Temple Trek and Bike
Cambodia 5 days ex Siem Reap

Basing ourselves in the lively city of Siem Reap we explore the surrounding area on bike and foot. We visit Tonle Sap lake and learn about
its importance to the local people and as a breeding ground for large water bird and fish populations. Getting out into the countryside again
we visit some of the villages and forest nearby before spending 3 days exploring the amazing temple complex that has beguiled visitors for
hundreds of years. Take your time seeing some of the more out of the way temple complexes while learning more about the fascinating
history of each site from your knowledgeable guide.
Itinerary
Trip Details
Day 1 Arrive Siem Reap
You are met on arrival at Siem Reap and transferred to the start hotel. Our sightseeing tour will commence at
10am - so please make sure that you are ready to leave the hotel by this time. Our first ride takes us around 10km
out of town to the Rolous Group of temples. Pre Ko, Lo Lei and Bakheng the largest and most impressive of the
group. These temples were constructed during the 9th century, before Angkor Wat.  

After lunch we ride out to the Tonle Sap lake. Ride through villages and rice fields   We pass many happy and
smiling locals along the way before greeting our local boat driver who takes us for a closer look at the floating
village of Chong Kneas and the great Tonle Sap Lake. The lake and its inundated forest are considered the single
most important breeding area in Southeast Asia for globally threatened large waterbirds, and the most important
source of freshwater fish for Cambodians with some 215 recorded species of fish. Here we see whole floating
communities including churches, schools, gas stations and grocery stores. We observe the daily lives of the
communities while taking in some spectacular scenery on the great lake. (60km  cycling).

Day 2 Forest hike
Today we drive to Svay Leu village and begin our forest hike. Our walk takes us through villages, forests and
amazing scenery to Kulen Mountain where the age of Angkor began.   

The River of 1000 Lingas is a powerful sacred site for Cambodians, even today. Close to a kilometer of living stone
lining the stream bed has been sculpted with hundreds of stone lingas (Hindu phallic carvings), a legacy of 9th
century God-kings, and a reminder that this forest was an important spiritual center even before Angkor Wat.
Downstream, the carvings end at the edge of an amazing waterfall. If we visit during the wet season we may swim
in the waterfall. Kulen Mountain is a very popular place for locals to visit at the weekends. The locals come for ritual
baths in the river, often taking some of its holy water home with them.  (17km walk).

Day 3 Temples of Angkor
Today we ride through the pristine countryside to Banteay Srey, the citadel of the women. The temple was built
around 967 by a Brahmin counselor to King Rajendravarman, and later, Jayavarman V. Banteay Srey is remarkably
well preserved, especially given the delicate nature of the carvings. The temple was the first one of the sites at
Angkor to be restored using a method called anastylosis, where the structure is disassembled and then put back
together using original construction techniques.

Day 4 Temples of Angkor
Today we continue with more temple exploration.  Our first stop is Preah Khan, previously a monastery and
educational center, and once believed to be a temporary residence of King Jayavarman VII who lived here during
the restoration of Angkor Thom city. Our next stop is Neak Pean. This temple in a previous life was a purification
sanctuary. Back on the bikes and we are off to East Mebon which was built in the second half of the tenth century
(952) by king Rajendravarman II, dedicated to Siva (Hindu). East Mebon stands on a small island in the middle of
the Eastern Baray, which was a large body of water, fed by the Siem Reap River. The temple was accessible only
by boat. Today the baray, once a source of water for irrigation, is a plain of rice fields and we are left to imagine the
original impressiveness of this temple in the middle of a large lake.

Our final temple for the day is Pre Rup which was  built as the state temple of King Rajendravarman and dedicated
in around 961. The temple’s name is a comparatively modern one meaning “turn the body." This reflects the
common belief among Cambodians that funerals were conducted at the temple, with the ashes of the body being
ritually rotated in different directions as the service progressed. Some archeologists believe that a long stone
container at the base of the main eastern stairs of the temple was used for funerals.

Day 5 Angkor Wat
Saving the best for last today we visit Angkor Wat the grandest of all the temples and regarded as the supreme
masterpiece of Khmer architecture. It was built Suryavarman II between 1113 and 1150. The bas relief at Angko
Wat is one of the best quality works of all the Angkor temples.

We spend some more time cycling around the Angkor Park before our trip ends.
Departure date
Private departures on
dates to suit you,
please
contact us for
more details.

Group size
Min 2

Level of activity
Moderate, activities can
be organized for those
wanting more or less
active options.

Accomodation
Hotel (4 nts)

Meals
5 breakfasts.

Inclusions
Tours and arrival
transfer by private
air-conditioned vehicle
Support vehicle while
bike riding
Service of English
speaking Khmer guide
All activities as
mentioned including a
bike and helmet for
bike sections of
itinerary
Admission fees where
applicable

Exclusions
Flights and airport
taxes
Services not
mentioned in the
itinerary
Meals and drinks not
mentioned in the
itinerary
Tips for guide and
driver
Expenditure of
personal nature


more information and
booking