Koh Ker and Beng Mealea Forest Temples

  Full Day  See Itinerary

For an incredibly special day of viewing the remote and less-visited temples in the countryside around Siem Reap, with the chance of seeing some high-quality rare birds — why not join us for a trip into Angkorian culture?

We pick you up at 5:30 a.m. from your Siem Reap hotel and head off to the Northeast in our A/C 4×4 towards the outlying forest temple complex of Koh Ker.

Traveling out through villages and fields, we take the opportunity to stop along the way for a packed breakfast and to spot some of the area’s unique birds – including many woodpeckers including Black-headed and White-bellied Woodpecker, Velvet-fronted and Neglected Nuthatch, Rufous-winged Buzzard, Indochinese Bushlark, the beautiful White-Rumped Pygmy Falcon and the Collared Falconet.

Koh Ker is a unique pyramidal temple built in 931AD, strikingly reminiscent of the structures built by the Central American Maya. Not only is the appearance unique but also the history, as this was the location that became the capital of the Khmer Empire away from the Angkor area for the only time in an otherwise uninterrupted 500 years.

We start our explorations in the remote dry and semi-evergreen forest and seldom-visited outlying temples to discover the nature, wildlife, birds and incredible butterflies that live there, whilst exploring the minor temples before heading to the main Koh Ker temple – Prasat Thom, where we have lunch at a local restaurant right in front of the temple site.

By the early afternoon we will head back towards Siem Reap via the stunning Beng Mealea temple, thought to be the blueprint for Angkor Wat. This gives the birder a chance to pick up some migrants from the Himalayas during December – March, often including the difficult to find White-throated Rock-thrush. We explore this temple for about one hour before heading back to Siem Reap.

Our tours are tailor-made – the itineraries shown are suggestions based on our deep knowledge, or we can work with you to create your trip for your unique requirements, interests, and capabilities.



When to go

Accessible all year round. Birds are easier to see between December and March but in wetter season it is incredibly beautiful and alive with butterflies and other wildlife.

Habitats & Species

Find out more about key species, habitats and seasons on this tour Koh Ker Beng Mealea

Our guide, Mony, is an expert birder and very knowledgeable about the local fauna and flora. He also spoke excellent English. He helped us identify the large number of different bird species that we saw during the trip.  
John and Sue Edwards, Nottingham, United Kingdom



Pick up from your Siem Reap hotel in our aircon 4x4 by our English speaking bird guide we head off on the 1.5 hour drive to Koh Ker, through fields and villages. We stop for a packed breakfast en route at some excellent birding spots


Arriving at the Koh Ker temple complex we head out into the outlying temples after dry forest and semi-evergreen forest birds


We head to the main Koh Ker Temple for the opportunity to explore this stunning complex and the birds, butterflies and dragonflies that inhabit the site.


Lunch is at an excellent café right at the main temple, with homecooked Khmer food.


We start the drive to beautiful Beng Mealea temple complex for a couple of hours’ exploration around the temple and surrounding forest, before driving back to Siem Reap


Drop off back at your Siem Reap hotel

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