of this precious animal is crucial.
Out of 75 remaining captive elephants in Cambodia, you’ll meet the 14 elephants of the site, each having their unique name and roaming free and unburdened in their natural habitat.
Along with a local Cambodian guide, you’ll slowly get to approach these majestic animals, accompany them in a 1-hour walk and follow them in their bath. It will be the occasion to discover the various plantations and seasonal cultures scattered on the sanctuary and observe the team prepare the meal of the pachyderms.
Lunch will be served at the community base and you will have the chance of feeding the elephants.
Hopping back in the car, you’ll be driven with your guide to reach the small temple of Banteay Srei, a gem of 10th century Khmer art with beautiful carved pink sandstone.
This unforgettable day will end with the observation of the sunset over the most majestic Cambodian temple: Angkor Wat. From there, King Suryavarman II reigned over the Kingdom of Cambodia from 1113 to 1152. The pyramid plan of the temple, combined with the vast skillfully arranged perspectives reveals a mastery of architecture never equaled.
Dinner – FREE – at your own expense
Activity available everyday, departure 8am
Pick up at your Hotel
Official Language: Khmer
Capital: Phnom Penh
Surface: 181 035 Km2
Population: 16 204 486
Currency: Riel (KHR)
Telephone code: +855
The RIEL is the national currency. But the US Dollar is also accepted throughout the country and prices are generally displayed in Dollars. The exchange rate is relatively stable: 1USD=4000 Riels. Warning: banknotes printed before 1990 are not accepted in Cambodia and their value decreases if the banknote is torn or scratched or graffitied or folded. In the case of a payment in Dollar, the change will be returned to you in Riel. The Euro and other foreign currencies are easily exchangeable in airports and markets.
Credit cards are now widely used in tourist cities (Siem Reap, Phnom Penh and Sihanoukville) and you can withdraw Dollars. Cash withdrawals are possible in major cities in Laos, with a credit card (Visa or American Express). Payments are also possible in some hotels, luxury shops, or restaurants. But the cost of the levies (variables) remains quite high (3% commission). We recommend that you carry cash to cover your personal expenses throughout the trip.
No vaccination is required. However, it is recommended to protect yourself against hepatitis A and B (ask your doctor for advice). We advise you to bring your own:
of a broad-spectrum antibiotic;
of your usual medications if you are undergoing treatment;
an anti-diarrheal and an intestinal antiseptic (Intetrix, Immodium…);
a protective cream against mosquitoes;
moisturizing sunscreen, lip stick;
a healing ointment and a local antiseptic.
The Khmer kingdom of Cambodia reached its peak in the 12th century when great temples were erected, but the struggles between Hindus and Buddhists, Khmers, Mon and Cham tore the kingdom apart. The Siamese gradually established their political control over the Khmers while the Vietnamese also sought to dominate and colonize Cambodia. In 1863, France offered its protection to Cambodia, once again threatened by the Siamese (Thais). King Norodom I accepted the protectorate and Cambodia became a French colony. It was only after the Second World War that King Norodom Sihanouk negotiated with France the independence of Cambodia, which was granted on 9 November 1953.
After 15 years of reign, the king could not prevent the Khmer Communist Party from starting the armed struggle in 1968. In 1970, a military coup d’état precipitated Cambodia into a civil war that ended in April 1975 when the Khmer Rouge seized Phnom Penh. The brutality of Pol Pot’s troops served as a pretext for the Vietnamese to invade the country in December 1978.
They left the country following international pressure in September 1989. In May 1993, multi-party parliamentary elections were held. A new constitution was ratified and Norodom Sihanouk was once again proclaimed king. In 2004, he abdicated in favour of his younger son Norodom Sihamoni, currently in charge of the kingdom.
Khmer (sometimes called “Cambodian”) is the official language, with a clear majority; it is estimated to have 11.2 million speakers, or 83.6% of the population, according to 2012 figures, far ahead of Vietnamese (1 million speakers), Cham (475,000 speakers) and Chinese (438,000 speakers). It is mainly spoken in Cambodia and the neighbour regions of Thailand by the Surin Khmer (northern) and in Vietnam by the Khmer Krom.
Hello : Sour Seday
Goodbye : Ly hai
Thank You : Orkoun
Can I have the bill? : Som kotleuy
How much does it cost ? : Klei ponman
I don’t understand : Ort yol
My name is : Kyom tchmo
Where are the toilets ? : Bantop teuk neuy na ?
I don’t understand khmer : Kyom atché pissa khmer
Do you speak english ? : Tah nyek neeyay preesah ahng-lay tay ?
Hotel : Santa Khear
On your way, you will often have the opportunity to meet local people. Wherever you are, be discreet and humble. The multiplicity of cultures and traditions means that certain attitudes are perceived differently in different countries. To avoid being disrespectful, take the time to understand the people you meet, take the time to make connections.
There too, listen to the advice of your guide! He knows better than anyone the behaviors to avoid or adopt. For example, if you want to take a picture of someone, always ask them for permission. The best way for acceptance is to have established a prior contact. Similarly, do not distribute gifts at all … This often encourages children to beg, to avoid this kind of drift, it is better to refer to the local structures competent (donate to school, hospital, village chief etc.). Finally, be careful not to wear too light clothing (short shorts, cleavage …) and avoid exuberant behavior.