Professionally Handled Operations
In northwest Cambodia, Siem Reap is the gateway to the Angkor Archaeological Park, containing the stupendous remains of the ancient Khmer civilization, dating from the 9th to the 15th centuries. As such, in recent years, Siem Reap has experienced extensive tourism development, transforming into a popular tourist Mecca. However, this charming provincial town is also defined by Chinese-style shop houses and architectural legacies of the French Indochina-era. We visit Peak Sneng, an authentic local village, secluded in peaceful countryside beyond Siem Reap. Here, learn about the simple, day-to-day life in rural Cambodia. Take a morning stroll, stopping-off at the local school to engage with the students. Learn about age-old Khmer craftmanship, such as palm leaf weaving. Our visit benefits the village with funds donated towards the most pressing needs, such as school computers – directly impacting the villagers lives in a positive way.
Journey deep into the Angkor Park to a small community and a monastery with around 200 resident monks. At sunrise, witness the authentic Buddhist ritual of alms giving, with the monks paying respects to their elders before joining the local community for preparation of breakfast. Receive a blessing from the Buddhist monks and listen to the mesmerising early morning chanting. Continue with a tour of Angkor Wat, one of the world’s greatest ancient wonders and dominating central feature of the Angkor Park. This early 12th century temple complex also ranks as one of the world’s largest and most important religious monuments. Visually stunning, the temple complex is surrounded by a 190m (624ft)-wide moat and is iconic for its five-tower silhouette. Our fascinating exploration reveals elaborate bas-relief stone carvings and small shrines still used today by locals. If time permits, continue to other astounding ancient temples.
Beyond Siem Reap, create traditional Cambodian dishes, while experiencing local rural life and giving back to the community. Our chef for the day accompanies us around a private organic farm, where we learn how farmers tend and harvest their various crops. Continue on to a nearby authentic Khmer village. Guided by chef, we engage with the villagers, observe local traditions and hand-select fresh ingredients from market traders. As a goodwill gesture for the village hospitality, together with our chef in a special ceremony, we donate a basket of goods to the Head Villager. Returning to the farm, chef conducts a bespoke hands-on cooking class, teaching us how to make a Cambodian three-course lunch, enjoyed later at the farm house.
Explore the Roulous Temples, one of the lesser-known temple complexes outside Siem Reap, but of immense historic importance. The site of the ancient Hariharalaya civilisation, this is the first capital city of the Angkor-era Khmer Empire. Dating back to the 9th century, Roulous is amongst some of the earliest permanent structures constructed by the Khmer. Peacefully explore the three remaining temples, Bakong, Lolei and Preah Ko. Surrounding the Roulous temples is Anlong Pi, Siem Reap’s main rubbish dump, where a disadvantaged resident community scavenge for their living. We visit the nearby Anlong Pi Free School, engaging with students and teachers. With the school entirely dependent on donations, our visit helps benefit the future education of the estimated 250 school children. During a brief tour of the rubbish dump, learn more about other local charitable causes. Plant a mango tree, an uplifting philanthropic deed, helping to feed the disadvantaged community in future years.
Transfer to Siem Reap airport for your onward flight.